Bah!

This is by far the most common phrase for us Sabahans.

Take note that I said “for us Sabahans”.

We use the phrase not only when we speak Bahasa but when we speak English as well.

But one thing that pisses me off the most is when Peninsular Malaysians bastardize the usage of the phrase, thinking that it’s ‘cute’.

What the fuck?

Contrary to popular belief, the phrase ‘bah’ is not totally like that of ‘lah’. Maybe, in a way, it’s the same but different at the same time. In fact, we often use the phrases ‘lah’ and ‘bah’ on the same sentence to soften the meaning such as “Jangan lah bah kau kacau”.

The phrase is mainly use when we emphasize something but it could also be use as a word on its own to mean okay or yes, e.g. “bah, nanti lah aku ambil” or "bah, I’ll take it later”.

Anyways, going back to why I am writing this post, while I understand the fascination, most of us really get pissed when we are subjected to the customary reaction when we tell people we’re from Sabah.

How many of y’all say “Sabah bah” when you meet someone from the Land below the wind? Yeah, y’all think it’s cute but seriously, it annoys the fuck out of most of us, most certainly me.

What’s worst is when Peninsular Malaysians use it wrongly; using the phrase at the end of the sentence to connote a question like “Sabah bah?” Or “apa khabar bah?” Please put in your head that you can never ever use the phrase to ask a question, it’s just wrong and laughable.

Again, I understand the fascination, it’s akin to Americans loving the way the English people speak but it’s not funny to us when the very phrase that makes us feel at home is bastardized because it’s cute!

So, the next time you meet a Sabahan, please don’t try to use the phrase if you don’t know how; it may be ‘cute’ but using it wrongly will not make you one.

‘Nah mean?

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