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Jeng in the Indonesian Language

Halo semuanya. Ketemu lagi dengan saya, Iman Prabawa. This time, I want to talk to you about the meaning of the word [jeng] in the Indonesian language, and as always, we will watch scenes from movies where the word [jeng] is spoken.

Jeng in the Indonesian Language

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.

     Read Also: Nona in the Indonesian Language

So, let's talk about this.


Jeng in the Indonesian Language

[Jeng] is short for [diajeng]. It comes from the Javanese language, one of the indigenous languages in Indonesia. [Jeng] is an honorific title to address to a woman, just like [mba], but [jeng] is more intimate. 

     Read also: Mba in the Indonesian Language

If you are a woman and you are called with the honorific title [jeng], it means the person who's calling you felt that she is very close with you. She honors you. [Jeng] is usually used by women to address other women. In Jakarta, [jeng] is usually used by women of the high class to address between them.

[Jeng] is not to be confused with [jeng jeng], like in this comic below.


[Jeng] and [jeng jeng] have a different meanings. [Jeng jeng] is usually used to accentuate something, usually used when telling a story, and then you want to emphasize the climax part.

[Jeng jeng] is like the sound of a guitar when being strummed, and it sounded like the clip below.


In this short clip, it has 3 jengs, but then it's the same. That's how you pronounce [jeng jeng], which is different than the pronunciation of the honorific title [jeng].


Examples of Jeng In Use

In this section, I will gather examples that I found from movies, youtube videos, comics, and whatnot where the word [jeng] is spoken.

The first scene we are about to watch is taken from Devil On Top (2021). Let's watch the scene below.


Conversation from the scene with English translations is as follows.

Waitress: Silakan. Pesen apa? (What can I get you?)

Rudi: Bentar ya, mba. (Just a second, miss.)

Waitress: Mba? Kuno! Kurang milenial. Panggil jeng. (Mba? It’s so old-fashioned! Not hip. Call me, jeng.)

Rudi: Iya, jeng. (Okay, jeng.)

Boni: Aku kek biasa, ya. (I’ll have the usual.)

Richard: Nasi goreng satu ya, mba. (I’ll have Nasi Goreng.)

Waitress: Iya. (Okay.)

Angga: Aku bebek bakar, ya. (I’ll have a roast duck.)

Waitress: Oke, mas. (Okay, sir.)

Rudi: Saya sama kaya Boni aja. (I’ll have exactly like what Boni ordered.)

In this scene, the waitress wanted to be called with an honorific title [jeng] because she likes him. It's unusual and rare that a man called a woman with an honorific title [jeng]. Usually, men just use [mba] instead of [jeng] to address women.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Silakan] is used when you want to let somebody do something politely.

[Pesen] is the colloquial form of [pesan] = to order. [Pesen apa] is short for [mau pesen apa?]. [Mau pesan apa?] is usually asked by waiters or waitresses in a restaurant.

[Panggil.. ] is usually used when you want someone to call you something. For example, My name is Iman Prabawa, and I want other people to call me [iman] then, I will say, [panggil saya Iman]. [saya] = I.

The second example is taken from Wedding Proposal (2021). Let's watch the clip below.


Conversation from the scene with English translations is as follows.

Sari: Jeng Hesti. Apa kabar, jeng? (How are you, Mrs. Hesti?)

Mr. Pras’ Wife: Baik. Sendirian? (I’m good. Are you come here by yourself?)

Sari: Ya, gini lah jeng. Namanya juga ndak punya pasangan. (Well, yeah. Since I don’t have any partners.)

Mr. Pras’ Wife: Kalah dong sama truk gandengan? (Really? Even a truck has a trailer.)

Mr. Pras: Ibu. (Oh, honey.)

Sari: Ya udah kalo gitu, permisi dulu ya. (All right then. I’ll see you guys later.)

In this scene, Sari addressed Mr. Pras' Wife with the honorific title [jeng]. In Jakarta, women who use [jeng] to address other women are usually from high-class society. But, that's not the case in Jogjakarta.

Vocabulary From the Scene

[Apa kabar?] is used to ask about someone's health or situation. The most common reply for this type of question is [baik] like in this scene.

[Sendirian] = alone.

[Ya, gini lah] in literal translation is [yeah, just like this].

[Ya udah kalo gitu] is usually used to end a conversation.

[Kalo] is the colloquial way of saying [kalau] = if.

So, I guess this will wrap up this article, and if I find another scene where the word [jeng] 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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