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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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bad    bag    bal    bam    ban    bar    bas    bea    bec    bed    bee    beg    beh    bel    ben    ber    bes    bet    bew    bie    big    bin    bir    bit    bla    ble    bli    blo    blu    boa    bod    bol    bom    boo    bor    bos    bot    bou    box    bra    bre    bri    bro    buc    bud    buf    bug    bul    bun    buo    bur    bus    but    


Tagalog bóbosimpleton
Bikol bóboclown, buffoon, jester
Cebuano búbudeeply stupid, idiotic
Acehnese bóbóto babble, chatter
PSan *boboʔdumb, mute
Sangir boboʔmute, dumb
Tontemboan wowoʔunable to speak, mute
Sika bobo-labospeak nonsense
Tetun bobubuffoon, clown

The Philippine forms are borrowed from Spanish, and Tetun bobu from Portuguese. The similarity of these words to other forms in Indonesia is attributed to chance.

badge, medal

Casiguran Dumagat sapamedal, insignia (on the front of a uniform of a soldier or policeman)
Maranao sapabadge, espcially metal; washer

The meaning of this form rules out any possibility of a reconstruction. Although it may reflect Spanish chapa ‘sheet of metal; thin board’, both the semantic divergence and its absence in Tagalog, Cebuano, or Ilokano, which were more heavily exposed to Spanish influence than either the Dumagat languages or Maranao, remains puzzling.

badly cooked, of rice

Puyuma dapəŋrice badly cooked because of lack of fire
  ma-dapəŋbe badly cooked
Paiwan djapeŋsomething overcooked or gone to nothing

Probably a Paiwan loan in Puyuma

bag, sack

Ilokano bayʔóŋ ~ bayʔónsack, bag
Ibaloy bayoŋkind of deep handbag, made of woven bamboo strips
Tagalog bayóŋbag or sack made of woven buri palm leaves
Agutaynen bayoŋbasket for shopping or carrying things in, made of woven bori leaves or abaca, or colorful plastic

Probably a Tagalog loan distribution.

balance:   scale for weighing, balance

Tagalog talároʔscales; a balance for weighing; a weight; a piece of metal used in weighing
Ngaju Dayak tarajoa small gold scale; to weigh, consider
Malagasy tarazú-inato be carried on one end of a pole, in contradistinction to lanja-ina (lanja), carried as two burdens at each end of a pole
Malay tərajupair of scales, balance; tent ropes; rod supporting the heddles of a loom; the string joining loosely the two extremities of the body of a kite, and to which is attached the line by which the kite is flown
Old Javanese tarajupair of scales, balance

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Persian. Dempwolff (1938) marked this as a loan distribution, but provided a reconstruction simply to illustrate the regularity of the sound correspondences. However, as with other loans used for a similar purpose, the sound correspondences are not entirely regular, the final glottal stop in Tagalog being an immediate clue to its loan status.

balance for weighing things:   scale, balance for weighing things

Ngaju Dayak dasiŋbalance scale
Malay daciŋsteelyard of Chinese design
Toba Batak dasiŋbalance, scales
  man-dasiŋto weigh
  d<um>asiŋto weigh
Javanese ḍacinunit of weight
  ḍacin-anbalance scale for weighing by ḍacins

Borrowing from Chinese.

(Dempwolff: *buTak)


Malay botak, butakbaldness; hairlessness of the crown of the head in contrast to bubus or bolos (general thinning of the hair) and sulah (baldness over the forehead)
Sundanese butakbald, bare; baldness of the forehead or crown; partial baldness
Old Javanese buṭakpartially bald, with bald patches
Javanese buṭakbald, bare
Sasak butakbald, of a person's head

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *sulaq ‘be bald’)


Malagasy sulabald
Malay sulahbald; hairless
Sundanese sulahhair on the forehead (pantun/poetic language)
Balinese sulahbald-headed

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *sulaq ‘be bald’, but the limited distribution of this form is better explained as a product of borrowing from Malay.


Ilokano bólaball
Bontok bulaball
Ifugaw bólaany kind of ball used for playing
Pangasinan bólaball
Tagalog bólaball, game of baseball
Bikol mag-bólaplay ball
Aklanon bólaball
Hiligaynon bólaball, round object
Cebuano búlaball; game of ball
Mansaka bolaball
Tboli bulaʔball, may be made by weaving strips of coconut leaves into a circular form
Malay bolaball (used in European games); clew or ball of yarn
Balinese bolaball
Mongondow bolawheel

The Philippine forms are borrowed from Spanish, the Indonesian forms from Portuguese, either directly or through Malay.


Cebuano bambubamboo; one of the suits in the mahjong that has a design consisting of two bamboo nodes, colored green
Malay bambubamboo, cane (an Indian word, but generally understood)
Javanese bambubamboo

Borrowed into Malay from an Indian source, and thence transmitted to Cebuano (through Malay-speaking Chinese?) in the restricted context of parlor games.

bamboo:   woven bamboo walling material

Ilokano sawáliinterwoven splits of bamboo used in walls
Tagalog sawáliʔwoven strips of split bamboo used for simple walls in native houses
Bikol sawáliʔwoven, split bamboo strips used for walling
Romblomanon sawāliʔwoven bamboo walling
Aklanon sawáliʔwoven bamboo (< Tagalog)
Agutaynen sawalisplit woven bamboo walling material
Cebuano sawálibamboo matting woven with a kind of twill weave, commonly used for walling
Tausug sawaliʔsplit bamboo woven into sheets (used for walling)

Probably a Tagalog loan distribution, as shown by the irregular lack of a final consonant in both Agutaynen (expected **sawalik), and Cebuano (expected **sawáliʔ).

bamboo sp.

Malay buloh təlaŋbamboo of the genus Gigantochlos
Toba Batak toloŋreed grass

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) also cites Javanese tələŋ ‘kind of climber, creeper’, but I do not find this either in Pigeaud (1938) or Horne (1974).

banana sp.

Casiguran Dumagat buŋuránspecies of banana plant and its fruit, Musa sapientum
Bikol buŋuránsweet green banana species
Hanunóo buŋurana variety of banana (Musa sapientum, var. suaveolens [Blco.] Teodoro; it is a good eating banana like the súlu, but longer, more fragrant, and green-skinned when ripe
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) buŋurantype of banana which is long and green when ripe

Borrowing into Casiguran Dumagat from a GCPh source.

(Dempwolff: *pisaŋ ‘banana’)


Ngaju Dayak pisaŋbanana tree and fruit
Iban pisaŋbanana, Musa spp.
Malay pisaŋbanana, generic for Musa spp.
Toba Batak pisaŋbanana (said to be from Malay)
Old Javanese pisaŋbanana
Balinese pisaŋplantain, banana
Sasak pisaŋ rəndaŋbananas baked in flour (said to be from Malay)

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *pisaŋ ‘banana’.

banana fritter

Ilokano turónbanana fritter; banana wrapped in a pastry wrapper and then fried
Bikol turóna banana wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, fried and served sprinkled with sugar

From Spanish turron ‘nougat sweet’.

banana sp.

Palawano tanduka species of banana
Malay pisaŋ tandoka type of banana that is edible only in cooked form

Probably a Malay loan.

banana species

Kapampangan latúndankind of banana
Tagalog latundána variety of banana

Apparently a Tagalog loan in Kapampangan.

(Dempwolff: *se(n)tagi ‘band, ribbon’)


Ngaju Dayak santagigold or silver plate in a half-moon shape that is worn against the breast on a neckband of agate stones
Malay səntagilace, cord

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *se(n)tagi ‘band, ribbon’ based on forms in Javanese, Malay and Ngaju Dayak, but I have been unable to find a Javanese form of this word in either Pigeaud (1938) or Horne (1974). Given its limited geographical distribution this form is probably best treated as a loanword from Malay.

band:   ribbon, band

Ilokano listónribbon; shoelace; adornment on the brim of a hat
Tagalog listóna hat band; ribbon; tape; shoelace
Bikol listónband (as a hat band); tape, rbbon

Borrowing of Spanish listón ‘ribbon’.

bandit, robber, thief

Ilokano tulisánthief, robber
  ag-tulisánto rob, steal
Casiguran Dumagat tulisanbandit, burglar, outlaw
Tagalog tulisánhighway robber; brigand; bandit; outlaw
Bikol tulisánbandit, highwayman

Probably a Tagalog loan distribution.

(Dempwolff: *tuŋgul ‘stand out, project’)

banner, pennant

Tagalog tuŋʔólpennant, banner, streamer
Ngaju Dayak pa-tuŋgulflag, banner
Malay tuŋgulstandard, banner
Toba Batak toŋgola single-colored flag, military flag
Old Javanese tuŋgulbanner, standard
Javanese tuŋgulbanner, flag

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tuŋgul ‘project; standard, banner’ (hervorragen, Standarte).

banner, ensign

Tagalog pandibanner, ensign
Malay panjian honorific in Javanese titles
  panji-panjistreamer; pennant (used of long, triangular flag emblems)
Toba Batak panjifeather decoration that children stick on their heads
Old Javanese panjiname; title (used before a proper name)
Javanese panjia group of stories, depicted in shadow puppet tales, about the Javanese prince Panji; flag
Balinese panjithe name of a wanderer, hero of stories, famous for his chivalry; the inventor of the kris

Borrowed from Javanese into Malay and from Malay into other languages. Dempwolff (1938) gives Tagalog pandi ‘banner, ensign’, but I am unable to find this word in any modern dictionary.

bare (of trees)

Ngaju Dayak bulusbare part of a tree stem from the base to the first branches; more particularly the trunks of palm trees
Malay bolosstripped (of hair, leaves, feathers, etc.); fallen off (of a string-winding or wrapping); bare; bald; leafless; (fig.) left desolate

Chance, or borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *tukar ‘to exchange, barter’)

barter:   exchange barter

Malay tukarinterchange of goods; barter, exchange
Toba Batak tuhorpurchase price
Javanese tukarto exchange one thing for another
PSS *tu(ŋ)ka(r)to exchange, barter
Tetun ta-tukargiven in exchange

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tukar ‘to exchange, barter’ (tauschen).


Manobo (Western Bukidnon) bisinbasin
Kelabit bisinbasin
Kayan bisinbasin
Iban bisinbasin, large bowl

Borrowing from English.


Maranao palaŋgan-aʔbasin
Wolio palaŋgalarge basin, wash-basin

Borrowing, ultimate from Spanish palangana 'basin'.

(Dempwolff: *bukur)

basin:   metal basin

Malay bokorrimmed plate or shallow bowl (like soup-plate), usually of metal. On it is placed a water vessel of porous earthenware, the bokor serving to hold up any water oozing through and so to protect the table-cloth or table-matting
Sundanese bokorbowl, basin, wash basin; small pitcher or jug with or without a lid
Old Javanese bokorkind of bowl
Javanese bokorlarge bowl, usually of brass
Balinese bokormetal dish on feet, small tray
Sasak bokorcopper bowl

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *lapik ‘foundation, basis')

basis:   foundation, basis

Ngaju Dayak lapikunderlayer (on which one puts something)
Malagasy láfikaa bed, mattress, bedding or anything put under one, as a carpet, a sheet, litter for cattle, etc.
Malay lapekthin protective cover, base or lining (of mats to sit on, sleeping mats, scrubbing glove or other cloth-protection for the hand when working on hard surfaces)
Toba Batak lapikunderlayer, pad, as for pots and plates

Probably a Malay loan distribution. Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *lapik ‘foundation, basis' (Unterlage).


Sangir bikaʔthe common Sangirese basket, used especially for sago flour
Bare'e biŋkabasket made of Donax cannaeformis, bamboo, or silar palm leaves, with a mouth that is larger than the base
Tae' biŋkaʔsmall winnowing basket


bad    bag    bal    bam    ban    bar    bas    bea    bec    bed    bee    beg    beh    bel    ben    ber    bes    bet    bew    bie    big    bin    bir    bit    bla    ble    bli    blo    blu    boa    bod    bol    bom    boo    bor    bos    bot    bou    box    bra    bre    bri    bro    buc    bud    buf    bug    bul    bun    buo    bur    bus    but    



Casiguran Dumagat manekbeads (commercial seed beads highly valued by the Dumagats for making necklaces and arm bands); to wear a bead necklace
Tagalog mánikbeads of mother-of-pearl; any beads or beadwork
Mapun manika bead; a precious stone
  manik-manik-anto sparkle; to see stars (as when hit on the head)
Tausug manika bead; a type of amulet in the form of a number of chained beads worn usually around the waist, making the wearer invulnerable
Malay manik ~ manibead
Old Javanese maṇi ~ maṇikjewel, gem, pearl; crystal
  maṇik-maṇikcoral; coral beads
Javanese manikjewel, precious stone
Balinese maṇikjewel

Borrowing from Sanskrit.


Iban buncisbeans
Malay boncis, buncisharicot-beans: Phaseolus vulgaris
Sundanese bunchisEuropean beans
Javanese boncisgreen beans
Balinese buncisbeans
Makassarese buntisiʔFrench beans: Phaseolus vulgaris
Rembong bunsisEuropean bean

Borrowing, ultimately from Dutch.

(Dempwolff: *taqan ‘to bear, endure’)

bear, endure

Tagalog pag-tahánact of ceasing or stopping (as from crying, joking, scolding or the like)
  TahánStop! (said to one who is crying)
Bikol mag-táhanto endure, withstand; to outlast
Ngaju Dayak tahanto hold out, persevere, endure
Malay tahanholding out against; resistance; restraint; to sustain
Toba Batak ma-nahanto carry, bear; to hold out, endure
Sundanese tahanhold out against, resist
Old Javanese tahənto restrain oneself with respect to, be in awe of
  t<um>ahənto hold out, stand, endure, bear, sustain, suffer; resist, restrain
Javanese tahanto (with)stand, endure
  nahanto restrain
Balinese tahanendure, put up with
  tahenbear with, endure, persist

The history of this word is unclear. A number of forms seem clearly to have been borrowed from Malay, including modern Javanese tahan. However, Old Javanese tahən suggests that this was a native word before the modern era. It is possible that the Old Javanese form was borrowed by Malay, underwent the regular merger of *a and schwa in the ultima, and then was disseminated by Malay speakers into a wider range of languages, including modern Javanese. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *taqan ‘to bear, endure’.


Malay indahfine; precious; fair
Acehnese indahpretty
Minangkabau endahfine; handsome
Old Javanese endahout of the ordinary, striking, astounding, extraordinarily beautiful (etc.); it is amazing!
  indahbeing different, extraordinary beauty;
Rembong idabeautiful (clothes), tasty (food)

Borrowing from Malay.

become:   happen, become

Casiguran Dumagat yárito happen, to do, to make
Tagalog yáriaffair; event, an important happening; incident; occurrence
Masbatenyo maŋ-yárito happen
Malay jadito come into existence; to become

Borrowing from Malay. Other Malay loans that contain j- were also borrowed with y- in Philippine languages, as Malay jati, Cebuano yati ‘teak’, or Malay juta ‘million’, Tagalog yútaɁ, saŋ-yútaɁ ‘one hundred thousand’. Since the Malay word itself in the latter comparison is a borrowing of Sanskrit ayuta ‘ten thousand’, it is possible that the Sanskrit form was borrowed directly into Philippine languages rather than through the medium of Malay, but historical records suggest otherwise. If we side with the historical records, and assume that Sanskrit loans in Philipppine languages were invariably mediated through Malay, we must conclude that this word underwent a first loanword adaptation in which /y/ was replaced by /j/, and then a second loanword adaptation in which this change was reversed. The phonological adaptation of jadi, which appears to be a native Malay word, supports this interpretation.

(Dempwolff: *pantas ‘be successful, effective’)

becoming, fitting, appropriate

Tagalog pantássage; wise person; a specialist in a particular line of academic knowledge; scholarly; learned; erudite
Ngaju Dayak pantasbeautiful; well; graceful
Malagasy fántatraknown, recognized
Iban pantasquick; sharp; attentive
Malay pantasbecoming; neat; graceful (in Malaya it connotes nimbleness or speed)
Toba Batak pantasingenious, intelligent; prudent
Old Javanese pantəsfitting, appropriate, only right, only to be expected; in style, becoming, in accordance with all the rules; immaculate; adroit; in keeping with custom
Javanese pantesappropriate; deserving; suitable; becoming
Balinese pantesright, fitting, proper; handsome, polite, pleasant
  pantes-anrightness, fittingness
Sasak pantəsproper, becoming, fit; appropriate (of an article of clothing)

Borrowing from Javanese into Malay, and then diffusion through Malay to a wider set of languages. Dempwolff (1938) positied Uraustronesisch *pantas ‘be successful, effective’ (Erfolgreichsein).


Maranao paŋgawbed, off the floor and high; elevate, raise up
Iban paŋgauwooden platform, bench or bedstead in ruai (longhouse gallery); frame or threshing sieve; hunter's machan (usually near salt lick)
Malay paŋgauthe sultan's couch; framework supporting a raised floor (Brunei, Sarawak)

Borrowing. Probably a Malayic lexical innovation which diffused to Maranao with the introduction of Islam from Brunei. Murut (Timugon) pa-paŋkaw 'raised sleeping area' may be unrelated (cf. root *-kaw 'high, tall').

bed:   cot, bed

Ilokano kátrebed, cot
Ibaloy katiribed
Bikol kátrebed
Hanunóo kátriraised bed; known to the Hanunóo only through visits to Christian villages
Aklanon kátribed

Borrowing of Spanish catre ‘small bed’.

beetle:   coconut beetle, coconut blight

Ilokano kadaŋ-kadaŋcoconut beetle
Tagalog kadáŋ-kadáŋa fatal disease of coconut trees
Cebuano kadaŋ-kadaŋblight affecting coconut trees; have coconut blight

Apparently a loanword from Tagalog into Ilokano, although the word is phonologically irregular in both Tagalog (where *-d- > r), and Cebuano (where *-d- > l).


Tagalog amísoppressed (being the subject of spite or condescension)
Malay ber-kemisto beg (on Thursday or khamis) for donations for the Friday service; to beg in general
Bahasa Indonesia (k)emisbeg
  meŋ-emisto beg
Balinese emisdirty, covered with dirt, untidy (house, compound)

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Arabic.

behavior:   irregular behavior

Ilokano ampáŋsilly, foolish, wanton, loose (said of women)
Malay empaŋ-empaŋeccentric, half-cracked; behavior that is not quite seemly

Borrowing from Malay.

belongings:   goods, belongings, things, possessions

Kayan bareŋequipment, things
Melanau (Mukah) bareŋthing
Ngaju Dayak baraŋthings, goods
Malay baraŋthing; stuff; wares; goods
  baraŋ-baraŋthings of all sorts; impediments, the usual things
Toba Batak baraŋgoods, moveable property
Javanese baraŋthing, object, stuff, matter, goods
Balinese baraŋthing, property, matter
Sangir baraŋstuff, belongings
Buginese waramparaŋgoods, possessions
Makassarese baraŋ-baraŋgoods, possessions
Manggarai baraŋ-kanithings, belongings
Rembong baraŋpossessions, property, equipment
Hawu ɓaragoods
Buli baraŋgoods

Borrowing from Malay. The term *baraŋ apparently was found in PMP as a marker of indefiniteness. The meaning 'things, goods, possessions' evidently was a late innovation in western Indonesia, which, together with the reduplicated form of the word, was widely disseminated through borrowing from Malay.

belt:   purse, money belt

Atayal hopaupocket
Ilokano upáwsmall leather bag attached to the girdle, and used to hold money and other valuables
Tagalog húpawmoney-belt (Chinese)
Malay (h)opauChinese belt-purse of beadwork

Borrowing from Chinese.

belt or belt clasp

Maranao pindiŋbelt
Malay pəndiŋembossed plate of metal covering a clasp through which a girdle passes; worn as an ornament in front of the body
Mongondow pindiŋbelt buckle or clasp (mostly of gold or gilded silver); little girls of prominent families, as they wander about stark naked often have a golden pinding hanging before their private parts

Borrowing from Malay.


Isneg báŋkosmall low wooden bench
Itawis báŋkubench
Kapampangan báŋkuʔbench
Malay baŋkubench; stool; long chair
Mandar bakkobench
Sawai ɓagubench

Borrowing from Portuguese, Spanish or both.

(Dempwolff: *kaTil ‘bench’)


Ngaju Dayak katilbench
Iban katilbedstead (Western style),
Malay katilIndian bedstead; charpoy; bedstead generally
Javanese kaṭilbench; bedstead
Balinese katilbedstead, couch

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Tamil. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *kaTil ‘bench’.

bend the head back

Ngaju Dayak ma-leŋgakbend the head backward
Malay ləŋgakto look up with head thrown back
Old Javanese aŋ-ləŋgakto fall over backwards
  ka-ləŋgakto fall with the head back; to sink down (limply, with the head back, fainting)
Javanese ləŋgakto turn the face up and down; to sit relaxed and idle
  ke-ləŋgakto fall face up

Probably a Malay loan distribution. Dempwolff (1938) also included Fijian loŋgat-a ‘draw a bow (bend it backward)’. However, this form contains two phonological irregularities and is best treated as unrelated to the forms from western Indonesia.

beri beri

Aklanon bíri-bíriberi beri (disease caused by lack of thiamine)
Malay penyakit biri-biriberi beri
Acehnese biri-biriberi beri (disease)
Sundanese biri-biriberi beri (disease)

Borrowing from English.

(Dempwolff: *paTi ‘essence’)

best part:   essence, best part

Malay patithe ‘cream’ or ‘pick’ or finest portion of anything (as the first press of coconut cream)
  pati arakpure alcohol
  pati sireha betel quid in its first freshness
Javanese paṭistarch, powder (as of cassava); essence

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff also included Tongan matsi (= masi) ‘essence’, and assigned forms from the three languages to Uraustronesisch *paTi ‘essence’. I am unable to find an equivalent of the Tongan word in Churchward (1959), and even if it could be found, the sound correspondences are irregular, as Dempwolff himself noted.

bet, wager in gambling

Ilokano pústaa bet, wager
  p<um>ústato bet, wager
Bontok ʔi-pustato bet
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) pustathe stake in gambling

From Spanish apostar ‘to bet’.

(Dempwolff: *siriq ‘pepper, betel pepper’)

betel pepper

Tagalog sílipepper; chili; green pepper (Spanish chile)
Ngaju Dayak sirihbetel leaves
Malay sirehbetel vine, Piper betle; betel leaf, betel leaf prepared for chewing (with areca nut, gambier and lime)
Javanese suruhthe betel plant; betel leaves, used for chewing

Dempwolff (1938) posited *siriq ‘pepper, betel pepper’, but this comparison is misguided. Tagalog síli, like the similar word in many other Philippine languages (Ilokano síli ‘hot chili pepper: Capsicum sp.’, Bontok sili ‘chili pepper’, Bikol síli ‘chili pepper, hot pepper’, etc.) is borrowed from Mexican Spanish chile, itself a loanword from Nahuatl. The Javanese form is irregular, and the Ngaju Dayak word may well be a Banjarese loan.

betel case

Malay sələpaan oblong metal casket used as a receptacle for tobacco, areca nut, lime, gambier or other stuff carried about in small quantity
Javanese slepicigarette case of woven material
PSS *salɨppasmall case for betel chew ingredients

Borrowing, presumably from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *gambir ‘refreshing’)

betel:   plant chewed with betel that invigorates

Tagalog gambilvery fresh
Maranao gambirvim, vigor
Ngaju Dayak gambirgambier, plant chewed with betel
Malay gambirgambier, a decoction from the leaves of Uncaria gambir, consumed by Malays with betel
Karo Batak gamberthe gambir plant, Uncaria gambir Roxb.
Dairi-Pakpak Batak gamber ~ gambirUncaria gambir Roxb.
Toba Batak gambirUncaria gambir, the leaf of a plant that is chewed with areca leaves and lime
Nias gambea plant with leaves and sap that are chewed with betel to color it red
Old Javanese gambira small, white, fragrant flower, a kind of jasmine
Javanese gambira certain vine; the fragrant white-and-yellow blossom of this vine; a plant whose leaves are used as a betel-chewing ingredient and in tanning hides; the betel-chewing mixture made from this leaf
Balinese gambirthe name of a species of bushy plant
Sasak gambirgambier: Uncaria gambir Roxb.
  bə-gambirto use gambier (in the betel chew)
Wolio gambibox for carrying smoking utensils and papers (in the old days used only by people of the highest nobility)
Muna gambiwooden betel nut container with compartments for betel leaf, areca nut, lime, gambier and tobacco (now obsolete)

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *gambir ‘refreshing’, but it is now clear that this is a loan distribution due to borrowing from Malay. The Tagalog form, which he cited from Laktaw (1914) does not appear in modern dictionaries.

betel nut

Pazeh pineŋbetel nut, areca nut (loan Taiwanese pin neng)
Malay pinaŋareca palm; areca nut; a generic name for many palms suggesting the areca palm, and for many things associated with the areca nut

The history of this word is puzzling. A priori it appears to be a straightforward comparison pointing to PAn *pineŋ ‘areca nut’, but since better candidates are available for this meaning a reconstruction is immediately suspect. The gloss of the Pazeh form explicitly indicates it as a loanword from Minnan Chinese, and since the Malay word appears to be native this raises a question about the direction of borrowing. The use of betel is not common to Chinese culture as a whole, but is widespread in the Austronesian world, and for this reason it is likely that Malay pinaŋ was borrowed by Hokkien speakers, and transported to Taiwan. There, for reasons that remain obscure, it replaced the native word for this referent (possibly a reflex of PAn *Sawiki, which is reflected in several divergent Formosan languages).

bewail, lament

Sambal (Botolan) taghóycry pitifully, bewail, lament
Tagalog taghóylament, lamentation; mourning; wailing
  ma-naghóyto lament; to mourn; to wail
  t<um>aghóyto lament; to cry, as one in pain
  taghuy-ánto lament or mourn someone or something
  taghuy-íngiven to wailing, mourning or lamenting

bewilder, confuse

Ilokano ma-tar-tarántato be in a hurry
Bikol mag-tarántato bewilder, confound, confuse, perplex, rattle
Aklanon tarántato be confused, nervous

From Spanish atarantar ‘confuse, bewilder’.

bad    bag    bal    bam    ban    bar    bas    bea    bec    bed    bee    beg    beh    bel    ben    ber    bes    bet    bew    bie    big    bin    bir    bit    bla    ble    bli    blo    blu    boa    bod    bol    bom    boo    bor    bos    bot    bou    box    bra    bre    bri    bro    buc    bud    buf    bug    bul    bun    buo    bur    bus    but    


bier, frame for holding a coffin

Ilokano ándasbier; frame for a religious image
Casiguran Dumagat andas-ancoffin, casket
Sambal (Botolan) andáhframe on which a coffin is carried to the grave
Tagalog andásbier with shafts; pedestal or stand for statues of saints
Bikol andásbier; hearse
Cebuano andásstretchere-like contraption used to carry a corpse
Binukid andasframe of bamboo slats which is laid in the grave on which a corpse is placed; to place a corpse on a frame of bamboo slats (in the grave)

Borrowing of Spanish andás ‘hand-barrow, stretcher; bier’.

big, large

Maranao besarbig, large, great, huge
Ngaju Dayak basarbig
Iban besaibig, large, great; be as big as; think highly of, treat as important
Malay besarbig, bulky; important
Old Javanese besarbig
Mandar bassarbig (of objects that are oblong or cylindrical)
Buginese wessa, ma-bessabig, large; magnanimous

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *tambat ‘bind tightly’)

bind tightly

Ngaju Dayak tambata rope at the back of a boat used to moor it when landing
Malagasy a-támbatrato be joined to, to be connected to something
  ma-námbatrato join, to connect, to place together
Malay tambattethering
  mə-nambat-kanto tie up, to fasten up (of fowls with their legs tied together, etc.)
Toba Batak tambatbound tightly; to tie to

Probably identical to PWMP *tambej ‘tie up, bind tightly’, but with borrowing of the Malay form tambat into the other languages cited here. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tambat ‘bind tightly’.

binding:   cane cord used for heavy binding

Malay tutusvery thin strips of cane used as bindings
Karo Batak tustusstring something on a cord; pierce something with a needle
Toba Batak tustuswooden support tied under the house posts
Javanese tutuscord made of bamboo strands

Probably a loanword from Malay, although the unreducted medial clusters in Batak languages are problematic under this interpretation.

(Dempwolff: *buruŋ)


Ngaju Dayak buruŋbird; man's name
  olo to olo buruŋthe man is a bird-man (i.e. a constantly roaming man)
Malagasy vóronaa generic name of all birds except fowls; initial component in the names of many birds
Iban buroŋbird, bird-like; frequented by birds; initial component in the names of many birds; omen, omen bird (or animal, insect), seek omens, practice augury
Malay buroŋgeneric for birds of all sorts, but also used in certain districts as a euphemism for the penis, in which case uŋgas is used for bird; buroŋ is prefixed to bird names
  buruŋ hantuowl (lit. "ghost bird")
Simalur buruŋbird
  buruŋ antuowl
Toba Batak buruŋbird
  riŋgit buruŋsilver coin with an eagle shape
Rejang buruŋbird
  snai buruŋcollar bone
Lampung buxuŋbird
Javanese saraŋ buruŋthe nest of a certain sea bird, used for preparing a body-strengthening soap
Mongondow buruŋbird, used in pantuns
Tae' buruŋtame dove
  riŋgiʔ buruŋcoin resembling a colonial Rijksdaalder, displaying a bird figure
Buginese buruŋbird
Makassarese buruŋ-buruŋkind of small red insect
  buruŋ matibird of paradise (known only from nonliving specimens imported from eastern Indonesia)
  buruŋ garejasparrow
Asilulu buruŋbird

Borrowing from Malay.

bird sp.

Malay birik, buroŋ bérék-béréka bird, the bee-eater, generic for Meropidae, esp. Merops sumatranus (a bird associated with the spectre huntsman)
Simalur bériʔ-bériʔkind of bird (owl?)
Dairi-Pakpak Batak birik-birikbird sp.,
Toba Batak si-birik, birik-birika bird that flies in huge flocks

Borrowing from Malay.

bird sp.

Ngaju Dayak tioŋbird the size of a dove, with yellow skin around the neck; it can be taught to imitate human speech
Malay tioŋmynah; talking bird

Dempwolff (1934-38) compared these forms with Javanese siuŋ, ciuŋ 'name of a bird' (not in Pigeaud 1938) and reached a reconstruction *iuŋ 'name of a bird that imitates sounds' by dismissing the discrepancy in the initial consonant of the Javanese form. Entirely apart from this phonological problem the mynah is not native to island Southeast Asia, and it seems best to simply discard the comparison.

(Dempwolff: *kenTuŋ ‘bird clapper’)

bird clapper (to frighten them from fields)

Malay kəntoŋwooden sounding block for calling the faitful to prayer at a chapel; at a mosque they are summoned with a drum
Javanese kelentuŋbird clapper

Dempwolff reconstructed *kenTuŋ ‘bird clapper’, but the highly restricted distribution of this form is best explained as a product of borrowing from Malay. I have, moreover, been unable to find the Javanese form he gives in either Pigeaud (1938) or Horne (1974). With root *-tuŋ ‘deep resounding sound’.

Bitter orange Seville orange: Citrus aurantium

Itbayaten kahilan edible species of Philippine orange an edible species of Philippine orange
Ilokano kahélspecies of orange tree with sweet or sour fruit (said to be from Spanish cahel through Tagalog)
Casiguran Dumagat kahílk.o. citrus tree and its fruit
Tagalog kahélspecies of orange tree and its fruit, usually sweet, but sometimes sour
Bikol (Camarines Sur) kahélcitrus fruit, similar to a grapefruit: Citrus aurantium
Hanunóo kahíla native orange tree and its sour, tight-skinned fruit: Citrus aurantium Linn.
Aklanon kahílnative pomelo orange: Citrus maxima
Cebuano kahílsmall, green, somewhat bitter orange which turns yellow when overripe: Citrus aurantium

From Spanish cajel ‘Bitter orange, Seville orange (also called ‘blood orange’), a native of the Mediterranean region that must have been imported into the Philippines directly from Spain, rather than through the usual Mexican route for plants introduced during the Spanish colonial period.

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black dye

Bontok tínaa black dye used especially in preparing death clothes
Maranao tinaʔdye

From Spanish tinta ‘dye, tint’.


Itawis pándayblacksmith
Casiguran Dumagat pándayblacksmith; to make a bolo or arrowhead by heating and pounding the metal
Kapampangan pandeblacksmith
Tagalog pandáy bakalblacksmith
  panday-ínto forge; to heat metal very hot and then hammer it into shape
Maranao pandaycraftsmen such as carpenters or masons; midwife
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) pandeyone skillful in fashioning wood, housebuilding, etc,; to be such a person
Mansaka pandayto build, to craft
Ngaju Dayak pandayartisan, skilled craftsman
Malay pandayartisan-craftsman; expert; specialist (properly an industrial artist, in contrast to a mere skilled artisan)
Toba Batak pandedexterous, ingenious, skilled; artisan, craftsman; master
Old Javanese panḍay ~ panḍeskilled worker; smith, goldsmith, etc.
Javanese panḍeforge, smithy; blacksmith; intelligent, skilled; an expert, a specialist
  panḍe-anplace where a blacksmith works
Sasak pandeblacksmith, goldsmith; to forge metals
Tae' pandemaster in an art or craft, as a blacksmith

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.

blame:   accusation, blame

Maranao dawa-ininexperienced; blame
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) dawaʔblame; offense
Yakan daʔawaexcuse, pretext
  mag-daʔawato deny (an accusation)
Kelabit dawaʔa libel suit
  ŋə-dawaʔto sue someone
Iban dawareport, inform on
Malay dawaarraignment under the law; lawsuit
Sundanese dawalawsuit; accusation
Javanese dakwaaccusation
  nakwato accuse
Madurese daʔwaaccusation
  men-daʔwato accuse

Borrowing, ultimately from Arabic, but with the Bornean and Philippine forms acquired indirectly through the medium of Malay.

blame:   argue, blame

Manobo (Western Bukidnon) dawaʔblame; offense
Kadazan Dusun ɗawato argue, summon
Malay dawaarraignment under the law, lawsuit

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Arabic.


Ilokano mántablanket
Bontok mantacotton cloth
Casiguran Dumagat mántawhite cloth, linen
Bikol mantá lúnacanvas
Tausug mantaa full-size blanket

Borrowing of Spanish manta ‘blanket’.


Ilokano emmákto bleat (sheep)
Kelabit eméʔgoat
Malay embékto bleat, of a sheep or goat
Simalur əmbek, mal-əmbekto bleat
Javanese embéksheep's baa
Balinese embékbleat like a calf or lamb
Sangir embéʔto bleat
Bimanese mbéʔégoat
Komodo mbégoat
Manggarai mbébleat of a goat

Borrowed, or a convergent product of onomatopoeia associated with a borrowed animal. Sheep and goats probably were introduced into the Austronesian world during the Indianization of Southeast Asia. From a point or points of entry in western Indonesia they must have spread northward into the Philippines and eastward into the Lesser Sundas. Fox, J. (1977:43) notes that on Roti and Savu in the Lesser Sundas "Goats are considered the 'real' or 'native' animal ... and sheep have been assimilated to this category." This may indicate different times of introduction into island Southeast Asia for the two animals, or different rates of diffusion from a common place and time of initial introduction.


Kelabit berkatblessings
Malay berkatblessings
Acehnese beureukat, beurkatblessing, salvation; blessed, prosperous
Karo Batak berkatto bless, say a blessing over something
Sundanese berkahblessing, prosperity
  berkatfood, etc. that one takes home from a feast
Javanese berkatfood, blessed by a religious official, taken home from a ritual ceremony by the guests after they have eaten a portion of it
Sasak berkatblessing, favor, gift
Makassarese barakkaʔbless; receive a gift by being considered an exceptionally blessed person
Manggarai berkakblessing
Rembong berkakblessing

Borrowing, ultimately from Arabic.

blight:   coconut beetle, coconut blight

Ilokano kadaŋ-kadaŋcoconut beetle
Tagalog kadáŋ-kadáŋa fatal disease of coconut trees
Cebuano kadaŋ-kadaŋblight affecting coconut trees; have coconut blight

Apparently a loanword from Tagalog into Ilokano, although the word is phonologically irregular in both Tagalog (where *-d- > r), and Cebuano (where *-d- > l).

(Dempwolff: *kambaŋ ‘to blossom’)


Tagalog kambáŋthe gradual opening of the petals of flowers
Ngaju Dayak kambaŋflower, blossom
Malay kambaŋto float in the air
Toba Batak habaŋto fly; to flutter here and there, of a flag
Javanese kambaŋfishing -rod float; to float

Dempwolff (1938) proposed *kambaŋ ‘to blossom’ (dbl. *kembaŋ, *kembuŋ), but his comparison appears to conflate disparate elements. The Tagalog form can be more convincingly compared with Malay kəmbaŋ ‘expansion; blossoming out; (Java) flower’, Old Javanese kəmbaŋ, kambaŋ ‘flower’, məmbaŋ ‘to open, of a flower’, Javanese kembaŋ ‘flower, blossom’, where it seems clearly to be a loanword. Ngaju Dayak kambaŋ is almost certainly a Javanese loan.

(Dempwolff: *biru)


Hanunóo bírublackness, darkness, referring to color
  ma-bírublack; purple; blue, green, esp. with reference to the darker shades; a term covering a much greater descriptive color range than any single English color term
Maranao biroblue
Bintulu biruʔblue
Melanau (Mukah) biruʔblue
Ngaju Dayak biroblue
Iban birublue, usually dark blue
Malay biruazure; blue
Sundanese birublue (sea blue, sky blue); purplish
Old Javanese birublue (pale blue, greyish blue, greenish blue, turquoise?)
Javanese birublue
Balinese birudark blue
Sasak birublue
Mongondow mo-bidu, mo-birublue
Tetun birublue
Soboyo birublue

Borrowing from Malay. Under this interpretation the d of Mongondow mo-bidu presents difficulties, since it would normally be assumed that where variants in d, r appear the d variant is historically primary. However, neither Iban biru nor Malay biru can regularly reflect *bidu, and for the present it is perhaps best to assume that Mongondow mo-bidu is a result of analogical back-formation from a loanword with r. For instances of hypercorrection involving r and y in the history of Mongondow see Blust (1982).

(Dempwolff: *tampak ‘to blunt, make something dull’)

blunt dull

Ngaju Dayak tampakblunt, dull (of blade or tip)
Malagasy tápakabroken off, cut off, settled, finished
Toba Batak tampakblunt, not sharp at the tip
Javanese tempakhaving no sharp angles

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tampak ‘to blunt, make something dull’ (abstumpfen).

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Ngaju Dayak banamaboat, ship
Old Javanese banawaboat, ship
Javanese banawaboat
Makassarese banawalarge double-outrigger boat

Borrowing from Javanese, with nasalization of a semivowel following a nasal in Ngaju Dayak (cf. Dempwolff 1922). The comparison of the Old Javanese and Makassarese forms was first made by Dempwolff (1920:48, #201).


Manide bidukcanoe
Murut (Papar) bidukcanoe
Iban bidoksmall heavy boat
Malay bidokfishing boat or river cargo-boat of some bulk and draught
Acehnese bidoʔkind of outrigger canoe
Simalur biluʔ, filuʔ, bilug, filuglarge boat
Rejang biduʔcanoe bark
Makassarese biluʔkind of boat that may be used only by the Prince of Goa

Borrowing from Malay.


Ilokano biráya small boat, much larger than the bilóg, and with a flat bottom; she is made of boards and has a rudder; the biráy is sometimes used as a sailing vessel, but she is generally propelled by oars, the rowers on both sides facing the stern and following the directions of the pilot at the rudder
Isneg biráya canoe with outriggers
Casiguran Dumagat bíraytype of wide boat without outriggers
Tagalog bíraysmall armored ship or sailboat
Aklanon b-in-íraysailboat -- usually three boats tied together during a water festival
Maranao bidayboat
Mansaka bidayboat

Borrowing from a GCPh language in which *-d- had already become -r-.


Tagalog bíntasmall swift sailboat
Cebuano bintakind of speedy sailboat used by Muslims, with colorful sails and one or two outriggers
Maranao bintasmall sailboat
Malay perahu bintaktype of piratical ship
Sangir b-in-intaʔkind of exceptionally long, narrow boat which is almost a unique survival of traditional culture; formerly much used on long journeys
Makassarese bintaʔkind of pirate ship with two tripodal masts, a bulwark, generally two cabins on top, and two rows of oars on either side

Borrowing. Although Makassarese bintaʔ may be borrowed from Malay, the association of this term with piracy makes it likely that all of the words cited here derive ultimately from Sama Bajau.

boat:   Chinese boat

Cebuano sampanflat-bottomed, square-ended barge, usually with no engines; to go by, take a barge; make into a barge
Ngaju Dayak sampana boat that accompanies a larger ship
  ma-ñampantravel in a sampan
Malay sampan‘sampan’; shoe-boat; boat for harbor use
Old Javanese sampankind of small boat (for harbor traffic?)
Javanese sampansampan (boat)

(Dempwolff: *badan)


Maranao badanbody
Malay badanbody
Toba Batak badanbody
Javanese badanbody
Sangir badaŋbody
Mongondow badanbody
Makassarese badaŋbody
Buli badanbody

Borrowing from Arabic through Malay.

bolo, machete

Casiguran Dumagat sóndaŋbolo, large knife; to carry a bolo
Tagalog sundáŋdagger; a short machete; a heavy knife
Bikol sundáŋbolo, machete; a knife; any instrument used for cutting
Hanunóo sundáŋblunt-tipped bolo
Aklanon súndaŋknife
Maranao sondaŋsword, either wavy or straight blade; big, sharp knife or machete

Probably a Tagalog loan. Any word which implies metallurgy (as opposed to simple knowledge of iron ore) is almost certainly post-Proto-Philippines.

bolo:   sword, kris, bolo

Tagalog sundáŋdagger; short machete; a heavy knife
Bikol sundáŋbolo, machete; a knife; any instrument used for cutting
Hanunóo sundáŋblunt-tipped bolo
Romblomanon sundaŋa cutting bolo
Masbatenyo súndaŋwork bolo, bush knife, machete, a short square-ended bolo for work
Aklanon súndaŋknife
Cebuano sundáŋbolo, the general name for large knives, machetes, and swords used for heavy cutting work and as weapons; make into a bolo
Maranao sondaŋbig sharp knife or machete; sword, either wavy or straight blade
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) sundaŋa kris; to stab someone with something sharp
Tiruray sundaŋa kris
Malay sundaŋsword-kris; Sulu kris; a heavy cutting sword with a marked resemblance to a kris; it is two-edged, sharp-pointed, and may be either straight or sinuous

Since this reconstruction implies the use of metallurgy, the comparison almost certainly is a product of borrowing from Malay. It is noteworthy, however, that in areas that developed metallurgy relatively early, as Borneo, this word does not appear, suggesting that it skipped areas in which native smiths were already producing iron tools, and spread from Malay into the Philippines prior to the advent of metallurgy in that archipelago.

(Dempwolff: *kunci ‘closed, locked’)

bolt lock

Ngaju Dayak kuncilock, clasp
Malay kuncilock or bolt
  kunci-kanto lock
Toba Batak hunsiclosed, locked (said to be from Malay)
  maŋ-hunsito lock up
Javanese kuncikey; padlock

Also Toba Batak hinsu (< met.) ‘closed, locked’. Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) posited *kunci ‘lock (plug)’.


Itawis bómbabomb
Bikol bómbabomb; sexy movies
  mag-bómbato bomb; to lambast, usually with reference to political tirades; act sexy, strip
Aklanon b-in-umbah-ánwere bombed
  búmbato bomb, drop bombs on
Sundanese kueh βugiskind of dainty pastry
Balinese bugiskind of sweetmeat
PSan bombábomb; inflammatory speech by politician

boom of a sail:   prop, support, boom of a sail

Ibanag sukoŋsupport, prop, buttress; (speak) in support of, second a motion
Maranao sokoŋrod used as leash or harness; control by the nose; boom of sail
Tiruray sukuŋa boom on a sailboat
Malay sokoŋprop; shoring up; underpinning; buttressing; supporting at an angle; spinnaker-boom; sprit
  layar sokoŋspritsail
Javanese ñokoŋto support financially or contribute support
  sokoŋ-anfinancial support or contribution
Balinese sokoŋsupport, prop up
Sasak sokoŋto help, support

The mid-back vowel in Javanese, Balinese and Sasak, and the meaning in languages of Mindanao suggest strongly that this comparison is a product of borrowing from Malay.

bore through

Iban tebokhole or hollow carved out, mortise (to fit tenon); bore a hole
Malay təbokboring a hole into; sinking a shaft or well; shaft; cylindrical hole
  təmbokperforated; holed; rotten or hollow (of teeth); worm-eaten (of planking); eaten through by white ants; corroded by rust
Toba Batak ma-tombukpierced through, bored through
Rejang tebuʔa hole, a cavity (as thorugh the ear), nostril, anus
Fijian tobua pool in a river, bathing hole; a well

Apart from Iban the western Indonesian forms are likely Malay loans, and the resemblance of the Fijian form to the others cited here is best attributed to chance.

born:   Chinese born in Indonesia

Malay babacolonial born, creole; a descriptive honorific formerly given to Portuguese gentlemen, colonial-born European, Eurasian and Chinese males to distinguish them from men born in Europe or China; a descriptive name applied specifically to male Straits-born Chinese
Mandar babaʔChinese
Buginese babakname for Chinese born in Indonesia
Makassarese babaʔname for Chinese born in Indonesia

Borrowing from Malay.

boss:   master, boss

Ibatan āmoboss, lord, master
Ilokano ámomaster; lord; chief; boss
  um-am-ámoto bootlick; to maintain a sycophantic relationship with the boss
Casiguran Dumagat amosuperior, head, leader, chief, master
Ibaloy amoboss, master
Tagalog ámomaster; employer; boss
Bikol ámoboss, master
  mag-ámoto lead
Aklanon ámo(h)lord, master, overseer
Cebuano ámumaster, employer

From Spanish amo ‘master of the house; master, employer; proprietor; foreman’.

bottle:   four-cornered bottle

NGA valalarge four-sided bottle
Iban balaŋlarge bottle
Malay balaŋvial; ewer; big-bodied bottle with a long, tapering, narrow neck
Simalur balaŋsmall pot
Karo Batak balaŋlarge four-sided gin bottle

boundary marker

Ilokano muhónconcrete boundary post; boundary stones; landmark
Tagalog muhónlandmark; a stone or other object that marks the boundary of a piece of land
Bikol mohónboundary marker or land marker
Cebuano muhúnconcrete land marker buried in the ground

Borrowing of Spanish mojón ‘landmark; signpost; milestone’.

(Dempwolff: *tinzu ‘to box’)


Malay tinjuboxing; fist; blow with the knuckles of the closed fist
Toba Batak ma-ninjuto box, fight with fists
Javanese tinjuboxing (sport)

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tinzu ‘to box’ (boxen).

box, fight with fists

Pangasinan ponitito box
Sambal (Botolan) ponítito hit with the fists, to box
Bikol mag-punéteto box, to hit or strike someone
Maranao ponitiknuckle, box, fistfight

Borrowed from Spanish puñeta ‘a blow with the fist’.

(Dempwolff: *peTi ‘box, chest’)

box chest

Ngaju Dayak patibox, chest; drum
Malay pətibox; chest; case
Karo Batak petibox that can be closed; clothes chest
Toba Batak potibox, trunk, chest
Javanese peṭibox, trunk, chest
Makassarese pattichest, box

Borrowing from Malay, but ultimately from Tamil. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *peTi ‘box, chest’.

bad    bag    bal    bam    ban    bar    bas    bea    bec    bed    bee    beg    beh    bel    ben    ber    bes    bet    bew    bie    big    bin    bir    bit    bla    ble    bli    blo    blu    boa    bod    bol    bom    boo    bor    bos    bot    bou    box    bra    bre    bri    bro    buc    bud    buf    bug    bul    bun    buo    bur    bus    but    


(Dempwolff: *utak 'brain',)


Tagalog útakbrain
Malay utakbrain
Javanese utakbrain

Dempwolff (1934-38) reconstructed *utak (doublet *utek) 'brain', but Malay otak, utak can reflect either form. Tagalog útak is probably best regarded as a Kapampangan loan and Javanese utak as a borrowing from Malay.


Ilokano rímasbreadfruit: Artocarpus communis
Tagalog rímasbreadfruit sp.
Bikol rímasbreadfruit: Artocarpus altilis
Hanunóo rímasbreadfruit: Artocarpus altilis
Aklanon rímabreadfruit
Cebuano rímasseedless breadfruit: Artocarpus communis

This etymology is very odd. Neither Tagalog nor Cebuano has r- in native forms, yet both have it in this word, and if it is a loan the source is unclear. Moreover, rímas is in competition with *kamansi(q), *kulu, and *qatipulu, all of which refer to types of breadfruit in Philippine languages. One possibility is that there were names for several types of both seeded and seedless breadfruit, and that one of these was *rímas, which was borrowed into Tagalog and Cebuano after *r had already become /l/ in those languages. The Aklanon form looks like a hypercorrection, but this would only be possible for speakers who realized that most Spanish names of introduced plants were borrowed in their plural forms (as bayabas < Spanish guayaba).

(Dempwolff: *tas ‘sound of breaking or tearing’)

breaking:   sound of breaking

Malay tasrustle, e.g. of paper or dry leaves; sound of a shot
Toba Batak tassound of beating

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tas ‘sound of breaking or tearing’. Possibly native, but the limited geographical distribution of this onomatopoetic form makes it difficult to confidently attribute it to a language with much time-depth.


Ilokano lagáytong; bribe
  ag-lagáyto bribe; give tong money
Tagalog lagáya bribe, tip; a bet in gambling
Bikol lagáya bribe
  mag-lagáyto bribe
Agutaynen lagaybribe
  mag-lagayto bribe someone
Cebuano lagáyto bribe, grease the palm

Apparently a Tagalog loan in languages outside the Central Philippine group.


Amis kayakaybridge
Puyuma kayakaysuspension bridge
Paiwan (Western) kayakaysuspension bridge

Presumably a loan, although the direction of borrowing is unclear. Given traditional technologies this almost certainly refers in all cases to a suspension bridge, or did so until modern times.

(Dempwolff: *tara ‘come to light; be bright’.)


Malagasy tara-taraminute examination, close investigation
Malay kə-taravisible plainly; to emerge into view
Javanese kə-taraobvious, showing plainly
Tongan ma-talato be clear or fresh (in one’s memory)
Niue ma-talaunderstanding, wisdom, knowledge; wise, educated
Futunan ma-talato understand; be evident, be clear
Samoan ma-talabe open; (of the mind) be sharp, keen

A chance resemblance. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tara ‘come to light; be bright’.

(Dempwolff: *teraŋ ‘bright’)

bright, clear

Tagalog tálaŋred sky or red clouds at dawn or at sunset
Ngaju Dayak taraŋbright; clear; determined, defined
Iban teraŋclear; bright
Malay təraŋclear; bright; obvious
Toba Batak toraŋbright, clear
Javanese təraŋclear, cleared up; by way of clarification

The western Indonesian forms appear to be borrowed from Malay the Tagalog form probably has no connection with these. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *teraŋ ‘bright’ (hellsein).

broth, gravy

Iban kuahgravy, soup, any liquid left after cooking
Malay kuahsauce or liquid in which a Malay ‘wet curry’ is stewed
Karo Batak kuahsauce; dessert with liquid
  kuah-kento put sauce on, add sauce to
Toba Batak huasoup, broth

Borrowing from Malay.

brown:   tree with edible hairy brown fruit: Diospyros discolor

Ilokano mabúloDiospyros discolor, a tree with edible brown, hairy fruits
Tagalog mabúlotree with hard dark-colored wood and edible fruit
Cebuano mabulumedium-sized tree of the primary forest, cultivated for its fruit; the wood is hard and used for furniture, the heartwood being nearly black: Diospyros discolor

Evidently a commercial name in the Philippines reflecting *ma- ‘stative’ + *bulu ‘hairy’. For what is presumably the original name cf, *kamaguŋ.

bad    bag    bal    bam    ban    bar    bas    bea    bec    bed    bee    beg    beh    bel    ben    ber    bes    bet    bew    bie    big    bin    bir    bit    bla    ble    bli    blo    blu    boa    bod    bol    bom    boo    bor    bos    bot    bou    box    bra    bre    bri    bro    buc    bud    buf    bug    bul    bun    buo    bur    bus    but    


bucket, pail

Cebuano baldipail; fetch water in a pail
Kayan beledibucket
Iban beledibucket, pail
Malay baldipail, galvanized iron bucket

Borrowing, ultimately from Portuguese balde in Indonesia. The similar form in Philippine languages probably was borrowed independently from Spanish.

budge, move slowly

Malay aŋsura little at a time, in action or motion
Sundanese aŋsurpush something toward the place where it belongs
Makassarese ansoroʔ(harbor language) move a heavy load bit by bit
Rembong aŋsurbudge a little at a time

Borrowing from Malay.

buffalo:   water buffalo, carabao

Kavalan qabawbuffalo
Tagalog kalabáwwater buffalo, carabao
Jarai kəbəwcarabao, water buffalo
Malay kərbawbuffalo: Bos bubalus
Toba Batak horbobuffalo
Old Javanese kəbowater buffalo
Javanese kebokerbau, water buffalo
  ŋeboto treat [esp. an unwanted child] like an animal
  kebo-angive rides to children on the back while crawling on hands and knees
Wayan karavauhumpback ox (possbly from Tagalog carabao, water buffalo). Used as beasts of burden in Viti Levu but only once introduced to Waya, without succcess.
Fijian karavauobsolute term for ox, bull or cow

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from a Mon-Khmer source (Thurgood 1999:322). Kavalan has several loanwords from Philippine languages and from Spanish that date to the brief Spanish occupation of the Ilan basin from 1626-1642, during which time they came up from Manila in an attempt to expand their colonial holdings. The source of Fijian karavau remains unclear. Capell (1968:85) entertains two speculations: 1. “the name came from Vuda, where the people, seeing reddish cattle, called them after the cloth karavau”, 2. “probably Eng. caribou”. The second of these appears particularly improbable.


Sundanese uraŋ bugisBuginese
Balinese anak bugisa Buginese
Sasak bugisBuginese; also Makasarese
Bare'e to bugi, to bugisithe Buginese people
Sika bugispeople of Makasar
Kambera buŋgihuBuginese
  pambeni βuŋgihuŋubad-tempered as a Buginese, irascible

Borrowing, either from Malay or from Buginese itself, although the negative characterizations of Buginese temperament in Ngaju Dayak and Kambera must be creations in those languages. This item serves to demonstrate the extent to which the Buginese sailors of southern Sulawesi were known for centuries as a result of their trade and other contacts throughout the coastal areas of much of central and eastern Indonesia.

bulge out

Ilokano buntónheap, pile, mass; hill (reared by animal agency)
Pangasinan bontónheap, pile; gather up, pile up
Kapampangan búntunpile, stack
  búntun árehaystack
Tagalog buntónheap, mound
Mansaka bontonpile of abaca; pile up
Malagasy vóntoa swelling; soaked, wetted; much afflicted
  vóntonathe center of a thing
Gorontalo huntu-huntupiled up, as a stack of wood,

This item appears to be a GCPh innovation which has been borrowed from Tagalog into Kapampangan, Pangasinan and Ilokano. The similarity of these forms to Malagasy vónto, vóntona and Javanese butun which led Dempwolff to include them in a single cognate set is attributed to chance.


Ilokano puŋlóbullet of a gun
Tausug puŋluʔa bullet

The meaning of this form is clearly borrowed, although the form itself may be native, since to date no loan source has been identified.

bundle of things to be sold

Ilokano atádobundle, bunch; parcel
  sa-ŋa-atádoone bundle; one bunch (of things sold in the market)
Agutaynen atadoone kilogram bundle, or string of meat for retail sale

From Spanish atado ‘bundle, parcel’.


Bikol bóyabuoy
Cebuano búyafloat, buoy
Malay boyaEuropean buoy

Borrowing from Spanish (Philippine forms) and Portuguese (Malay).

(Dempwolff: *pikul ‘burden on the shoulder’)

burden on the shoulder

Kadazan Dusun pikulcarry with a stick; a measure of weight
  mo-mikulto carry with a stick
  so-pikulone pikul, 100 kati
  pikul-onto be carried with a stick
Ngaju Dayak pikulcarrying pole; be carried by carrying pole; a weight, 100 kati, about 110 pounds
Malay pikulto carry a heavy load (necessitating the use of the shoulders); as much as an ordinary man can lift, i.e. about 100 kati, or 123 pounds
Sundanese pikulnative measure of 20 gantang
Old Javanese sa-pikulone load
  a-mikulto carry over the shoulder, carry with a carrying pole
  pikul-ancarrying pole
Javanese pikula long pole carried horizontally on one shoulder with carrying baskets suspended fore and aft
  mikulto transport by carrying pole
Balinese pikula dry measure (137 pounds); to carry on one’s neck
Banggai sa-pikulone shouder load (of things carried)

Borrowing from Malay or Javanese. Based on the comparison of Ngaju Dayak, Malay, and Javanese Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *pikul ‘burden on the shoulder’ (Schulterlast).

(Dempwolff: *pe(rR)un ‘burning off when clearing a field’)

burn cuttings in fields

Ngaju Dayak pehona pile of wood that someone wants to burn
Malay pərunsecond or final burning (when clearing land); burning what is left after the first burning
Toba Batak puruna heap of shrubbery that one sticks into the fire

Probably a Malay loan distribution. On the basis of this comparsion Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *pe(rR)un ‘burning off when clearing a field’ (Abbrennen beim Roden eines Feldes).

burst:   flare up, burst into flame

Yogad kurápto flicker (from normal brightness to brighter)
Bikol mag-kurábto flame; to burst into flame

bush:   machete, bush knife

Kapampangan pálaŋbolo
Tagalog paláŋflat-nosed bolo
Melanau (Mukah) paraŋbush-knife, machete
Ngaju Dayak paraŋsaw of a sawfish
Iban paraŋlarge knife, chopper
Malay paraŋcleaver, machete; to chop
Toba Batak paraŋmachete, bush knife
Sundanese paraŋmachete
Rembong paraŋmachete

The Philippine forms and many others (Melanau (Mukah), Toba Batak, Rembong, possibly Ngaju Dayak) appear to be loans from Malay. Maranao paraŋ 'hand trowel, weeding tool' is assumed to be a semantically altered loan or a chance resemblance.

butt of a rifle

Ilokano kulátabutt of a rifle
  kulatá-ento hit with the butt of a rifle
Casiguran Dumagat kulátabutt (of a rifle); to bash someone with the butt of a rifle
Tagalog kulátabutt of a rifle or firearm
  kulatá-ninto hit someone or something with the butt of a rifle
Cebuano kulátagunstock; ; maul someone, beat someone badly

Borrowed from Spanish culata ‘butt, stock (of rifle, etc.)’.


Ngaju Dayak ka-kupobutterfly (generic; most butterflies lack specific names)
Malay kupu-kupubutterfly
Old Javanese kupu-kupu ~ ku-kupubutterfly
Javanese kupubutterfly
Balinese kupu ~ kupu-kupubutterfly

Borrowing from Malay or Javanese.


Casiguran Dumagat butúnisbutton; to button closed (as shirt, pants, etc.)
Ibaloy botonis ~ botinisbutton
Pangasinan botónpush button
Kapampangan butúnisbutton(s)
Tagalog butónbutton switch
Bikol botónesbutton
Agutaynen botonisbutton
  mag-botonisto sew buttons onto clothing
Hiligaynon bútonesbutton
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) butinisbutton
Mansaka botonbutton
Malay botaŋ, butaŋbutton; stud; knot used as button
Tetun butanbutton; to button

The Philippine forms are borrowed from Spanish botones ‘buttons’, the Indonesian forms from Portuguese.

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