Indonesian Slang : The Basics

The usage of slang isn’t uncommon in a day to day life of a typical Indonesian. To be completely honest, formal language is used only if the situation requires it and moreover we Indonesians love our slang. I don’’t know if that’’s a good or a bad thing but it sure does make our language more colorful. To help you non-Indonesian, here is the lowdown on the most used Indonesian slang.

Gue & Lo

In formal Indonesian, Gue is saya or aku and Lo is kamu. In English, it’s I for the former and you for the latter. You would hear both of these word a lot in day to day conversations. There’s no exact spelling of both words because there are people who just simply use the letter g and l or gw and lo.


Lebay is used to refer to everything and anything that’s over or excessive. To be honest, you could use lebay for almost anything but usually people would use it in a sarcastic comment or as an insult.


The word rempong refers to someone or something that is fussy.


In all honesty, nobody really knows who created and when was the word galau first used. The word itself refers to a situation where you’re feeling all over the place and unsure. However, note that people use this term very loosely. If you’re heartbroken then you’re feeling galau. If you can’t decide which shoes to wear for a party tonight, then you’re also galau.

Bego or Tolol

Both bego and tolol is an insult used if someone is or doing something stupid.


Apparently the word kepo is a loan word from the Hokkien Chinese word kaypo. It means someone who is a busybody.

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