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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    

face, looks, appearance

Maranao parasface, looks, appearance
Tiruray falascolor, form, appearance; a face
Malay parasgood looks; appearance
Karo Batak parasbeautiful; worthy

Borrowing from Malay.


Tagalog mukháʔface
Malay mukaface; front
Sundanese mukavisage, countenance
Old Javanese mukhamouth; face, countenance
Javanese mukaface
Sasak mukaface

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Sanskrit.

face powder:   powder, face powder

Maranao bedakpowder, face powder
Tiruray bedaka face powder purchased in block form
Tboli bedakface powder made by pounding rice into a fine powder. After a little water is added it is pounded again. Then it is formed into small, marble-sized balls, dried in the sun, and stored in a tightly covered container for a time before using
Iban bedakface powder
Malay bedakface-powder; toilet-powder. A cosmetic of rice-flour mixed with a small quantity of other ingredients; kept in powder-form and watered when needed for use
Acehnese beudaʔwhitener, ointment (rubbed into the body of a sick person as medicine
Rejang bedoʔface powder
Sundanese bedakaromatic powder of rice meal and rosewater, used as face powder or whitener
Old Javanese weḍakpowder (a cosmetic of rice-flour, scented water and other ingredients, having a cooling effect on the body and used for medicinal purposes)
Javanese weḍakpowder
Balinese wedakointment
Buginese bedakface powder
Rembong bedakface powder
Sika bédaka powder, like talcum, rubbed in after bathing
Alune bedapowder

Borrowing from Malay.

faithful:   loyal, faithful, devoted

Sambal (Botolan) tapátfaithful, honest, sincere
Tagalog ma-tapátdevoted; loyal; faithful; sincere; genuine; real; honest
Cebuano tapátto be true and loyal to someone; resolve oneself to reform; sincere

The Botolan Sambal form is assumed to be a Tagalog loan.

(Dempwolff: *tempuq ‘fall upon, attack’)

fall:   attack suddenly, fall upon

Ngaju Dayak tampohpushing, shoving, colliding (with horns, buffalo, etc.)
Malagasy mi-tepu-tepupulsate, palpitate
Iban tempohassail; break through (as a fence); storm a house (in attack)
Malay me-nəmpohto assail, of charges, storming attacks, etc.
Toba Batak tompusuddenly
Javanese ke-tempuhto get hit
  nempuhto face up to, confront
  pa-nempuh(head on) attack; collision
Balinese nempuhtouch something; sway about (in the wind); be struck (by illness); stroke along something; be responsible

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *tempuq ‘fall upon, attack’.


Malay kipasfan; fanning; fanner for winnowing
Javanese kipasa hand fan
  kipas-anto fan oneself

Borrowing from Malay


Pangasinan balisóŋhunting knife
Tagalog balisóŋfan-knife made in Batangas
Bikol balisóŋfan-knife
Aklanon balisóŋlong, sharp knife common to Batangas
Cebuano balísuŋjackknife
Maranao balisoŋlong slender knife

Probably a GCPh innovation borrowed into Pangasinan.

(Dempwolff: *daeq ‘far, distant’)


Toba Batak daodistant, remote
Javanese dohfar-off

On the basis of this comparison Dempwolff (1938) proposed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *daeq as a doublet of the far better supported *zauq ‘far, distant’. The principal reason for doing so is the agreement in both languages of showing /d/ for expected /j/ (and hence not indicating a proto-form with *z). However, even if this argument is accepted, the limited geographical distribution of this comparison raises questions about the antiquity of the form

fast, fasting

Maranao poasafast, fasting
Tausug bulan puasafasting month for Muslims
Malay puasafast, abstinence from food or drink
Sundanese puasafasting
  bulan puasafasting month for Muslims
Sasak puasafasting time; to fast
Mongondow puasathe Muslim fasting period
Makassarese puasathe Muslim fasting period

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Sanskrit.

fast, withdrawal from food

Itbayaten ayonofast
  mi-ʔayonoto fast
Ilokano ayúnoa fast
  ag-ayúnoto fast (refrain from eating)
Tagalog ayúnoa fast; fasting; abstaining from food
  mag-ayúnoto fast; to go without food or to eat very little
Bikol mag-ayúnoto fast

Borrowing of Spanish ayuno ‘fast’ (from ayunar ‘to fast’).

(Dempwolff: *si(r)at ‘fasten or tie to’)

fasten or tie to

Ngaju Dayak siratwhat is bound or woven tightly
Malay siratmesh; network
Toba Batak siratdesign on the edge of a cloth

Dempwolff (1938) posited *si(r)at ‘fasten or tie to’, but support for this reconstruction is limited, and until stronger evidence is found, the comparison is best attributed to a borrowing from Malay.

fastener, thing used for fastening or making secure

Tagalog kansíŋgold brooch
Ngaju Dayak kanciŋbutton, buckle, clasp; bolt
Iban kancinfastening, button, bolt, lock
Malay kanciŋbuckling together; button; rivet; bolt; stud; clasp
Toba Batak hatsiŋbutton, anything used to fasten
Sundanese kanciŋbutton, as people use on clothing
Old Javanese kanciŋlock, bar, bolt
Javanese kanciŋbutton
Balinese kanciŋfastening; button, toggle; bolt, lock, key

Borrowing from Malay.

fast, fasting

Maranao poasafast, fasting
Tausug bulan puasafasting month for Muslims
Malay puasafast, abstinence from food or drink
Sundanese puasafasting
  bulan puasafasting month for Muslims
Sasak puasafasting time; to fast
Mongondow puasathe Muslim fasting period
Makassarese puasathe Muslim fasting period

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Sanskrit.


Ngaju Dayak la-lamakthick and short, of a person’s body
Malay ləmakfat; grease; rich oiliness; richness
Toba Batak lomakfat; luxuriant, of plants

Borrowing from Malay.

fate:   luck, fortune, fate

Isneg bagiyaʔhappiness, rejoicing
Maranao bagiʔ-anfate
Tiruray bagiʔluck, fate
Malay bahagiagood fortune sent by God
Old Javanese bha gya, bagegood fortune, luck; fortunate, lucky
Javanese bagiahappiness, well-being

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.


Ayta Abellan hignohfate; something destined to happen
Tagalog signóssign; fatal sign; omen
Bikol signósan ill omen; a sign of foreboding; a portent of coming fate
Cebuano signusin folk belief, the preordained agent through which one meets his death as revealed by fortune-telling

Borrowing of Spanish signo ‘a sign’.

fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    



Malay pestafestive gathering, entertainment
Rotinese fetafeast, celebration
Tetun festafestival

Borrowing from Portuguese.

Felis domesticus:   cat, Felis domesticus

Pangasinan pusácat
Tagalog púsaʔcat
Ngaju Dayak pusacat (tame and wild)
Malagasy fósaa small and graceful catlike animal peculiar to Madagascar; formerly classed among the Viverridae, but now considered to form a distinct family between the cats and civets
Iban pusacat
Tetun busacat

It is unclear when domestic cats first reached insular Southeast Asia, and it is possible that this word originally referred to a native animal. If so, however, the word has been transferred almost everywhere to the domestic cat, and it is clearly a loanword in at least Tagalog and Tetun.

female:   maid, female servant

Maranao baboʔaunt, mother-in-law
Malay babumaid-servant
  babu tétékwet-nurse
Sundanese babutitle of Eve (Babu Hawa); in general = paŋasuh (female servant)
Old Javanese babumother; older servant
Javanese babuyoung female servant; (literary, formal) mother
Balinese babudomestic servant, maid
Banggai ba-babufamily member
Wolio babufemale servant, maid (in colonial times)
Bimanese babuhouse servant

Probably a fairly late innovation in Western Indonesia, spread by borrowing from Malay or Javanese.


Casiguran Dumagat kudalfence; to make a fence; to fence in something
Agutaynen kodalfence
  mag-kodalto build a fence, to enclose something with a fence
Maranao kodalcorral, livestock housing

Apparently a borrowing of Spanish corral ‘enclosure, corral’.


Ilokano abúnofertilizer; money contributed by one to pay another’s debt; advanced payment
Kapampangan abónofertilizer
  man-abónoto fertilize
Cebuano abúnufertilizer
Maranao abonofertilizer; to fertilize, supply

From Spanish abono ‘manure; fertilizer; guarantee; assurance; credit’,

festive maiden

Ilokano sagálamaiden in festive costume in religious processions
Tagalog sagálagirl in a special costume joining in a religious procession
Waray-Waray sagalamaiden dressed up for the occasion who joins in the processin for the flores-de-mayo festival

From Spanish zagala ‘shepherdess; maiden’.

fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    


fiancé, engagement

Palawano tunaŋfiancé; engaged person to marry
Kenyah tunaŋdowry
Malay tunaŋplighting, pledging, esp. of engagements to marry

Palawano tunaŋ appears to be a borrowing from Malay, which indicates a fairly intense borrowing relationship.

fidgety:   restless, fidgety

Kapampangan balisárestless, constantly moving
Tagalog balisáanxious, restless
Cebuano balísaanxious, apprehensive
Ngaju Dayak balisarestless
Banjarese balisahrestless
Malay belisahrestless, fidgety
Toba Batak balisarestless
Old Javanese balisahrestless
Gorontalo balisarestless
Bare'e walisarestless
Tae' balisarestless

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *kenTuŋ ‘bird clapper’)

fields:   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’.

fight with fists:   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’.

file, line, row

Ilokano pílaline (for waiting); row
Isneg pílato take on a file
Bikol pílaqueue, line (as before a movie theatre)
  mag-pílato line up; to stand in line
Agutaynen pilaa line, row
  mag-pilafor people to form a line; to line up one behind the other

From Spanish fila ‘row, line’.

find:   divine, find by divination, tell fortunes

Tagalog tanóŋquestion; interrogation; inquiry
Iban nenoŋto divine, find by divination (Scott 1956)
Malay tənoŋabstraction; being plunged in thought; absent-minded, as a seer is absent-minded
Sundanese tənuŋclairvoyance (of a magician or soothsayer); prophesying by means of astrology
Old Javanese tənuŋdivining magic (esp. as performed with a cock?)
Javanese tenuŋblack magic; practitioner of black magic
Balinese nenuŋpractice magic, cast spells, prophesy
Sasak tənuŋtell fortunes

Borrowing from Malay.


Ilokano múltafine (penalty payment)
  multá-ento fine, penalize with a fine
Tagalog múltafine, penalty, mulct
  mag-múltato pay a fine
Cebuano multaa fine; pay a fine; impose a fine

Borrowing of Spanish multa ‘a fine’.


Tagalog dalíriʔfinger
Banjarese jarijifinger
Old Javanese jarijifinger, toe
Balinese jariji ~ jerijifinger

This is a puzzling comparison for several reasons. First, Tagalog appears to be the only Philippine language to have this form. Second, the final glottal stop corresponding to zero in Old Javanese and Balinese suggests that it is a loan, but neither of these languages is a likely source. Third, although Malay loanwords are common in many Philippine languages, this word is not reported in Standard Malay (Wilkinson 1959). Finally, body-part terms are among the least likely types of words to be borrowed in contact situations, yet this one (from Brunei Malay?) appears to violate that general principle.

(Dempwolff: *kukuq ‘firm, solid’)

firm, solid

Malay kukohstaunch; strongly built; of unshaken loyalty; backing one’s assurances with guarntees or with an oath; strengthening a town’s defenses
Sundanese kukuhstrong, firm
Old Javanese kukuhstrong, firm, inflexible, tough, sturdy, relentless
Javanese kukuhsolid, strong, resistant
Balinese kukuhbe strong, grow strong; be firm, be stiff; be headstrong
Sasak kukuhstrong, sturdy, of body build

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *kukuq ‘firm, solid’.

(Dempwolff: *teguq ‘steadfast, firm’)

firm:   steadfast, firm

Ngaju Dayak tagohimpenetrable, invulnerable
Malay təgohfirm and strong (of tying a knot firmly; of backing up an agreement with promises); (fig.) dependable
Toba Batak togustrong, firm
Javanese təguhsturdy, tough, determined (physically, morally)

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *teguq ‘steadfast, firm’ (standhaftsein).

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.

fish sp.: tuna

Chamorro wahutype of fish: Acanthocybium solandri (family scombridae). Wahoo, type of tuna
Sa'a waieuthe bonito fish
Arosi waiaubonito; a fish of sacred character with many customs and ceremonies connected with it

The Oxford English Dictionary gives wahoo (origin unknown) 'a large marine fish, Acanthocybium solandri, belonging to the family Scombridae and found in tropical seas'. The citations which follow this definition suggest that the word was widely used in the western Pacific in the nineteenth century. Borrowing from some local language into Spanish or English,with subsequent borrowing from Spanish or English into other local languages seems to be the most likely source of transmission.

fish stew

Pangasinan paŋátto cook fish in vinegar with garlic
Tagalog paŋátfish cooked in vinegar and salt
Bikol p-in-aŋátdish consisting of minced meat, shrimp or fish, chopped coconut and spices, wrapped in a taro leaf and cooked in coconut milk
  paŋátto cook pinaŋát
Tiruray faŋatto preserve fish for several hours by partially boiling it with salt.
Malay peŋata sweetmeat. Banana and pumpkin or kelédék (sweet potato) cooked in coconut milk and sugar
Minangkabau paŋatstuffing (fish or flesh) and stewing it in a rich, spicy sauce

Borrowing from some Malay dialect. The similarity of Kankanaey paŋaft, pinaŋát 'roasted locusts' to the forms cited above is attributed to chance.

fish:   pickled fish

Casiguran Dumagat búrupickled iponpickled ipon fish (pickled in salt brine); to pickle fish
Tagalog búropickled or salted
Cebuano búrucover something all over with salt, sugar, flour (as meat); serve, eat fish with lots of salt; small dried fish with more salt than the ordinary
Malay (Kedah, Kelantan) buduanchovies pickled in brine after being dried and partially decayed
  tempayan budupickle-tub
Acehnese budhéenkind of preserve of small fish in brine (much eaten in Daya)
Nias budukind of dried fish
Sundanese bodoa snack eaten by the Baduy people which consists of small fermented fish which are cooked, salted and preserved in a bamboo internode’
Kambera buduto ferment, pickle
  ia budusalted fish
  pa-budustew until ripe (as bananas)
Tetun budu, budunto pickle
  budu tabakuplace tobacco in a heap so that after the necessary ingredients are added it may assume the desired color, strength, and aromatic flavor; sour conserves, pickles budu-an an unwashed strong-odored body, or to stay at home

Borrowing from Malay. Unlike many Malay loanwords in Philippine languages which diffused from Brunei, probably in connection with the trading arc that linked Borneo with the Moluccas through Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, this word is not attested anywhere in the southern Philippines. Its distribution suggests instead that it was introduced by peninsular Malay traders whose base of operations was the entrepot at Manila Bay first established by the Fukienese, and jointly maintained by the Spanish during the three and one half centuries of the Manila Galleon (1565-1815).

fish:   sun-dried fish

Itbayaten daʔiŋfish opened and cleaned of its viscera and dried in the sun
Ilokano dáiŋsalted and sundried fish
  daíŋ-ento salt and dry in the sun
Tagalog dáiŋjerked fish salted and dried in the sun
  daiŋ-into jerk fish
Binukid daiŋto dry peeled bananas in the sun
Mapun dayiŋfish (generic)
  dayiŋ-anhaving an abundance of fish
Malay daeŋslicing into thin strips and drying in the sun; especially of fish preserved after being cut in two along the line of the vertebrae
Sundanese deʔeŋraw meat cut into strips, spiced and then dried in the sun (better known as deŋdeŋ)
Javanese ḍεnḍεŋsliced season dreid meat, ready for cooking
Balinese deŋdeŋ ~ deŋdeŋdry in the sun

Borrowing from Malay.

fish or meat cooked in vinegar

Tagalog paksíwfish or meat cooked in vinegar fish or meat cooked in vinegar with salt and garlic added
Agutaynen paksiwfish or meat cooked in vinegar with salt and garlic added
Tausug paksiyufish or meat cooked in vinegar, garlic, ginger and salt

Borrowing from Tagalog.

fish or shrimp sauce

Itbayaten patisfish sauce
Ilokano patisfish sauce used in cooking
  ag-pat-patísto turn into patís, ferment
  patis-énto sprinkle with fish sauce
  patíssauce made from salted fish or shrimps
Tagalog patíssauce made from salted fish or shrimps
Bikol patísfish sauce
  mag-patísto season with fish sauce
Aklanon patísseasoning made from fish oils and salt
Agutaynen patisfish sauce
  mag-patisfor fermented fish to become, turn into fish sauce (the fish becomes watery and the salted water is what is called patis)
Cebuano patísliquefied preserved fish paste; soy sauce
Maranao patissauce obtained from salted fish
Malay pətisan unspiced syrupy extract made by boiling down meat, or fish, or prawn
Sundanese pətisa mixture of sugar, salt and cankudu (a shrub) with a little water, used as a sauce with raw fruits
Javanese petismeat or shrimp extract

Borrowing from Malay.

fish: mackerel sp.

Ilokano galuŋgóŋbulilít fish (kind of small, silver marine fish)
Casiguran Dumagat galoŋguŋspecies of ocean fish
Tagalog galuŋgóŋbig-bodied round scad
Agutaynen galoŋgoŋhard-tail mackerel; this is a small fish, steel gray in color, without scales

The Ilokano word is said to be borrowed from Pilipino/Tagalog, as this evidently is a commercial fish widely known in the Philippines.


Pangasinan tagátype of fishhook
Tagalog tagáʔfishhook
Hanunóo tagáʔfishhook
Aklanon tagáʔhook
  pa-nagáʔto fish with a hook
Maranao tagaʔfishhook

Borrowing into Pangasinan from Tagalog.

fishnet (type)

Ilokano sapiáwkind of fishnet
Tagalog sapyáwa sack-like fishing net dragged by a boat
Bikol sapyáwfishing net fastened to a crane-like frame with bamboo crosspieces and mounted on a boat or raft
  mag-sapyáwto catch fish with this type of net

The Ilokano term probably is a loan from Tagalog.

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

fitting:   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).

(Dempwolff: *patut ‘proper, fitting’)

fitting:   proper, fitting, appropriate

Maranao patotproper, fitting, due
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) patutfitted for something; deserving of something, whether good or bad
Tiruray fatut(of the way one does something), in the morally correct way
Ngaju Dayak patutwhat must be done, what is proper or seemly
Malay patutfit; proper; suitable
Toba Batak patutwhat is right and proper; decent, becoming
Old Javanese tut ~ tūtfollowing
  pa-tūtfollowing, along, concordant, in harmony, in accord; appropriate, apposite, right, fitting
Javanese patutsuitable, well-advised, appropriate

Borrowing from Javanese into Malay, with subsequent wide dispersal via Malay. Dempwolff (1938) compared the Ngaju Dayak, Malay, Javanese and Toba Batak forms with Tagalog patot ‘proper, fitting’ and posited Uraustronesisch *patut ‘proper, fitting’, but I have been unable to find the last of these forms in any modern dictionary. Note the close semantics and probable origin in Javanese with subsequent spread by Malay for both this form and Malay pantas, etc.

(Dempwolff: *tetep ‘firm, fixed’)

fixed secure

Ngaju Dayak tetepof long duration, uninterrupted; be set fast; to not rock (of a boat in the water)
Iban tetapfirm, steady, stable
Malay tətapsteadfast; constant; secure; regular; fixed (of tenure or residence)
Toba Batak totopfixed; unchanging; determined; perpetual
Javanese tetepsteady; unchanging; tight; firm; confirmed
Balinese tetepbe sure, firm, certain, in order

Probably a Malay loan distribution (apart from Iban). Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed ‘Uraustronesisch’ *tetep ‘firm, fixed’ (festsein).

fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    



Manobo (Western Bukidnon) bendilaʔflag; banner
Kayan beliraʔflag
Iban bendiraflag
Malay bendéraflag (of European type)
Makassarese banderaflag; one of the thirty kinds of cards in the patui and goaŋ-góŋ game
Bimanese βinderaflag

Borrowing, ultimately from Portuguese and-or Spanish.


Iban meniraflag
Malay benderaflag (of European type)
Uma baneraflag

Borrowing from Portuguese.

flare up, burst into flame

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

flank:   side, flank

Malay lambuŋside; flank
Toba Batak lambuŋside of the human body; side in general
Sundanese lambuŋthe soft space under the ribs on the side
Old Javanese lambuŋside, flank of the body, of a mountain, of a battle-array
Javanese lambuŋside; flank; upper side of the human body
Balinese lambuŋside of the body (rarely used of persons)
Sasak (Sewela) lambuŋbreast and side of the body; sleeveless garment for women

Probably borrowing from Malay.

flare up, burst into flame

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

(Dempwolff: *papak ‘flat’)


Malay papakflat; even; smooth-surfaced
Javanese papaklevel, even with (as people of equal height)

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) proposed Uraustronesisch *papak ‘flat’ (Flachsein).

flax:   linen, flax

Ilokano línoflax; linen
Agutaynen línolinen cloth; flax (from which linen is made)

From Spanish lino ‘flax, linen’.

flesh:   meat, flesh

Malay dagiŋflesh; meat; meaty part of anything
Toba Batak dagiŋflesh; body, of men and animals
  mar-dagiŋhave a body
Old Javanese dagiŋflesh, prey
  ma-dagiŋto have the flesh (body) of, descend from )?)
Javanese dagiŋmeat, flesh
  kulit dagiŋa relative, one’s flesh and blood
Balinese dagiŋmeat, flesh; contents, what is in
  dagiŋ-inbe contained in, be filled with
Sasak dagiŋflesh


Kadazan Dusun abufloat, swim
Iban abulfloat; buoy; raft
  ambullight (as cotton, feathers, cork); float attached to fishing net
Sundanese ambulfloat, not sink

The Iban and Sundanese forms appear to be cognate; Kadazan Dusun abu shows irregularities which suggest borrowing, perhaps from Iban or a Malay dialect in Borneo.

float for fishing line

Malay (Brunei) payanbamboo float used for fishing line
Buli payanthe wooden boom of a shrimp net or dip net

Although a cognate is not known in Moluccan Malay, it is very likely that the Buli word (expected **fayan) has been borrowed from some dialect of Malay into which it has come into contact..

(Dempwolff: *tepuŋ ‘flour, meal’)

flour:   meal, flour

Ngaju Dayak tepoŋbaked goods, bread, cakes
Malay təpoŋflour; meal; also generic for cakes made of flour
PSS *tɨppuŋflour, meal

Borrowing from Malay. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed PAn *tepuŋ ‘flour, meal’.

(Dempwolff: *kenTel ‘viscous’)

fluids:   thick (of fluids), viscous

Malay kəntalthick (of liquid); viscous
Rejang keteaviscous, thick
Sundanese kəntəlthick, of fluids
Javanese kenṭelfirm, strong (as tea), solidified (as oil that has frozen), thick, viscous (as syrup); close, intimate
Balinese kentelsolidify, become stiff, coagulate; no longer liquid, thick, coagulated
  kentel-aŋbe thickened, stuffed full, crammed
  kentel-inbe thickened, condensed
Sasak kəntəlcoagulated

Also Balinese hentel ‘thick, close, dense, solid’. Given its distribution only on Java, Bali and Lombok and in Malay, but not in the Batak languages or other languages of northern Sumatra, or in Borneo, this is most likely to be a loan from Javanese. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *kenTel ‘viscous’.


Makassarese puiʔ-puiʔa wooden wind instrument: clarinet
Manggarai pui-puiflute

Borrowing from Makassarese.


Tagalog bansíʔa native flute
Hanunóo bansíʔa six-holed flute made from a single piece of bagákay (Schizostachyum longispiculatum) bamboo
Malay baŋsirice pipe; Malay flageolet
Old Javanese waŋsibamboo; or bamboo flute?
  pa-maŋsy-anthat to which a bamboo flute is played
Mongondow bansiʔbamboo flute with four holes
Tae' basin M small panpipes with two pipes
Makassarese basiŋ-basiŋ M bamboo flute

Borrowing from Malay.

fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    


foil:   gilding, gold-foil

Iban peradathin plate or leaf of metal, foil, tinsel
Malay peradatinsel; told foil; thin plate of precious metal
Old Javanese paradaquicksilver; gold-leaf
Tae' paradapaint, pigment; also: anything used like paint, as tar
Buginese paradapaint
Makassarese batu paradared or yellow stone the scrapings of which are used ... to make paint rappo parada a fruit the seeds of which yield a red dye: Bixa orellana; to gild; to paint
Wolio paradhatinfoil

Borrowing. Wilkinson (1959) gives Malay perada as a Portuguese loan, and Richards (1981) appears to have followed Wilkinson in assuming a similar source for Iban perada. In view of the Sanskrit provenance of Old Javanese parada, however, a Sanskrit source for all forms appears more likely.

follower:   disciple, follower

Ilokano alágadmodel, example, guide, pattern; standard
  alagád-ento imitate, copy; reproduce; follow the rules
Casiguran Dumagat alagáddisciple, helper, companion (of a high ranking person)
Tagalog alagádfollower; disciple; apostle; minister; helper; public servant
Binukid alagadone who serves (as an official, church leader, etc.); employee; to serve; to work as an employee

Probably a Tagalog loan distribution.

foodstuffs:   catty (unit of weight for foodstuffs)

Ilokano kátipound; weighing scale
  katí-ento weigh
Bikol kátiunit of weight, equivalent to 600 grams
Kadazan Dusun katiʔweight measurement (one and one third pounds)
Tombonuwo katia catty (measure of weight)
Malay kati“catty”, a measure of weight of sixteen tahil, or about one and one third pounds avoirdupois
Toba Batak hatithe hundredth part of a pikul, thus about one and one quarter pound

Borrowing from Malay.

fool:   idiot, fool

Ilokano uŋásderogatory expression for males: stupid, rude; crude
Tagalog uŋásstupid, ignorant; ignoramus, nitwit
Aklanon uŋásidiot, fool

Probably a Tagalog loan distribution.


Palawano paluycrazy
Malay (Brunei) paluyabsurd, senseless
Kayan paluyfoolish behavior
Kiput paloystupid

Borrowing from Brunei Malay.


Ilokano lumbárace (competition)
  ag-lumbáto race
Pangasinan lómbarunning race
Tagalog lumbáʔgallop of a horse
Cebuano lúmbaʔrace, have a race; outrace; outdo each other to see who can do it the more
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) lumbeʔto compete in a contest or competition; race
Tausug mag-lumbaʔto race, compete in a contest of speed
Malay lombaracing; competing

Borrowing from Malay.

forbidden taboo

Iban pantaŋforbidden, not done or avoided for fear of evil consequences; ritual restriction or activity
Malay pantaŋtaboo; thing not done; prohibition due to custom or superstition
  mə-mantaŋto find fault with
Karo Batak pantaŋwhat is forbidden by traditional custom or law
Toba Batak pantaŋforbidden, taboo
Banggai pantanforbidden

Apparently a Malay loan outside Malayic.

forbidden, prohibited, taboo

Casiguran Dumagat bawálto forbid, prohibit; taboo, forbidden
Tagalog báwalprohibited, forbidden, taboo
  ka-bawál-anrestriction; a limiting condition or rule
Bikol báwalforbidden, prohibited, taboo
Agutaynen bawalprohibited; forbidden; taboo to do

Borrowing from Tagalog into Casiguran Dumagat and Agutaynen.

force:   power force

Hanunóo kuwátpower, force(?)
Ngaju Dayak kuatstrong
Malay kuatphysical strength
Karo Batak kuatstrong, of the body (from Malay)
Toba Batak huatstrong, fast, as a horse (said to be from Malay)

Borrowing from Malay, and ultimately from Arabic. Conklin (1953:154) gives Hanunóo kuwát ‘power, force(?)’ with a questionable gloss, cross-referencing it somewhat obscurely to baliŋkuwát ‘lever, i.e. a prying instrument for raising heavy objects’. The resemblance between it and forms in western Indonesia may thus be a product of chance.

(Dempwolff: *dagaŋ ‘foreign merchant’)

foreign merchant

Ngaju Dayak dagaŋtrader; merchandise
Malagasy raha-rahaoccupation, work, business, employment
Malay dagaŋforeign; alien
  pə-dagaŋa merchant
Toba Batak dagaŋforeigner
Old Javanese dagaŋtrading
  a-dagaŋto trade
  dagaŋ-anmerchandise, wares
Javanese dagaŋto engage in business; merchandise

This is best treated as a loan distribution originating either in Old Javanese or Malay. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *dagaŋ ‘foreign merchant’.

(Dempwolff: *bintiŋ)


Malay béntéŋ, bintiŋbreastwork. Specifically a breastwork or low defensive parapet, e.g. the permanent barbette or battery of thick logs over which a piratical prahu's guns were trained
Toba Batak béstéŋfortress, fortification
Javanese béntéŋ, bétéŋfortification

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *kuTa ‘fortress’)

fortress, fortification

Ilokano kótafort, fortification
Tagalog kútaʔfort; bulwark; rampart; citadel; fortress; fortification
  kuta-anto fortify; to protect a place against attack; to strengthen with forts, walls, etc.
Bikol kútafortifications
  kutá-onto construct fortifications
Cebuano kútaʔfort; to make a fort
Maranao kotaʔfort, citadel; trenches
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) kutaʔa fort; fortification
Tausug kutaʔa fort, stone wall, fortifications
  mag-kutaʔto build a fort or stone wall, fortify (a place)
Kadazan Dusun kutaʔfort, fortress
  kuta-onto build a fort
Ngaju Dayak kotafortification; to fortify (a house, village, etc.)
Malay kotafortified place, stronghold; a fortified town or fortress; in old literature, a funeral pyre
Toba Batak hutavillage, town
  mar-hutato live in a village or town
  par-huta-anplace where a village is built
Minangkabau kotaa defended village or a village generally
Rejang kutoa fortified place, a stronghold, a rampart
Old Javanese kuṭafort, stronghold, fortfied encampment, walled palace, wall
Javanese kuṭaa city of more (less) than 250,000 inhabitants; a brick wall enclosing a city or palace
Balinese kutatown, fortress
Sasak kutafortress, stronghold; fortified town; gate, gateway
Sangir kotafortress; fort
Makassarese kotaearlier: fort; in stories translated from Malay, a city
Wolio kota(fortified) town, fortress
Muna kotatown, city
Manggarai kotastone wall
Rembong kotafortress; to stack up stones or earth
Tetun kotaa fortress, or fortified city
Kei kot ~ kotafortification, fortified village
Asilulu kotacity; Ambon City

Borrowing from Malay, ultimately from Sanskrit. Following his practice of proposing reconstructions even for forms that he knew had a non-Austronesian origin, provided that they illustrated regular sound correspondences, Dempwolff (1938) posited *kuTa ‘fortress’, but marked it as a Sanskrit loan.

fortune:   luck, fortune

Maranao okorluck, fortune; lucky; fate; specify, limit
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) ukurpower inherent in some possession or some person which/who appears to be charmed or appears to bring good luck
Tiruray ʔukurfate, destiny
Tboli uŋkulgood luck; fortunate
Kayan ukunluck, fortune
Iban ukurfate, destiny, luck
Old Javanese ukurone's portion or lot
Tontemboan ukurfate, destiny
Buli ukurpredict one's fortune from reading the palm of the hand

Almost certainly a loan distribution originating from some non-standard dialect or dialects of Malay. Neither Wilkinson (1959) nor Poerwadarminta (1976) gives ukur in this meaning, but Iban ukur suggests that a similar word may be found in Brunei Malay with the meaning in question.”

fortune:   luck, fortune, fate

Isneg bagiyaʔhappiness, rejoicing
Maranao bagiʔ-anfate
Tiruray bagiʔluck, fate
Malay bahagiagood fortune sent by God
Old Javanese bha gya, bagegood fortune, luck; fortunate, lucky
Javanese bagiahappiness, well-being

Borrowing, ultimately from Sanskrit.

fortune:   profit, gain, fortune, luck

Tontemboan untuŋprofits, gain; victory; prosperity
Maranao ontoŋluck, fortune, blessing
Tausug untuŋprofit, gain
Kadazan Dusun untuŋgain, profit
Kayan utuŋprofits, gains
Iban untoŋprofit; unexpected gain, windfall
Malay untoŋfate, destiny
Bahasa Indonesia untuŋprofit, gain
Simalur untuŋfate, destiny, lot
Toba Batak untuŋgain, profit, fortune
Javanese untuŋlucky; profit, gain
Sasak untuŋluck, fortune, chance
Sangir untuŋgain, profit, fortune, luck
Mongondow untuŋprofit, gain
Kambera utuŋuadvantage, profit, gain
Buli untuŋluck, fortune, profit
Numfor untuŋwindfall, piece of good luck
Kowiai/Koiwai untuŋprofit; to win

Widespread borrowing from Malay.

fortunes:   divine, find by divination, tell fortunes

Tagalog tanóŋquestion; interrogation; inquiry
Iban nenoŋto divine, find by divination (Scott 1956)
Malay tənoŋabstraction; being plunged in thought; absent-minded, as a seer is absent-minded
Sundanese tənuŋclairvoyance (of a magician or soothsayer); prophesying by means of astrology
Old Javanese tənuŋdivining magic (esp. as performed with a cock?)
Javanese tenuŋblack magic; practitioner of black magic
Balinese nenuŋpractice magic, cast spells, prophesy
Sasak tənuŋtell fortunes

Borrowing from Malay.

(Dempwolff: *lapik ‘foundation, 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).

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

fourth, quarter

Malay perapatfourth; branching in four directions
Javanese prapatfourth; quarter
Makassarese parapaʔone fourth
Wolio parapafourth part

Borrowing from Malay

fai    fal    fan    far    fas    fat    fea    fel    fem    fen    fer    fes    fia    fid    fie    fig    fil    fin    fir    fis    fit    fix    fla    fle    flo    flu    foi    fol    foo    for    fou    fra    fre    fri    fro    fru    fry    


frame for holding a coffin:   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’.

fraud:   deceit, trickery, fraud

Tagalog dáyaʔdeceit; fraud; dishonest dealing; dodge; a trick to cheat or deceive
  mag-dáyaʔto cheat, defraud
Bikol dáyaʔdeceit, guile
  mag-dáyaʔto cheat, dupe, fool
Hanunóo dáyaʔsorcery; deceit, fraud
  mag-dáyaʔto cheat, defraud
Agutaynen mag-dayato cheat in a game; to cheat a person
Hiligaynon dáyaʔdeceit, trick, dishonesty
  mag-dáyaʔto trick, to cheat, to deceive
Malay dayaartifice, dodge, way --- usually a tricky way ---of doing something

Borrowing from Malay into Tagalog, and then from Tagalog into Hanunóo, and perhaps other languages.

(Dempwolff: *limbat ‘name of a river fish’)

freshwater fish sp.

Malay limbata catfish: Clarias spp., esp. C. neuhofi
Toba Batak limbata river fish (apparently = si bahut ‘a small edible fish with spines in the mouth’)

Probably a Malay loan distribution. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *limbat ‘name of a river fish’.

(Dempwolff: *kenTuŋ ‘bird clapper’)

frighten:   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’.


Itbayaten palakafrog, toad, tadpole (not found in Itbayat)
Ivatan palakafrog
Tagalog palákaʔfrog
Cebuano palákaʔfrog

Yamada (1966) notes that frogs are not found in Itbayat, thus raising the possibility that this item might be a Tagalog loan. However, Tsuchida et al. (1987) give palaka in the Ivasay and Isamorong dialects of Ivatan, where frogs apparently are found. Reid (1971) gives both Itbayaten and Ivatan palakaʔ, with a final glottal stop not recorded by Yamada (1966) or Tsuchida et al. All-in-all this form is best regarded as a loanword. I am indebted to Alexander Smith for bringing this to my attention.

front; to face

Itbayaten harap-ento face
Casiguran Dumagat harápfront
  mag-harápto face each other
  h<um>arápto turn and face
Ayta Abellan adapto turn so as to face; turn the face in a certain direction
Tagalog haráp ~ haráp-anfront; foreground; facade
  ka-harápopposite; in the front of; face-to-face

Borrowing of Malay hadap ‘position facing, in two senses: 1. being in front of, and 2. presenting oneself before or waiting on’.

fruit:   sour fruit

Aklanon ibaʔtree with sour fruit: Averrhoa bilimbi L.
Cebuano ibaʔtree with sour fruit: Averrhoa bilimbi L.
Maranao ibaʔtree with sour fruit: Averrhoa bilimbi L.
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) ivaʔtree with edible sour fruit
Tiruray ʔibaʔtree bearing edible fruit: Averrhoa carambola L.
Chamorro ibbaʔa tree, Phyllanthus acidus, with sour fruit that makes the lips pucker up

Borrowing into Tiruray and Chamorro from some GCPh language or languages.

fruit:   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.

(Dempwolff: *se(n)tul ‘name of a tree’)

fruit:   tree with edible fruit Sandoricum indicum or Sandoricum koetjape

Itbayaten santola tree (not found in Itbayat?) with edible fruit
Ilokano santóltree with yellowish acidic fruits, eaten salted and dried: Sandoricum koetjape
  pa-nantol-enkind of tall tree valuable for its timber
Isneg santólthe sandal tree, Sandoricum koetjape (Burm. f.) Merr., a meliaceous tree with trifoliate leaves and large, globose, yellowish fruits
Itawis santólsantol fruit (fruit of the Sandoricum koetjape)
Kapampangan santúla fruit and tree: Sandor indicum
Tagalog santólsandor tree and its fruit
Hanunóo santúlthe ketjape or santol tree: Sandoricum koetjape [Burm. f.] Merr.
Maranao santola tree: Sandoricum koetjape
Mansaka santolsantol or kechapi (fruit)
Tiruray santoltree bearing edible fruit: Sandoricum koetjape (Burm. f.) Merr.
Malay səntula lofty tree producing an edible sour fruit: Sandoricum indicum
Old Javanese səntula particular kind of tree with edible fruit: Sandoricum indicum
Balinese sentula tree from whose leaves a much-used medicine is made
Sasak səntultree with sour edible fruit and good timber: Sandoricum indicum
Makassarese sattuluʔtree with sour fruit the size of a tennis ball and bark used medicinally: Sandoricum koetjape

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *se(n)tul ‘name of a tree’, but all Philippine forms appear to be loans from Malay, and this may be true of some forms in western Indonesia as well.

fruit tree, tamarind, Tamarindus indica

Itbayaten sampaloktamarind: Leguminosae, Tamarindus indica Linn.
Tagalog sampáloka tropical tree and its fruit: tamarind
Bikol sampáloka tree producing an edible fruit whose pulp is used in cooking and may also be made into a jam or candy: Tamarindus indicus
Wolio sampalutamarind tree and fruit
Muna sampalutamarind tree; tamarind (used in flavoring meat and fish)

The tamarind tree is native to Africa, and is believed to have reached western India via human transport several millennia before the Christian era. It presumably was introduced to insular Southeast Asia during the Indianization that began some 1,800-2,000 years ago. Madulid (2001) reports that forms related to Tagalog sampálok are found in “many languages” of the Philippines, but I have found only a few examples in the available dictionaries. The Itbayaten term is almost certainly a loan from Tagalog.

fry in fat:   sauté, fry in fat

Ilokano i-gisáto stir fry, sauté
Agta (Eastern) gisáto fry in fat
Tagalog i-gisáto sauté or stew
Agutaynen mag-gisato sauté food in a small amount of oil

Borrowing of Spanish guisar ‘to cook, stew, prepare’.

frying pan

Bontok kawália metal pot (< Ilokano)
Tagalog kawáliʔfrying pan; skillet
Bikol kawáliʔChinese wok
Cebuano (dialectal) kawáli ~ káwaliʔround bottomed skillet with no handle, smaller than the kawaɁ
Maranao kawaliʔskillet
Malay kualiwide-mouthed cooking pot

Borrowing, probably from Malay before the sound changes that reduced prepenultimate vowels to schwa and deleted schwa before vowels and glides.

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