Indonesian Etymology Database


Kamus Moderen Bahasa Indonesia / by Sutan Mohammad Zain / Published by Yayasan Dharma (year unknown, c.1950?)

Compiled by Eric Boehlke

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Ar Arab Arabic It Italia Italian Md Madura Sd Sunda
Bg Bugis Jk Jakarta Mnk Minangkabau Skr Sanskerta Sanskrit
Bld Belanda Dutch Jp Jepang Japanese Pars Parsi Farsi Tam Tamil
Bt Batak Jw Jawa Javanese Port Portugis Portugese TH Tiong Hoa Chinese
Hind Hindu Kw Kawi (Jawa Kuno) Ancient Javanese Pr Perancis French Yn Yunani Greek
Ing Inggeris English Lt Latin S Siam Thai  


  1. The words listed indicate the last foreign stop before Bahasa Indonesia, not the words' complete etymology. If an Indonesian word is not found, it probably came from Malay (Melayu).
  2. This listing is from circa 1950, so naturally newer technical terms are not added.
  3. I have never seen any etymology in a modern Indonesian dictionary. I believe this knowledge is lost or unknown to most Indonesians.
  4. Knowledge of Indonesian etymology will help learners of Malay. In Malay, many words are the same as Indonesian but there will be nothing from Dutch or Javanese.
  5. An attempt has been made to replace old spelling (ejaan lama) that the dictionary was written in with new spelling (ejaan baru).
    New Old
    C TJ
    D DJ
    OE U
    Y J
  6. Words in which the apostrophe is used are the vestiges of former spelling system: the apostrophe is used to mark the glottal stop. It apparently represents the Arabic letter 'ain. I don't think modern speakers of Indonesian make this distinction in pronunciation.
  7. Thanks to Mrs. Cuei of Bandung for the data entry.

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