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Mpok in the Indonesian Language

Halo semuanya. Ketemu lagi sama saya, Iman Prabawa. This time, I want to talk to you about the meaning of the word [mpok] in the Indonesian language. Actually, it is a Betawi word, but sometimes you will hear it when you watch Indonesian movies. 

Mpok in the Indonesian Language

As always, we will watch scenes from movies where this word [mpok] is spoken to better understand the meaning.

If you want me to answer your specific questions, you can just join my group. You can check it out on the About Me page.

     Read also: Ngejogrok in the Indonesian Language

So, without further ado, let's talk about it.


Mpok in the Indonesian Language

[Mpok] is a word from the Betawi language. [Mpok] is an honorific title used to address females who are older than us. It's like [mbak] in the Javanese language or [teteh] in the Sundanese language.

In Indonesia, almost every region has its own regional language, and the language in one region differs from the language in the other region. So, it is good for you to know about the meaning of the word [mpok] because if you are in Jakarta, you will sometimes hear people say this word.

You may find variations in the way this word is written. Like, for example, in the picture below that I found.

Mpo in Indonesian

The person who sells this food is a Betawi person, and she writes it like this, without the letter [k] in the end. By the way, nasi uduk and lontong sayur are the names of dishes in Indonesia.


How to Pronounce Mpok

Let's hear how to pronounce [mpok] in the video below.

Next, we will watch scenes from movies where the word [mpok] is spoken.


Mpok in Movie Scenes

The first scene is taken from a movie called Bajaj Bajuri The Movie (2014). Let's watch the scene below.


Conversation in the scene with English translation is as follows.

Woman: Liat noh! Si Soleh baru dibeliin sepeda baru. (Look at him! Soleh just got a new bike.)

Man: Ya elah, mpok! Namanya juga orang baru jual tanah. Warga sini emang gitu. (Oh, come on, mam! His family has just got a lot of money from selling their land. This is the habit of the people in here.)

In this scene, the man, when addressing the woman, he said [mpok]. Even though she is at the same age as you, you can still address her with [mpok] just to be polite.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Liat] is the colloquial form of [lihat] = to see, look.

[Noh] = [itu] = that. [Noh] is a word that Betawi people use. [Lihat noh!] = [Lihat itu!]

[Baru] = new, just. 

[Dibeliin] is the colloquial form of [dibelikan] = bought.

[Sepeda baru] = new bike.

[Ya elah] is an expression spoken when you don't believe what the person is saying, or you think the person is not being serious.

[Namanya juga...] <--- this phrase is usually used when it is common to act like that, or it is natural for someone to act like that. For example, [Yah, namanya juga anak-anak. Wajar aja kalau mereka main melulu. = Yeah, they are just kids. It's normal for them to play a lot.] 

[Emang] is the colloquial form of [memang] = indeed.

The second scene is still from the same movie, Bajaj Bajuri The Movie (2014). Let's watch the second scene below.


Conversation from the scene with English translation is as follows.

Oneng: Eh! Op, op, bang! Op, op, op, op, op. Eh, berenti! Mundur, mundur. Terus mundur, mundur. Op, op, op, op, op, op. Op, op, udeh, udeh. Di sini kan baru pas tuh ame pintu. Tinggal masuk. (Hey, stop! Stop! Stop. Hey, stop! Go back. More and more. Okay, stop! Here is good. You see? Here is lined up with the door.)

Motorbike Rider: Timbang kelewatan dikit, mpok. (I just missed a little, mam.)

Oneng: Nih, nih, nih. Udah ngga usah ngomong. Makasih ye. (Here you are. Don’t say any more. Thank you.)

Motorbike Rider: Iye. (You’re welcome.)

Oneng: He'eh. (Okay.)

In the scene, Oneng was riding a motorbike that in Indonesia we call Ojek. Ojek is a person who is riding a motorbike that you can pay him to take you wherever you want, and then you pay him the fee. As you can see, the motorbike rider addresses her with the word [mpok].

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Op] is short for [stop].

[Berenti] is the colloquial form of [berhenti] = to stop.

[Mundur] = go back.

[Terus] in this context is asking to go back more and more. [Terus] can also mean [then].

[Udeh] is the way the Betawis say [sudah] = already, but in here, [udeh] means [okay, this is enough].

[Ame] is the way the Betawis say [sama] = with.

[Pintu] = door.

[Timbang] in this context here means [hanya] = just.

[Dikit] is the colloquial way of saying [sedikit] = just a little.

[Udah] is the colloquial way of saying [sudah]. [Udah] in the sentence [udah, ngga usah ngomong] means [enough]. She wanted to make sure that the motorbike rider didn't say anything again.

[Iye] is the way the Betawis say [iya] = yes, okay.

[He'eh] means okay. For more about this, you can read this article, He'eh in the Indonesian Language.

The third scene is taken from a movie called Pacar Kontrakan. Let's watch the scene below.


Conversation from the scene above with English translation is as follows.

Caty: Woi! Lo tu mo bunuh diri apa mo nyebrang jalan sih? (Hey! You want to commit suicide or want to cross the road?

Caty’s Friend: Loe kalo mo bunuh diri jangan di jalanan. Noh, di Monas noh! Loe terjun bebas. Dijamin langsung pasti tamat. (If you want to commit suicide, don’t do it on the street. Do it at the Monas! Just free-falling from there, and I guarantee you will surely die.)

Aladin: Heh! Ini kok cewe-cewe yang marah sih? Mustinya gue yang marah, tau ngga? (Hey! Why are you guys the ones who mad at me? Aren’t I the one who suppose to be mad at you guys?)

Caty: Ya jelas gue marah lah. Kalo lo mati, gimana tadi? Gue ditangkep polisi. Ya lo mah enak langsung mampus, lha gue? Mana mobil sewaan! (Yes, of course, I am angry with you. If you were dead, then police would arrest me. It’s easier for you because you’ll be just dead but what about me? Not to mention that this is a rental car.)

Aladin: Gini aja deh, mpok. (Listen, mpok.)

Caty: Gue jauh-jauh dari Amerika lo panggil mpok? (I’m from far away, America, and you just called me mpok?)

In this scene, Aladin addresses Caty with the word [mpok], but then Caty refuses to be called with the honorific title [mpok] because she is not originally from Jakarta.

If you are in Central Java and East Java, there is an honorific title that you can use to address females who are older than you. You address them by adding the word [mba] before their names.

If you are in West Java, there is also an honorific title that you can use to address females who are older than you. You address them by adding the word [teteh] before their names.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Lo] is the informal way of saying you.

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

[Mo] = [mau] = want.

[Apa] in this context, in the sentence is functions like the word [atau] = or. The literal meaning of [apa] is [what].

[Nyebrang] is the colloquial way of saying [menyeberang] = to cross the road.

[Sih] has no meaning. For more about this, you can read my article, Sih in the Indonesian Language.

[Kalo] = kalau = if.

[Noh] is used when you want to show something that is very far away. [Noh] = itu = that, but very far away from the speaker.

[Terjun bebas] = free fall.

[Mustinya] = [seharusnya] = should.

[Marah] = angry.

[Tau ngga?] = [tahu ngga?] = you know what?

[Ditangkep] = [ditangkap] = get arrested.

[Gue jauh-jauh dari Amerika] <--- in this sentence, Caty wants to emphasize that she is not a Betawi person, so stop calling her with a Betawi honorific title [mpok].

I think this is all for now. If you have any questions regarding this topic, you can just leave them in the comment section down below, and I'll be happy to answer your questions. If I find another scene where this word [mpok] is spoken, Insha Allah, I will update this article again.

Thank you for reading this article, and I'll see you soon. Bye now.

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