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Updated: 6/21/2020


Austronesian Comparative Dictionary


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we    wh    wi    wo    wr    

(Dempwolff: *hantaj)

wait for

Tagalog antáywait for (something or someone)
Ngaju Dayak tantaithe one awaited; be awaited (someone's arrival, because food has been prepared in expectation of the visit)
Iban antiʔwait for, lie in wait for
Malay anti-antiwait a moment
Malay n-antiawaiting
Malay t-antiwait for, expect
Simalungun Batak antiwait
Sundanese ŋ-antiwait for (of a superior awaiting an inferior)
Old Javanese antiwait, stay, remain, live, wait for, expect
Javanese antiexpect, wait for; keep reminding someone
Balinese antiexpect, wait for
Sasak anti(h)wait for, await, expect, anticipate
Buginese mattiwait

The forms in western Indonesia apart from Ngaju Dayak tantai are related, although some may be loans from Malay. Tagalog antáy and Ngaju Dayak tantai are assumed to resemble one another and the other forms cited here as a result of chance.

wall:   enclosing wall

Banjarese ataŋfence enclosing a graveyard
Paiwan qacaŋpigpen
Kanakanabu ʔacáŋəstone walls
Saaroa ʔacáŋəwalls of pigpen

want:   say, want to

Moa iwrasay, want to
Wetan iwrato say; think, presume, wonder
Kei iwarnews, tidings, rumor
Buli iwawant, wish; make, do; an old word that still occurs in sailing language

The resemblance of Buli iwa to the forms in CMP languages probably is due to chance. The CMP forms may be related, but it is not clear that a form found only in Moa, Wetan and Kei must derive from a PCMP etymon.

(Dempwolff: *qaŋet)


Banjarese haŋatwarm, hot
Iban aŋathot, feverish, angry, heat
Malay haŋatheat, esp. artificial heat, in contrast to solar heat (panas)
Sundanese haneutwarm
Old Javanese (h)aŋetwarmth (less than panas), pleasant warmth
Javanese aŋetwarm, hot, not yet cool(ed); lukewarm
Balinese aŋethot, warm, tepid (water)
Sasak aŋettepid, lukewarm; make warm, warm up

A late innovation in western Indonesia. Dempwolff's attempt to relate these forms to Sa'a maŋo 'breathe', Tongan ʔaŋoʔaŋo '(of a vessel which has had liquid in it, or the liquid itself) absolutely empty, absolutely dry', Samoan maŋo 'dry, dry up' (< *ma-Raŋaw) is unconvincing.


Wolio banuiwash, wash up (dishes)
Leti wanuwash the hands


Javanese isah-isahwash, rinse
Balinese iŋsahwash rice, put through water
Buruese isa-hwipe
Gitua isa-isawash, things washed

(Dempwolff: *lu[s]aw ‘to rinse off’)

wash off:   rinse wash off

Tagalog lusáwmelted; diluted; liquefied; fluid; liquid
Tagalog ma-lusáwto melt, to become liquefied
Toba Batak maŋa-luso-iclean something by rinsing

Apparently a chance resemblance. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *lu[s]aw ‘to rinse off’ (ausspülen).

(Dempwolff: *Teŋuk ‘to watch’)

watch:   to watch

Malay teŋokto watch
Javanese ṭəŋuk-ṭəŋukto sit around idly

Chance. Dempwolff (1938) posited ‘Uraustronesisch’ *Teŋuk ‘to watch’ (zuschauen), but the Malay form that he cites as təŋuk is given by Wilkinson (1959) as TEŊO, with a non-corresponding mid-front vowel. Even if this comparison could be justified, its extremely limited distribution among languages that are known to have been in an intense borrowing relationship for centuries would render it valueless as evidence for the lexicon of any early Austronesian proto-language.

wave back and forth

Nias hifahang loosely, fit badly, shake, tremble, wobble, totter
Waropen ifaswing or wave back and forth
Arosi iha-ihaquiver, as tops of trees

wave:   swing, wave

Hanunóo biyáwswinging afar
Iban biauwave about, wave to someone; wave a fowl over a person or thing as a minor rite

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weak, slow

Kankanaey baflasweak, feeble, faint; slow, tardy
Ngadha bharaweak, exhausted; careless, lazy

(Dempwolff: *kemba ‘to be weak’)


Javanese kembainsipid; without spirit
Samoan ʔopaweak, of body; ignorant in making a speech (Pratt 1984)

Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed *kemba ‘to be weak’.

(Dempwolff: *lawlaw ‘weak, feeble’)

weak, fragile

Tagalog lawlawdefeat
Javanese loloLook at that! (said out of dissatisfaction with something)

Dempwolff cited these forms in support of Uraustronesisch *lawlaw ‘weak, feeble’ (Schwachsein). However, I find no Tagalog form with the meaning given, or anything close to it in any modern dictionary of the language, and the whole comparison is best treated as a product of chance.

(Dempwolff: *lemuk ‘weak’)

weak:   tender, weak

Malagasy lémukahaving the upper lip sunk in
Malay ləmukmild (of water)
Toba Batak lomukweak, tender

Malay lemuk, cited by Dempwolff, does not appear in any source I have been able to consult. The remaining part of this comparison is best considered unconnected. Dempwolff (1938) reconstructed Uraustronesisch *lemuk ‘weak’.

(Dempwolff: *lataq ‘weakness, debility, faintness’)

weak nerves

Tagalog latáʔsoftness, flabbiness
Manobo (Agusan) le-lataanxiety about something; to be anxious to do or see something
Malay latahparoxysmal neurosis; a peculiar local disease with paroxysms provoked by some unexpected event, startling, but often quite trivial; these paroxysms are often mimetic and seem due to suggestion; the disease seems of sexual origin, is found only among adults, and is accompanied usually by obscene conduct or language while the paroxysms last
Old Javanese latahbewildered, perplexed, dumbfounded
Javanese lataha mental disorder found in certain lower-class women past middle age, characterized by involuntary compulsive utterance of obscenities, parodying of others’ actions, or other socially or morally offensive behavior
Balinese lataillness, mental illness

Dempwolff compared the Tagalog, Malay and Javanese forms and posited Uraustronesisch *lataq ‘weakness, debility, faintness’ (Schwäche). However, to include Tagalog latáɁ in this comparison seems little short of absurd. So far as we can determine from the evidence, then, this remarkable neurological/mental disorder, for which Java is famous among anthropologists, is a purely local development that may have originated in Java, where the extreme emphasis on courtesy and restraint may well trigger reactions in some individuals who carry an unconscious resentment of the social strictures under which they must live their lives.


Balinese bunciŋbride, bridegroom, bridal pair
Balinese bunciŋ-aŋbe brought together in marriage by the parents
Sasak bunciŋmarry
Makassarese buntiŋbride, bridegroom; wedding feast
Bimanese βuntibride, bridegroom
Numfor bukmarry

Bimanese βunti and Balinese bunciŋ are assumed to be loans from Makassarese. The similarity of Numfor buk to these forms is attributed to chance.

wedding, to marry

Maranao kawiŋwed; wedding; betrothed; husband, wife
Manobo (Western Bukidnon) kawiŋof a bride and groom, to enact the ceremony of exchanging rice which completes the marriage formalities
Mansaka kawinto hold a wedding ceremony
Mansaka kawin-in-into be betrothed; to be engaged
Tiruray kawiŋto perform the wedding ceremony on a couple
Mapun kawinto perform the wedding ceremony; to put on a wedding celebration
Yakan mag-kawinto marry, have a wedding
Yakan pag-kawin-anwedding (the place of the celebration)
Tausug mag-kawinto solemnize a marriage
Tausug kawinto solemnize a marriage
Ida'an Begak kawinto marry (people), crossbreed (trees); said to be a Malay loan
Malay kawin ~ kahwinmarriage, wedlock

Borrowing from Malay. Wilkinson (1959) suggests that this may ultimately be a loan from Persian.


Maranao aŋita wedge
Arosi saŋito wedge; a wedge

weed:   to weed

Maranao wawawweed, as in rice field; remove turf
POc wawoto weed; weed; uncultivated land' (Milke 1968)

This comparison, accepted in Blust (1970), is now rejected. The Milke reconstruction confuses POc *fafo 'to weed' with POc *wao 'forest and includes a Motu word, ava, which is unrelated to either etymon. POc *fafo, like Maranao wawaw, derives from PMP *babaw 'to weed (a garden, etc.)'.

well up

Isneg burbúrto spring, produce, cause to issue forth (water)
Hanunóo bulbúgspringing forth, flowing out
Hanunóo bulbúg-anspring, an issue of water from the earth
Aklanon burbúrsemen; sexual fluids
Sika buburoverflow, run out (as blood from a wound)
Kambera bumburuwell up (as water from a spring), arise, appear
Kambera bumburu-bumburu-na na wai la mata-nathe water wells up from a spring

welt:   wheal, welt

Ifugaw abílodinflammation caused by whipping, e.g. the part of a boy's body which is whipped begins to swell and becomes red
Malay bilurwheal; blue streak or stripe on the flesh

wet:   soaking wet

Aklanon bunákwet, damp; to moisten, dampen, wet
Hiligaynon búnakto wet, to dampen
Cebuano búnakwash clothes
Mansaka bonakto wash, as clothes
Tae' bonakwet, soaking wet
Tae' bunakasoaking wet

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wheal, welt

Ifugaw abílodinflammation caused by whipping, e.g. the part of a boy's body which is whipped begins to swell and becomes red
Malay bilurwheal; blue streak or stripe on the flesh


Buginese babbaʔa whip
Chamorro baʔbaʔto spank, to whip

Chance. Buginese babbaʔ derives from *balbal (q.v.).


Yami (Iranomilek) buliwhirlpool, deep eddy
Maranao boliokwhirlpool, swirl
Banggai wuliliwhirlpool
Binukid bulilekwhirlpool

whistle:   shrill whistle or chirrup

Itbayaten wiiwicicada, sound of cicada
Bontok wiwímake a high-pitched whistling sound


Kankanaey beflaspounded white, pounded thoroughly
Ifugaw bola(h)word-base conveying the idea of "white" in the Kiangan area, and of "red" in the other areas of Ifugawland
Cebuano búlaswhite odorous accumulation found under the foreskin
Mansaka borassemen
Mansaka ma-puti-puti yaŋ boras naŋ otawthe semen of a person is a whitish color


Sundanese bodaswhite
Javanese burasexzema-like skin disorder; white spot on the skin
Javanese buras-enhave or get this disorder
Bimanese βurawhite


Malay bulaialbino
Sundanese bul-ebuffalo with a white hide that has a reddish tint showing through
Sundanese budak bulealbino
Javanese buléalbino
Sa'a huhulecataract in the eye


Leti warsawhite (of horse, hair, sand)
Motu paraa bird: white-headed shelldrake
Lau balawhite scars on face or body
Sa'a palalight in color, pale, faded
Arosi barapale in color, as a yellowish variety of coconut

white bird

Tolai barwhite heron
Motu paraa bird: white-headed shelldrake
Maori whara-wharalong plumes of the white heron, worn by chiefs on state occasions.

(Dempwolff: *saksak ‘white’)

white mark

Tagalog saksakblinding white
Malagasy sásakaopen, frank, plain; having a white line on the forehead

Dempwolff (1938) used this comparison to posit *saksak ‘white’, but I am unable to find any Tagalog form of this shape and meaning, and all things considered, it is best forgotten.


Kowiai/Koiwai imathe one who, which
Atayal imaʔwho; anyone

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wide:   open wide

Manggarai bincisplit, separate off, not mix with
Tetun fisito open wide (pushing to one side), e.g. a wound, the eyes, the mouth, etc.; release, unfasten

wind:   stop, of the wind

Casiguran Dumagat enébfor the wind to stop
Balinese enapcease, fall (wind), leave off

wind around

Gedaged bidbidlooped, wound about, convoluted, coiled
Fijian vivito wrap up, as a mat; to bind, as a bandage
Tontemboan wiʔmbitto twist, as sugar palm fibers into a rope

(Dempwolff: *buri)


Tagalog búlipolish (substance)
Toba Batak burito wash

Chance. Toba Batak buri is assigned to *buRiq 'wash, as the hands'.

with:   take with fingers

Kadazan Dusun ovicarry, convey, bear, bring, take along
Ngadha evipinch, scratch with the fingers
Ngadha vitake with the hand

with:   and, with

Tsou hoand
Saaroa ɬaand
PRuk laand
PSS naand
Buginese naand
Makassarese naelement used to introduce consecutive senses, the connection of words in addition and comparison (the introduction of the second part of a comparison); and

The three Formosan forms almost certainly are cognate, and may point to PAn *Na. However, uncertainty concerning a possible Rukai-Tsouic subgroup, and the unknown history of borrowing between Rukai and Tsouic make such a reconstruction premature. In any case, the similarity of the South Sulawesi words to these is probably best treated as a product of convergence.

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woman, female

Subanon glibunwoman
Tiruray libuna female
Tiruray fe-libu-libun(of women) dressed up in one’s best clothes and ornamentation
Blaan (Koronadal) libunwoman
Bintulu liɓuna man’s or woman’s sarong

(Dempwolff: *pa(n)caŋ ‘piece of wood’)

wooden implement

Tagalog pásaŋa well-adjusted wedge
Tagalog mag-pásaŋto wedge; to put in a wedge
Tagalog pásaŋto go into or enter through a narrow passage
Malay pancaŋpile; stake; sea-mark; small mooring post; short wooden spike driven into the ground
Fijian i vasasharp piece of wood

On the basis of this comparison Dempwolff (1938) posited Uraustronesisch *pa(n)caŋ ‘piece of wood’. The Fijian form does not appear in Capell (1957), and the whole set is best treated for now as a collection of unrelated forms.

worm:   Palolo worm

Hawu etuworm
Bugotu oduPalolo viridis
Nggela onduPalolo worm, cooked and eaten
Kwaio odupalolo worm; year; span of a year
Lau ʔoduseaworm, Palolo
Arosi oguPalolo sea worm; the month of October in which it appears

(Dempwolff: *uDay 'worm')


Tagalog úlayintestinal worm; tapeworm
Banjarese luaiworm
Tongan ulepenis

Chance. Dempwolff (1938) assigned the Tagalog form to *uDay 'worm', but his comparison does not appear to be justified.

worm sp.

Itbayaten ipetintestinal worm
Nias ifo-ʔifo-mealworm, bug
Paiwan sa-sipetjworm sp. found in millet beer

(Dempwolff: *awas)

worn out

Tagalog awásdismissed, dispersed (of students or office workers at dismissal time); deducted, subtracted, discounted
Malagasy avato weed
Malay hausreduction in size through wear or friction. Of iron being eaten away by rust; an old bull's horns being worn away, etc.
Toba Batak aosworn out, as a coin the features of which are no longer recognizable; also of tools and implements

One of Dempwolff's more problematic comparisons, Toba Batak aos appears to be a loanword from Malay, and the similarity of the Tagalog and Malagasy forms purely a matter of chance.

(Dempwolff: *sambaq ‘reverence, adoration’)

worship, veneration

Tagalog sambáworship; homage; veneration; sacred reverence; adoration
Malagasy samba-sambaa word uttered in wishing a blessing on the commencement of anything new (especially on eating the first fruit of the rice crop)
Malagasy samba-samba-inato be blessed by the utterance of the word samba-samba
Wayan (mata ni) savasacred area of a clan or kin group; people go there in times of misfortune to ask the guardian spirits (ancestors) to help
Fijian sava ~ savasavaa temple

Dempwolff (1938) used this comparison (minus the Wayan entry) to reconstruct *sambaq (doublet (*sembaq) ‘reverence, adoration’. However, the Tagalog and Malagasy words are clearly borrowings of Malay səmbah ‘obeisance; gesture of worship or homage; speech accompanied by such a gesture’, and the similarity of the Wayan and Fijian forms to these is best attributed to chance.


Yami (Iranomilek) abiwound, cut, scar
Bidayuh (Bukar-Sadong) abiorifice of wound
Ngadha abicut large wounds with a paraŋ

woven container

Bontok ʔəpəna woven, basin-shaped sleeping hat
Kankanaey epenpad, for instance a leaf spread inside the pot in which rice is boiled, anything spread in a basket to stop a gap, etc.
Toba Batak omponwoven sack used for rice

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Ifugaw budbúdgeneral term for bundle, e.g. a bundle of firewood, of canes; not applied to a bundle of rice ears (botók); however, if the rice bundle is smaller than ordinary in a certain area it is called budbúd
Hanunóo budbúdwrapping or binding of something
Aklanon búdbudwind up; spindle
Palawan Batak búdbudwrapping of string to hold projectile point on weapon
Cebuano budbúdwind string, wire, strips, etc. around something or into a ball; coil, spoolful

The Hanunoo, Aklanon and Cebuano forms reflect *bejbej, and Palawan Batak búdbud probably is a loan from a Central Philippine reflex of the same form. The similarity of Ifugaw budbúd to these words is attributed to chance.

(Dempwolff: *kebut ‘fold together, wrap’)

wrinkle:   fold, wrinkle

Tagalog kubótwrinkle (e.g. of the skin); rumple; corrugation; fold
Tagalog kubótwrinkle; ridge; fold; wrinkled
Fijian kovuto tie up fish, etc. in banana leaves
Tongan kofugarment; clothing; dress
Futunan kofuclothing
Samoan ʔofugarment, dress; clothes; food done up in small bundle of leaves for cooking in a stone oven or for convenience

Dempwolff (1938) posited *kebut ‘fold together, wrap’, but the resemblance of the Tagalog form to the Fijian and Polynesian words seems is best attributed to chance.

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Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition
Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel
2010: revision 6/21/2020
email: Blust (content) – Trussel (production)
D:\Users\Stephen\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\prjACD\prjACD\bin\Debug\acd-n_w.htm

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