Lesson 1

Lebay Meaning In Indonesian

Halo semuanya. Apa kabar? Ketemu lagi sama saya, Iman Prabawa. In this article, I want to talk to you about the meaning of the word [lebay] in Indonesian. We will watch scenes from movies, YouTube videos, and whatnot where the word [lebay] is spoken so you can see how Indonesian people use this word.

Meaning of Lebay

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If you are a beginner in the Indonesian language, you can learn step by step with My Lesson Here.

So, let's talk about it now.

Meaning of Lebay In the Indonesian Language

[Lebay] means to exaggerate something or to make bigger of something, which in fact, it is not that big of a deal.

[Lebay] is used in daily Indonesian conversations and not in writing. [Lebay] came from the word [lebih], which means [more], and then you drop the letter [h] in there, and it becomes [lebi], and people in Indonesia like to pronounce it as in English to make it cooler, so it becomes [lebai]. That is where the word [lebay] came from. 

I will give you an example. Someone is sick, and then the person is exaggerating that he's about to die now, when, in fact, that person only got flu.
A: Gue sakit nih! Kayanya gue sekarat dan mau mati deh. (I am sick. I think right now I’m dying! 
B: Loe jangan lebay deh! Loe itu cuma flu doang kali! (Come on! You’re exaggerating! You only got a flu!)
Below is the audio version.


So, as you can see, A is exaggerating his sickness, like he is going to die, which, in fact, is just flu.

How to Pronounce Lebay

Here is how to pronounce the word [lebay] in bahasa Indonesia


Let's now watch examples from movies and whatnot where the word [lebay] is used by Indonesians.

Examples of Lebay In Use

The first example we are about to watch is from a movie called 3 Dara 2 (2018). Let's watch the scene below.


Below is the transcription of the conversation in the scene with English translations.
Female: Oke. Pertanyaan pertama, apa pendapat kalian tentang wanita? (Okay. Here is the first question. What are your thoughts about women?) 
Male 1: Kita harus menghormati wanita. Ha? (We have to respect women. Right?) 
Male 2: Wanita itu adalah tonggak utama peradaban. (Women are the major milestone in civilization.) 
Male 3: Tanpa wanita tidak akan ada kehidupan. (Without women there would be no civilization.) 
Male 1: Dan wanita merupakan mahkota berlian bagi.. (And women are diamond crowns for..) 
Female: Lebay! (You guys are exaggerating!)
In the scene, the woman asks 3 questions to the 3 men, and the woman thinks that the answers the men give him are somewhat exaggerated. That's why she said to them [lebay].

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Pertanyaan] = question.

[Pertama] = first.

[Pendapat] opinion.

[Menghormati] comes from the base word [hormat], and then you add the prefix [me] and suffix [i] to it. [Menghormati] means to give respect.

[Wanita] = [perempuan] = women.

[Mahkota] = crown.


The second example is from a TV series called Tetangga Masa Gitu (2014). Let's watch the clip below.


Below is the conversation from the clip with English translations.
Angel: Jadi, ini.. (So, this..) 
Adi: Aaaww! 
Angel: Tunggu! (Wait!) 
Adi: Apaan itu, Angel? Aku terkejut! (What's that, Angel? I’m surprised!) 
Bastian: Lebay banget sih, mas Adi! Telat kali. (Oh please Adi, you are exaggerating! Too late, you know.) 
Adi: Ya kan biar istri senang, Bas. (I did that to make my wife happy, Bas.) 
Angel: Ini yang bikin kamu pikir aku hamil? (This is what makes you think that I’m pregnant?) 
Adi: Yes!
When Angel takes things from the box, then suddenly Adi screams. He exaggerates his feeling of surprise, and that's why Bastian said [lebay] to Adi.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Apaan itu?] = [apa itu?] is the phrase when you want to know what something is.

[Terkejut] = feeling of surprise.

[Banget] has the same meaning as [sekali], which means [very]. [Banget] is usually used in daily Indonesian conversations, whereas [sekali] is used in a more formal setting. For more about this, you can read my article here, Banget In Bahasa Indonesia.

[Telat] = late.

[Istri] = wife.

[Hamil] = [pregnant].

[Pikir] = think.


The third example is from Pacar Jago Dagang (2017). Let's watch the clip below.



Below is the conversation from the scene above with English translations.
Woman: Loe ngapain sih? Loe ngikutin gue! (What are you doing? You are following me!) 
Man: Eh! Loe itu ngambil pelanggan gue! Sekarang ngga ada lagi yang beli sama gue. (Hey! You took all my customers! Now, nobody wants to buy from me!) 
Woman: Ya, derita loe lah! Lagian, baru putus, baper. Hii, nangis termehek-mehek. Lebay loe jadi cowo! (That's your problem! You just broke up with your girlfriend and now you're getting emotional and crying. You’re exaggerating too much as a man! That's not a man!) 
Man: Loe ngambil kesempatan dalam kesempitan ya? Heh! (You took a change from me! Heh!) 
Woman: Apaan sih loe? (What the hell?) 
Man: Ngaku aja loe! (Just confessed!) 
Woman: Ih! Enak aja. (No, I’m not!)
Let's look at the sentence using [lebay] in this conversation.
Lebay loe jadi cowo!
It's actually hard to translate this sentence into English. She was mad at him because he was following her. [Loe jadi cowo], if translated word for word is,
Being a man.
So, if I translate this sentence word for word, the translation would be.
Being a man, you're exaggerating!
She meant by saying this sentence that she felt he was acting too much. She thought that he was being such a drama queen.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Loe ngapain sih?] is a question you ask when you want to know what somebody is doing. For more about this, you can read my article, How to Say What Are You Doing In Bahasa.

[Loe] = [lo] = [lu] are informal for [Anda] = you. For more about this, you can read my article here, Loe Meaning In Indonesian.

[Ngambil] is the colloquial way of saying [mengambil] = to take something from someone else.

[Ngambil kesempatan dalam kesempitan] is an Indonesian idiom which means to take advantage of a situation.

[Pelanggan] = customer.

[Derita] = suffering.

[Nangis termehek-mehek] is when you are crying so hard.

[Ngaku] is short for [mengaku] = to confess.

[Baper] in this context means get angry. For more about this, you can read my article here, Baper Meaning In Indonesian.


The fourth example is from Bukalapak's YouTube channel. Let's watch the clip below.



Below is what he said in the scene above with English translations.
Kemudian juga, banyak orang bilang Bahasa Indonesia itu lebih mudah dipelajari dibandingkan bahasa apa pun di dunia. Yah, ngga apa pun lah. Itu lebay. Relatif mudah dipelajari. (And also, many people said that the Indonesian language is easier to learn than any language in this world. Not any language because it's somewhat exaggerating. It's easier to learn.)

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Kemudian juga] here is used to connect sentences.

[Orang] = people, because.

[Dipelajari] = to be studied.

[Dibandingkan] = compared to.

[Mudah] = easy.


The fifth example is from a web series, Menggapai Awan (2019), on Umay Shahab's YouTube channel. Let's watch the clip below.


Below is what she said in the scene with English translations.

Alina: Ini kisah 4 orang siswa yang hidupnya didedikasikan untuk  pendidikan. Cie elah! Lebay amat gue! (This is the story of 4 students who dedicate their lives to education. Oh, my God, I'm so exaggerating this!)

As you can see, she thought she was exaggerating her words when she spoke.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Kisah] = story.

[Gue] = [gw] = [w] = [gua] are informal for [saya] = I. For more about this, you can read my article here, Gue Meaning In Indonesian.

[Amat] = [banget] = [sekali] = very.

[Cie elah!] actually has no meaning. It's just an exclamation phrase to make what she says more dramatic.


The sixth example is taken from a movie called Garis Waktu (2022). Let's watch the clip below.


For the conversation with English translations from the scene above, you can read my article, Salah Tingkah Meaning In Bahasa, because I explained in that article, also with vocabulary explanation.


The seventh example is from Hubungi Agen Gue, Season 1, Episode 1 (2023). Let's watch the clip below.


Below is the conversation from the scene with English translations.

Surya: Lydia.

Lydia: Aduh. Apa lagi? (Oh, come on. What is it again now?)

Surya: Well.

Lydia: Apa? (What?)

Surya: Sejak ada ASA Plus kita selalu sama-sama, Lyd. (Since we started ASA Plus, we have always been together.)

Lydia: Iya. (Yes.)

Surya: Eh ni ya. Orang-orang itu sampe bilang kita tu udah kaya anak kembar. Ke mana-mana bareng. (Guys, people said we were like twins because we are always together everywhere we go.)

Lydia: Oke, oke, Sur. Udah, ya? Kamu pergi hanya satu minggu. Ngga usah lebay. Ini drama banget ni orang ni. Udah, yuk? Bye bye. (Okay, Sur. Enough, okay? You only go for one week. Stop exaggerating. He's such a drama king. Bye bye.)

Surya: Oke, drama dikit? (Okay, but just a bit?)

Lydia: Engga, ngga, ngga. Daah, daahh! (No, no, no. Bye, bye!)

Surya: Bye. Muach! (Bye. Mwah!)

Lydia: Muach! Salam buat Ghea. (Mwah! Tell Ghea I say hi.)

Surya: Aku sampaikan. Thanks. Bye. (I will. Thanks. Bye.)

In this scene, Surya is going to take one week's holiday to Maldive. Here Lydia says, "ngga usah lebay" to Surya because she knows Surya well that Surya is going to make this like it is the end of their togetherness, which, in fact, Surya is only going to leave them for a week and then he will come back again.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Aduh] is usually said when someone is in pain, but in this context, [aduh] means like, oh no, oh come on.

[Apa lagi?] in literal translation would be [what again?], and is usually asked by the seller to the buyer for something else that they need to buy.

[Selalu sama-sama] = [selalu bersama-sama] = always together.

[Eh ni ya] in this scene is used by Surya to attract people's attention because Surya is going to tell them something. You can read my article here, Eh Meaning In Indonesian.

[Orang-orang] = people.

[Sampe] is the conversational way of saying [sampai] = until.

[Bilang] = [ngomong] = to tell.

[Tu] is short for [itu] = that.

[Anak kembar] = twins.

[Udah, ya?] = [udah, yuk? ] are questions used to end a conversation.

[Udah] is short for [sudah] = already.

[Engga] = [ngga] = [ga] = no.

[Salam buat (name of a person)] is used when you want to say hi to someone.

     Read also: Asik Meaning In Bahasa

This is all for now. If I find another example, Insha Allah, I will update this article again. Thank you for reading this article, and if you have any questions, you can leave them in the comment section below or send them through DM on my Instagram.

I'll talk to you soon, and bye now.

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