Thursday, January 21, 2010

How To Use The Word "Bah"

Dear Sabahan friends, I'm sure most of you experienced this before - met a Peninsular person, and once he or she knows you're from Sabah, they'll go "Oh, Sabah! Apa khabar bah?"

Not only it makes you cringe, but you'll also feel like dying out of embarrassment for that person as you answered an OK with a plastic smile.

Seriously Peninsular people, don't ever, EVER try to use the word "bah" on a Sabahan if you don't know its lexical usage. You won't sound funny, smart nor endearing. You'll just sound like a total idiot.

So just in case you still insist to be a smart Alec when meeting a Sabahan for the first time, let me at least save you the embarrassment by showing you how to say it right.

1. Bah, as an exclamation that means okay.
e. g. Wanna go have lunch? - Bah! Let me get my wallet first.

2. Bah, as a conjunction that has the same usage and meaning as so.
e.g. Bah, what time shall we leave then?

3. Bah, as an interjection:
(i) to stress about a particular object, situation or an imperative statement.
a) "Can't you see the word?! Ini bah, ini!" she said to him while practically poking the laptop screen.
b) Cepat sikit bah!

(ii) to show displeasure or anger.
e.g. Bah, kau jangan macam-macam sana. You fuck up and your ass is mine.

(iii) to introduce the subject first, before completing the sentence in a subject-verb-object form.
e.g. Si Ali (subject) bah, dia (subject) selalu korek (verb) hidung (object) while driving, kan?

As you can see, the word bah can be used regardless what language you want (Bah, voulez-vous coucher avec moir ce soir?).

I might missed out more ways to use it, so if you're a Sabahan accent grammarian, be my guest.

I think this would suffice though, for you Peninsular people so that you won't look like a douchebag when talking to us the first time.

And can you see clearly now how you butchered the "Apa khabar bah" sentence?

It's okay. We understand. We'll just try not to laugh.


Asrih Arif said...

This is so freaking hilarious... and freaking precise as well.. no wonder u're destined to teach LANGUAGE...

Rungitom said...

Just like a region in Japan that put the word "Bai" in the end of their speaking sentences. Peninsularian just don't get the meaning if they don't experience for themselves living in Sabah. Good thing you are here to teach em how to use it properly. I give you a "Like" *thumbs up*

Santafire said...

I had a memo of BAH usage some looong time ago; i dont know where it is now. its so hilarious XD

@rungitom: Bai is part of a tense; it depends on what word that need to have Bai at the end.

Rungitom said...

I see, haha... I learned that from BECK :P

nc said...

"ko bah.."

ngam ka sa guna tu?

Elvie Dechantal said...

I stumbled upon something very recently. Someone stated this 'duduk di sabah bah la'. How awkward and out of place!

Joan said...

bulih bah kalau kau..

i am so gonna share this post with my other west msian friends

pameladaine said...

me too~!

chris_lim said...

Bah, u lady marmalade? :P

Earthy Emily said...

You really represent what I feel. Lol! And I really don't like d tv commercial, "ko pigi mana bah?" Really out of place.

Rungitom said...

Ah haha, that government website commercial.. that is soo out of track~ XD

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Asrih Arif: I'm just applying whatever knowledge I've learnt for the past 6 years :D

Rungitom: I hope they really can learn! XD

Santafire: Actually I tried to find on the net about this usage of the word coz i think i stumbled upon it before...but maybe that was in the bulletin post of the extinct Friendster...heh

nc: ok bah...haha

Elvie Dechantal: berdarah telinga o kan dengar...haha

Joan: yeah, you do that! (ada juga org tolong promote2..kekee)

pameladiane: yay!

chris_lim: haha! i wish!

Earthy Emily: The gov commercial pun buduh kan, nda p refer with a sabahan 0_o

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Amanda, okay, we Canadians don't say that, ha ha...we'll just say, 'hi, how you doin'?
Thats okay, right? Ha ha.
Have a great weekend, Lee.

Blue Belle said...

hahahaa....a kelantanese fren of mine used to say dis;

ko pigi mana bah??lama suda sia tunggu ko bah, lama botul ko bah, marilah kita pigi makan bah..lapar suda sia bah....n i was like 'am i talking to a sheep???embaaaaaah..embaaahhh...its funny though..

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Uncle Lee: Now isn't that so proper? yes!

Blue Belle: Buduh o kan dorang, they thought EVERY word has to end with 'bah' 0_o

Hunky said...

Wicked! Hahaha, that was very informative.. I'm one of the douchebags that go "sabar bah" everytime i meet a sabahan for the 1st time. haha. Sorry bout that.

Hey there amanda, it's been a while since I've updated my blog. But now I'm back.. Feel free to visit my blog and comment if you like my recent post.. Thanks =)

♥ AnnieMing ♥ said...

Remember there is an ad on TV *forgot which one already* there's a lady in KadazanDusun traditional costume asking someone "Pigi mana bah?".

Tuuuuukkk ~~~ koi.

Mohammed Fairuz bin Jainee said...

I really luv when sheep getting involve in education matters (Illustration of yours) ^_^ Those freak just wanna mess with us... They could bring it if their have so much guts here hehhehe (evil laugh)

MeMeR said...

I think I only used this word once to Mark. But, on behalf of the peninsular people...Sorry !!hehe

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Hunky: why am i not surprised? :p. btw, yeah, i did drop by for more of your love stories. keep up with the awesome poems :)

Mohammed Fairuz bin Jainee: u like the sheep huh :D

AnnieMing: good thing i've never watched that ad -abis tu sy hentam nanti...haha

MeMer: Apology accepted. oh btw, i dont mind you taunting Mark :D

Eric said...


Rungitom said...

What are you trying to say in those capslock Eric?