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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    

(Dempwolff: *paku ‘nail’)


Casiguran Dumagat pákocarpenter’s nail; to nail, to pound in a nail
Tagalog pákoʔnail; spike, a sharp-pointed piece or part
Kiput pakUʔiron nail
  makUʔto nail something
Ngaju Dayak pakuiron nail (wooden nail: pasak)
Iban pakuʔnail, dowel or tree-nail
  pakuʔ lawaŋwire nail, iron nail
Malay pakupeg; spike; nail
  paku-kanto rivet together; to nail
Old Javanese pakö ~ pakunail, pin; (fig.) what gives stability
Javanese pakunail
  makuto nail with
Balinese pakua peg, dowel, a wooden pin; a nail, a spike
  paku besian iron spike or nail
  paku kayua wooden peg
  makuto nail, fasten by nailing
Sasak pakupeg, spike
Mongondow pakuʔspike, nail
  mo-makuʔto nail together
Uma -pakuʔto nail
Makassarese pakuspike, nail
Bimanese pakunail

Probably a Malay loan distribution. Dempwolff (1938) included Fijian vako ‘to put a nail through’, i vako ‘a nail’, and posited Uraustronesisch *paku ‘nail’, a decision also followed by Mills (1975). However, the Fijian word is phonologically irregular, and best treated as a chance resemblance. More generally, since iron nails were unknown in the Austronesian world before Western contact, the referent of this terms would have been a wooden dowel or peg, and PAn *pasek offers a far less problematic proto-form for this meaning.


Ilokano tokáyoperson with the same name
Ayta Abellan tokayonamesake: a person who has the same name as oneself
Bikol tukáyoreferring to people who have the same name
Agutaynen tokayoterm of address used by two people having the same name; a person’s namesake
Cebuano tukáyuone who has the same name as someone else

From Spanish tocayo ‘namesake’.

nasal discharge

Ayta Abellan haynohliquid from or in the nasal cavity
Cebuano saynussinusitis
  saynus-unhaving sinusitis

Apparently a borrowing of English sinus.

nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    



Ngaju Dayak usahnecessary
Malay usahnecessary

Borrowing from Malay.


Ngaju Dayak saraŋbirdnest; not eaten by the Dayaks, but sold to the Chinese; the Dayaks use it as medicine or as a talisman against all sorts of childhood illnesses
Iban saraŋnest, hence place or container in which things rest
Malay saraŋnest (of bird or insect); also fig. of places where things “nest” (as deserted houses where ghosts reside)
Toba Batak saraŋ(an)nest of insects such as ants
Javanese saraŋ buruŋthe nest of a certain sea bird, used for preparing a body-strengthening soup
Balinese saraŋedible bird’s nest
Sasak saraŋ buruŋrock swallow (with edible bird’s nest)

Apparently a Malay loanword; cp. PMP *salaR ‘nest’.


Sambal (Bolinaw) pugarnest
Tagalog púgadnest
Hanunóo púgadnest, as of a bird
Agutaynen poyadnest
Cebuano púgadput fowl away for the night; put newly hatched baby chicks down from the nest for the first time

Apparently a Central Philippine loanword (presumably through Tagalog) in other Philippine languages (cp. PMP *salaR ‘nest’). The medial consonant of Agutaynen poyad presents problems for this analysis, but is irregular in any case.

net:   fish net

Bare'e bundea scoop net half a fathom in length used in fishing
Tae' bundelarge dip net; basket or hamper of woven bamboo with sharp points on the underside, used to catch fish in the paddy fields,
Buginese unrefish net
Makassarese bunrekind of scoop net made of plaited bamboo
Manggarai bundekind of basket trap for fish

Borrowing from Makassarese.


PCS balítanews, information; to inform
Kapampangan balítaʔnews; clue
Tagalog balítaʔnews; renowned, famous
Bikol barétaʔnews, tidings
Hanunóo barítanews, rumor
Aklanon balítaʔnews, report; newspaper; to report
Malay beritanews, tidings

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.


Malay beritanews; tidings; report
Banggai bilitanews
  mo-bilitainform, give news
Buginese biritanews
Makassarese birittanews; fame

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.

(Dempwolff: *sanDiŋ ‘at hand; in addition to’)

next to:   close by, next to

Malay bər-sandiŋto sit side by side, but limited in use to the ceremonial ‘enthronement’ of the bride and bridegroom at the wedding reception after the actual religious marriage
Toba Batak sandiŋadjustable wall planks
Old Javanese sanḍiŋside
  (m)a-sanḍiŋ(m)a-sanḍiŋ at the side, having at the side, side by side
  s<um>anḍiŋto be at the side of, be close to, come close, approach
Javanese sanḍiŋclose by, next to

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed this as *sanDiŋ ‘at hand; in addition to’, but given its limited distribution it is most plausibly treated as a borrowing from Malay.

nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    


nipa shingles for roofing

Kankanaey i-pawedto bind; to fasten; to tie; to attach; to fix
Casiguran Dumagat pawednipa shingles
  pawir-anthe bamboo sticks upon which nipa leaves are woven; to weave nipa shingles
Tagalog páwidnipa palm, the leaves of which are used for making thatched roofs
Mansaka pawudto make nipa

Also Cebuano pálud ‘shingle of palm thatch’. While the Tagalog and Mansaka forms clearly are cognate and evidently are native, Casiguran Dumagat pawed shows an irregular last-syllable vowel that suggests borrowing from Tagalog, and the Kankanaey form may be a product of chance.

nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    


noble woman:   princess, noble woman

Ilokano dáyaŋname given to a Muslim princess
Tagalog dáyaŋprincess; noble woman; lady
Palawano dayaŋprince or princess; daughter of a king; rich person
Malay dayaŋgirl; damsel; maid at court
Toba Batak deaŋyoung woman

Borrowing from Malay.


Maranao otaraʔNortheast monsoon
Kadazan Dusun utalaNorth
Iban utaraNorth
Malay utaraNorth

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.

nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    


(Dempwolff: *liku(r) ‘number between 20 and 30’)

number between 20 and 30

Ngaju Dayak rikora numeral suffix that adds twenty to its numeral
Malay lekura numeral suffix that adds twenty to its numeral, e.g. dua lekur (‘twenty two’)
Javanese likurtwenty- (as a digit in numbers)

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *liku(r) ‘number between 20 and 30’.

(Dempwolff: *lemba(r) ‘material, fabric; piece’)

numeral classifier:   piece, numeral classifier

Malay lembarthread; strand; sheet
Javanese lembarcounting unit for flat things (as sheets of paper)

Based only on this comparison Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch *lemba(r) ‘material, fabric; piece’ (Stoff, Zeug, ‘piece’ (as a numeral classifier)). However, cognates are known in very few languages, and the Malay and Javanese words are not phonologically compatible, Javanese having a schwa in the penult, but Malay having a mid-front vowel that could only come etymologically from *i. Despite the vocalic disagreement, this is best treated as a Malay loan distribution.

numeral classifier for flat objects

Tagalog ni-lambáldoubled (e.g. of thread)
Ngaju Dayak rambarnumeral classifier (for hair, leaves, paper, mats, material, fields
Malay ləmbarthread; strand; sheet
Toba Batak rambarnumeral classifier for leaves, clothes, etc.
Balinese lambarleaf, sheet (of paper)
PSS *lamba(ɣ)sheet (counter for thin, flat objects, cloth, paper, etc.).

Borrowing from Malay.

nut:   areca nut cutter

Tagalog kalakatia tool like small shears for cutting betel nuts
Malay kələkatiareca nut cutter

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Tamil.


Itbayaten paalanutmeg (?)
Malay palanutmeg
  buah palanutmeg: Myristica fragrans
Acehnese palanutmeg tree and fruit
Karo Batak palanutmeg
Nias falonutmeg
Sundanese palanutmeg
Balinese palanutmeg
Mandar palanutmeg
Makassarese palanutmeg
Sika palanutmeg

Borrowing. The nutmeg tree was confined to the Banda archipelago in the central Moluccas until the beginning of the European involvement in the spice trade early in the 17th century.

nam    nas    nec    nes    net    new    nex    nip    nob    nor    num    nut    nym    



Maranao bidariahouri; angel; female in Moslem belief
Malay bidadarinymph of Indra's heaven; houri of Paradise
Sangir bidadariheavenly nymphs that in stories come to help and serve exceptionally favored princesses in their baths, and descend the rainbow to earth
Mongondow bidadarinymph
Bare'e bidadárilegendary female figures which appear in stories
Mandar bidadarinymph, fairy
Buginese bidadarinymph, fairy
Makassarese bidadarinymphs (in stories translated from Malay), attendants of princesses from the spirit world
Soboyo bidadariupper world; denizen of the upper world, nymph
Asilulu loi bidadarikind of traditional dance (with scarves)

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.

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Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition
Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel
2010: revision 6/21/2020
email: Blust (content) – Trussel (production)