14 October 2015

Words borrowed from English

My Brunei Malay dictionary shows some words with 'Ig', to indicate that they come from English. While the origin of some is obvious (basikal, batri, kompeni, radiu), others can be more puzzling. See if you can guess what the following might be. To help, I'll give you the meaning.

bikium : a machine to clean the floor
guhit : to move forward
gustan : to move backwards
kulbat : a drain
kumpum : to validate
pain : money you have to pay
putbul : a game
waksap : a place to get your car repaired

The answers are as follows:

bikium : vacuum
guhit : go ahead
gustan : go astern
kulbat : culvert
kumpum : confirm
pain : fine
putbul : football
waksap : workshop

Of course, it helps to know that Brunei Malay doesn't have /f/ or /v/, so /p/ and /b/ are used in their place.

Even so, some of the entries are bizarre, For example, kiket ('ticket') is also listed even though Brunei Malay has a /t/.