UNCLE & AUNT- Speak & Write Malay - Lesson 5

There have been many comments made on the above subject. Perhaps this explanation will clear the doubts.

In Bahasa Melayu (Indonesia) there are many words that are used for "UNCLE". In common they use "PAMAN" and "PAKCIK".

In Sri Lanka our Elders used the word "UAK" or "UA" pronounced as "OOWA" for "UNCLE" or "AUNT". It was very common to hear them say "UAK BAPAK" for an Uncle older than ones Parents or "UAK MUDA" for an UNCLE that is younger than ones parents. I believe that the word "MUDA" was used by us for "UNCLE" by dropping off the "UAK" portion of the word. The word "MUDA" by itself means "YOUNG" or "YOUTHFUL" (and depending on how you use the word "MUDA" in other aspects it could also mean "UNRIPE FRUIT" or "BRIGHT IN COLOUR").

The word "UAK" or "UA" pronounced "OOWA" are words in the Indonesian vocabulary for "UNCLE" or "AUNT". But they commonly use the word "PAMAN" for "UNCLE" and "BIBI" for "AUNT".

We in Sri Lanka also used the word "MAMA" for "UNCLE" and "MAMI" for "AUNT". They both are of Tamil and Sinhalese origin. It is a possibility that the word "MAMA" for "UNCLE" was originally spoken of as "MAMANG" which is a word used by the "SUNDANESE" people of Indonesia, in their dialect; and we just made it into an abbreviated word "MAMA".

Another Malay word for "AUNT" beside the word "UAK" or "UA" (pronounced as "OOWA") is the word "BIBI".

Hopefully this lesson will ease the confusion and the Readers will be able to realise justify the use of the proper "Malay" words.

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