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These Kadazan Words






The following explanation in English of these Kadazan words is the best attempt by the writer.

Sangop, a type of cucumber

Check out additional explanation of words in Kadazan as and when meanings are verified and inserted here.







  1. Au', No,not. Au' zou mugad. I'm not going.
  2. Badi (tomu) = Market when farmers come together to sell their agricultural produce. Also means 'cannon'. Kanou moi badi. Let's go to the market.
  3. Bonong = Frog. Natagak o bonong. The frogs are gone.
  4. Dogo' = Mine. Kada' indad dogo'. Don't for me.
  5. Gaung = Shirt. Gaung diisai ti? Whose shirt is this?
  6. Hamin = House. Diisai hamin diho? Whose house is that?
  7. Insan = Once. I-insan zou no mobo'os. I'll say once only.
  8. Kakang = Piglet. Horse bit or mouthpiece. Ogumu kakang nu. You have many piglets. 'Kakang' also means a horse' bit.
  9. Longihut = Moss. Natakapan do longihut vatu ngaavi doiti. The stones here are covered with moss.
  10. Manuk = Chicken. Momohi manuk. Buy chicken.
  11. Naansak = Ripe. Cooked. Naansak no tapazas. The papaya is ripe. Naansak no naig. The rice is cooked.
  12. Opuak = White. Kigaung zosido do opuak. She is dressed in white.
  13. Papas = Stream. Maza id somok hamin ku o papas diti.This stream passes near my house.
  14. Sakot = Grass. Otomou sakot doiti. The grass here is green.
  15. Tukad = Ladder. Tukad mooi nombo iho? That ladder goes to where?
  16. Uangan = Increase. Add to. Uangan do vaig. Add water.
  17. Vuhanut = Snake. She is scared of snakes. Ko'osi zosido do vuhanut.
  18. Zioho' = They (Dioho: Theirs). Aino' zioho id daamin. They are not at home.


Definition of the Kadazan words listed here are considered as fairly difficult.

  1. Avandak = Susceptible to tearing
  2. Bosuon = Stupid, Ignorant
  3. Dondom = Ocean
  4. Guguzangan = Mill
  5. Hokos = Mountain Stream
  6. Insudan = Leave
  7. Kungkuvak = Straw
  8. Lolokiton = Port. Pier
  9. Modsoloi = Move
  10. Nontodonon = Source
  11. Oombuvut = Stuffy
  12. Pason = Greeting. Wish 
  13. Songkosuvazan = Alien
  14. Tunduundu' = Heart
  15. Undavatan = Try
  16. Vundaton = Pull forcibly. Wrest
  17. Zoongoon. This is a word usually used with the word "Aiso" (which means 'None or Nothing'), thus, "Aiso zoongoon." This phrase means that it is so noisy that nothing can be heard clearly. It indicates frustration especially by someone not so young anymore or anyone who values silence. The word "zoongoon" appears to originate from the word "kinongoon" meaning 'listen.'
Bambangan, a type of mango found only in Borneo. Its scientific name is mangifera pajang.

This is a fruit Kadazans call "Bambangan." It is sour when green but some types are sweet when ripe. These are preserved as pickles. The Kadazans call this process "monuko".

Getting to understand Kadazan words relating to the different parts of a dwelling house.

  1. Toigi = Column
  2. Puzut = Place underneath a house built on stilt. When built up, this becomes the ground floor.
  3. Hisiu = Floor
  4. Tobon = Wall
  5. Taap = Roofing
  6. Vavazaan = Door
  7. Titihion = Window
  8. Lopuan = Kitchen
  9. Kokonsingan = Gate. Lock
  10. Binalai = Verandah
  11. Kiop taap = (Roof) Eves
  12. Ponimbuuhu = Rafter
  13. Huhuvidon = Purlins
  14. Dumpok = Supporting column
  15. Kohumaka = ? To be verified (TBV)
  16. Toput toigi' = Extension to a house column
  17. Pagabanan = Walling
  18. Hinimput = Room (hinimput toodopon = bedroom)
  19. Pipit = Corner (not related to the Malay word 'burung pipit', meaning sparrow)
  20. Tingguzusan = Roof / Rafter's support (TBV)
  21. Tontom = ? (TBV)
  22. Paku' = Nail
  23. Taansip = Bamboo strips used to support walls made from sago palm branches (kumba).
  24. Sinout = Threaded sago leaves used as roofing material.
  25. Sinasa' = Sago palm leaves tied in a bundle ready for making "sinout."
  26. Kumba = Dried sago palm branches. These were used as walling materials.
  27. Pantaan = Platform which is lower than the floor of a stilt house. The house ladder leans against this platform.
  28. Tukad = Ladder
  29. Pomougan = Place within the kitchen area for washing utensils, hands, feet, etc. Sink in a contemporary house.
  30. Toodopon = Sleeping Place. Bedroom

Kadazan words relating to the human anatomy.
1. Tuhu = Head
2. Tobuk = Hair
3. Mato = Eye
4. Todung = Nose
5. Tohingo = Ear
6. Labas = Forehead
7. Loo = Chin
8. Munung = Lip 9. Diha = Tongue
10. Nipon = Tooth
11. Tatahanan = Neck
12. Bahazan = Shoulder
13. Tipus = Back of the Neck
14. Tatahanan = Neck
15. Hongon = Hand
16. Hunggazan = Forehand
17. Tuntuu = Finger
18. Hindusu = Nail
19. Kangkab = Chest
20. Tizan = Stomach
21. Hikud = Back
22. Tavak = Waist
23. Buhus = Bottom
24 Takod = Leg
25. Poo = Thigh
26. Gontis = Calf
27. Hapap = Foot
28. Kangkalam = Toe
29. Kuhit = Skin
30. Tuhang = Bone
31. Tuat = Blood Vessel
32. Totud = Knee
33. Tampangi = Ankle

Kadazan words relating to water.
1. Vaig = Water
2. Tovud = Spring
3. Hokos = A small mountain stream
4. Pahou = Mountain stream
5. Papas = Stream
6. Bavang = River
7. Daat = Sea
8. Botung = Lake
9. Asam = Rain
10. Bohobou = Dew
11. Tiniis = Droplets
12. Hinuzung = Sewerage. Flow
13. Uvab = High tide
14. Tasak = Low tide
15. Hizud = Flood
16. Hampadang = Headwater during heavy flood. Tsunami
17. Vois = Drizzle
18. Omios = Damp
19. Nagazad = Wet
20. Nodomu' = Drenched
21. Nogogob = Water-logged
22. Noduus = Wet all over.
23. Naasak = Dried up
24. Noponu' = Full
25. Notuu'-an = Drip on
26. Tuuvan = Thirsty

Definition of other Kadazan words.
1. Tombohog = Birds
2. Manuk = Chicken
3. Patu (Patui) = Goose
4. Ansa' = Swan
5. Putik = Duck
6. Punai = Pigeon
7. Kondiu = Eagle
8. Kandavai = White heron
9. Tanda' (tandah) = Wild geese
10. Kuluvak = Water fowl
11. Pilit = Sparrow
12. Tizou = Parrot
13. Kalabau = Buffalo
14. Sapi' = Cow
15. Kambing = Goat
16. Tambang = Deer
17. Gantadon = Antelope
18. Pavus = Barking deer
19. Pahanuk = Mouse deer
20. Sada' = Fish
21. Vogok = Pig
22. Bakas = Wild pig


Kadazan Words that are found in other Language(s)

1. Mija. Meja (Malay)
2. Sada. Esda (Filipino)
3. Tasu. Asu (Filipino)
4. Kuda. Same as the Malay word "kuda"
5. Kulita. Kereta (Malay)
6. Baas. Bas (Malay). Bus (English)
7. Gaja. Same as the Malay word.
8. Kambing. Same as the Malay word.
9. Tansau/Pukot. Pukat (Malay)
10. Limau. Limau (Malay)

Limau in Kadazan also means 'tiger'.

Learn at your own pace. Get hold of a book in the Kadazan language and practice. Continue to learn. Do not get discouraged even if you find it hard at the initial stage.

Learn a Kadazan word a day.

Click HERE for Kadazan phrases.







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