Indonesia Figurative Language: Metonimia


Alike English, In Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia Language) we do also have Figurative Language which called as Majas. But, this time, I will going to discuss about Metonimia only, one of most often Figurative languages used by Indonesian in daily.

Majas Metonimia (Figurative Languages – Metonimia) is one of Indonesian Figurative Languages which using characteristic or label from a thing in order to replace the thing. the way of using this figurative language is by using it’s name for other things. it could be brand, any specific traits or attribute.

For Example:
– My father went to Singapore by Garuda.
Garuda in here isn’t mean Eagle (English for Garuda) but it refer to Indonesia airplane’s name.

– I drink Aqua
Aqua in here mean water but specifically it refer to Aqua as one of Mineral Water Brand. Most of the Indonesian, no matter what type of mineral water brand they buy or drink , they will still refer / associate it with Aqua brand.
Last time when I was in food court, I heard someone said “Hey, give me the Aqua.” when I took a look for the brand, it was Cleo (one of Mineral Water brand).

This kind of thing not happen for drink but also instant noodle.
If you are Indonesian, I sure you know Indomie, this instant noodle brand, even my Taiwanese friend knew about this brand (One of most famous brand).
Whenever you ordered instant noodle in WARKOP (something like kopitiam in Malaysia or Singapore), people often to say Indomie, although the instant noodle that served isn’t Indomie brand perhaps Sarimi or Mie Sedap (others Indonesian Instant Noodle Brand)

When It comes to motorbike, Indonesian like to called Honda instead of Sepeda Motor (Motorcycle / Motorbike). The reason is simple because Honda was the first Motorbike brand that entered Indonesia Market.

Do you have this kind of Figurative Language in your languages?


  1. amy3108 · May 20

    Yes we have also here in the Philippines.

  2. tueysaloewa · May 20

    majas hiperbola ala si mamah : “kau, kerjamu keluyuran saja, pergi hitung rumahnya orang satu kampung dari siang sampe malam”. pada kenyataannya saya cuma tidur siang di rumahnya opa dan baru bangun pas magrib. ^_^😀

  3. Serlie · May 20

    OMG are u indonesian?? Me too!! Nice to meet u🙂

  4. Ami · May 20

    I was born and lived in medan for 23 years . Now i’m living in batam island. Bahasa anak medan emang sudah terkenal mendunia……. buat kangen dan lucu dengarnya . Anakku kalau diba was mudik , pasti banyak bengongnya … krn byk kosa kaat yang mrk tdk mengerti . But i love medan city ….

    • azurro4cielo · May 21

      It’s one of Medan culture.
      We used to speak in mixed languages.

  5. humbledaisy1 · May 20

    My mom is a retired French teacher so she used a lot of French figurative sayings. However, she is very old – 83 – so when I tried to use them when studying in France – they were all really out of date! I was using old lady talk!

  6. zskyfish · May 21

    Years ago, when I was a kid in USA, everyone in the south called soft drinks Coke most of the time–whether it was Coca-cola or Pepsi or RC Cola. I even thought of grape and orange soft drinks as grape coke and orange coke. This is not true anymore. Nowadays if you ask for Coke they might say–we only have Pepsi. That is the only example I know of, I wonder if anyone knows of anymore.

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