Learn Bidayuh Bukar: Familial Terms

I don’t pretend to be a linguistic expert, nor do I understand the phonetics system. But today we’ll learn some basic Bidayuh Bukar terms. Note that the letter /ŭ/ is pronounced as in “urn” or “baron“. Previous spelling by western priests who first documented the language created the letter /ɯ/.

Father: Amang

Mother: Andŭ

Son: Anak dari (dari to mean male)

Daughter: Anak dayung (dayung to mean female)

Brother/Sister (Older): Umbu’

Brother/Sister (Younger): Adi’

Grandfather: Babeh

Grandmother: Tayung

Great-grandfather: Babeh alak

Great-grandmother: Tayung alak

Grandchildren: Sungkuh

Great-grandchildren: Sungkuh barak

Uncle (parents’ older sibling): Amba dari

Aunty (parents’ older sibling): Amba dayung

Uncle (parents’ younger sibling): Amang bejŭ (bejŭ to mean young or young adult)

Aunty (parents’ younger sibling): Andu bejŭ

Cousin (Older): Umbu’ tungar

Cousin (Younger): Adi’ tungar

Nephew/Niece: Anak buah/ anak adi’ or anak umbu’ (literally means child of sibling)

Father/Mother-in-law: Tuwa’

Son-in-law: Iban dari

Daughter-in-law: Iban dayung

Brother/Sister-in-law (Older): Ingka’

Brother/Sister-in-law (Younger): Ipar

In the past (and to a certain extent today), the Bidayuh do not address each other directly by name unless they happen to be immediate family born within the same generation, eg. siblings, first cousins.

For example, Mary has a son called Peter. Thus, Mary will be called Andŭ Peter, literally the mother of Peter. Children are often used as a point of reference.

If the person happens to be single with no children, they will be called by their first names among those within the same generation, or amba or amang/andu bejŭ.

It is generally forbidden for those one generation younger to call those above them by their first names.


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