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Meaning of Lebay

Lebay is an expression word in Bahasa Indonesia that means to exaggerate something or to make bigger of something, that's, in fact, it's not that big of a deal.

Meaning of Lebay

Lebay is used widely in Indonesia. It started as a slang word, but right now, this word has been used widely, and I think right now has become a colloquial word that is widely used by many generations in Indonesia.

It is used in daily conversation and not used in writing. Lebay actually came from the word [lebih], and you just 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 how the word [lebay] came from. Lebih means more.

Here below, I put a scene from a movie called 3 Dara 2 that used this word in one of their scenes.

If you want to learn Bahasa Indonesia with me, you can just join my group. You can check it out on the About Me page.

Lebay In a Movie Scene

First, let me explain the situation that is happening in this movie that we're going to watch. There is a lady who asks questions to 3 men, and the woman thinks that the answers that the men gave to him are somewhat exaggerating.

Let's watch the scene here.

And below is the transcription of the conversation in that scene with English translation.
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!)

So the woman is thinking that the answers that the men gave are all nonsense and exaggerating.

The other example is when someone is sick, but he's exaggerating that he's now dying. In fact, he just 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!)

And below is the audio.

So I hope you understand the meaning of lebay in Bahasa Indonesia. If you have any questions, just comment down below. Thank you very much, and I'll talk to you soon. Bubye now.

Update #1 (August 24, 2019)
I have just found another scene from a movie! So, let's watch the scene below.

You can see the response of Adi when he said, "Aaaww!" it's so exaggerating, right? He wants to show that he is really surprised by what her wife was doing.

The transcription of the conversation from the scene with English translation is as follows.
Angel: Jadi, ini.. (So, this..) 
Adi: Aaaww! 
Angel: Tunggu! (Wait!) 
Adi: Apaan itu, Angel? Aku terkejut! (What is that, Angel? I’m surprised!) 
Bastian: Lebay banget sih, mas Adi! Telat kali. (Oh please Adi, your response is so exaggerating! It's 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!
That's all for the update this time. If I find another scene from movies, I will update this article again. So bye-bye now.

Update #2 (September 14, 2019)
I have just found another scene from another Indonesian movie, Pacar Jago Dagang, where this word lebay is spoken. Let's watch it below.

The conversation in this scene with English translation is as follows.
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 are you saying?) 
Man: Ngaku aja loe! (Just confessed!) 
Woman: Ih! Enak aja. (No, I’m not!)
Let's take a 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 with 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, then the translation would be.
Being a man, you're exaggerating!
What she meant by saying this sentence is that she felt he was acting too much, maybe kind of like "being a drama queen" in English.

There is a lot of slang and colloquial words and phrases in here such as baper, termehek-mehek, derita loe, kesempatan dalam kesempitan, enak aja. These words and phrases in daily conversation in Indonesia are very common, but maybe you won't see it in your Indonesian textbook.

But if you go to Indonesia, you will hear these words and phrases a lot. I think maybe someday, I will explain the meaning of these words and phrases. That's all for now for the update. Bubye.

Update #3 (October 12, 2019)
I have just found a scene from youtube, that is from Bukatalks. Let's watch down below.

What he said in the scene with English translation is as follows.
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.)
The original youtube video from the scene is down below,

He said the word [lebay] in minute 10:12. So, as you can see, this word has been used quite widely. I think this is all for the update. If I find another scene, I will update this article again. Thank you so much.

Update #4 (August 19th, 2020)
I just found another scene where this word is spoken. This clip below is a web series from youtube channel's Umay Shahab. Let's watch the scene down below.

And 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!)

So, as you can see, she thought that she was exaggerating her own words. And I think this is all for the updates for this article. If I find any, Insya Allah, I will update this article again. Bye now.


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