Addressing People in Javanese

Addressing Women in Javanese

  • dik = abbrev. adik, younger sibling used for addressing a young gal
  • jeng = polite form of dik abbrev. ajeng to address a single lady younger than you
  • di ajeng = younger sister
  • mbak = abbrev. mbakyu from simbok ayu, beautiful woman = older sister
  • ni mas = (no longer in use) from nini emas – golden lady
  • ni ken = (no longer in use) nini kenyo – lady lady (pesindens love this name)
  • mbok from simbok = mother
  • biyang = mother (crude)
  • ibu, bu = mother
  • bulik = (still in use) ibu cilik – small mother – aunt younger than your parents
  • bu de = (still in use) ibu gede – great mother – aunt older than your parents, sometime to address a grandmother
  • mbah putri = from simbah putri, grandmother
  • eyang putri = polite form for mbah putri
  • tante = Aunt, for Dutch-speaking Indonesians
  • zus = zusje, sister / younger sister, for Dutch-speaking Indonesians
  • den ajeng = raden ajeng (from low to high – a young-aged mother)
  • den ayu = raden ayu (from low to high – an elderly lady)
  • Gusti Bandoro Raden Ayu – if you are looking for a big tip, call a lady this way
  • ndoro jeng = abbrev. Bandoro Raden Ajeng – granddaughter of the Sultan / Sunan
  • Gusti Putri = Princess daughter of the Sultan
  • Gusti Ratu = Queen wife of the Sultan
  • Mbok Ratu or Nini Ratu = the Sultan addressing his queen

The villagers (orang desa) have another set

  • nduk from genduk (daughter) for a young gal
  • the man of the house will introduce his wife as mbokne si genduk = the mother of my daughter

Addressing Men in Javanese

  • mas = “gold” – to a man older than you
  • kang or kakang =  to an older  close friend
  • kangmas or kakangmas = polite form of the above
  • dik, adi =  to a man or boy younger than you
  • dimas or adimas = “golden younger brother” – polite form to a man or boy younger than you
  • broer, broertje – Dutch-speaking Javanese for brother and younger brother
  • man or paman = “uncle” – to uncle figure
  • oom or om = to uncle or uncle figure for Dutch-speaking Javanese
  • oompye = to uncle, younger than your father
  • wo, siwo, wak = to uncle, older than your father
  • pak, bapak, bopo = “father” – freely used to anyone male older than you, or anyone having a better position than you. (Bopo is no longer used, except Bopo Adam dan Ibu Kowo – Adam and Eve, or in wayang/ketoprak dialogue)
  • mbah, simbah, simbah lanang, simbah kakung = grandfather
  • eyang, eyang kakung = polite form of grandfather
  • mbah buyut, simbah buyut, eyang buyut kakung = great grandfather
  • den or raden = the great grandson of the Sultan/Sunan. (You never lose this title, their son and grandson keep this title)
  • denmas or radenmas = the grandson of the Sultan and Sunan, Their children become raden
  • bandoro raden mas = the son of the Sultan/Sunan. Their children become radenmas. Bandoro Raden Mas become Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung when they get a position in the palace
  • Kanjeng Sinuwun, Sampeyan Dalem, Panjenengan Dalem = Javanese addressing the Sultan or Sunan

Crude forms used in the village

  • tole = son (the t is a hard t, like the bushman language in Africa) from kontol (male sexual organ) from father to son, opposite of genduk
  • bapakne si tole, is a village woman calling her husband
  • mbokne si tole, is a village man calling  his wife (somehow mentioning her real name is taboo)
  • cung from kacung = little boy, errand boy (rarely used). Used a lot during Dutch government. Derogatory. Still used between really close friends

You must remember though, the ones written are from Central Java / Jogja area, not Banyumasan or Surabayan — they have another set.

Source: Eyang Kendro – KKendro [at] AOL.COM