Friday, April 28, 2006


I was sitting with my buddy F in a place called Sri Sempelang in Sembulan when I overheard someone shouting, "Boooooooossssss!", most probably to a friend.

I came back into the office and I get a sharp but not loudly spoken "BOSS" from a colleague that needed help.

I got yet another request for help from a lady colleague a few minutes later with, "Oh......... boss........".

Yep, another one of our cultural idiosyncrasies. It's like the articles '~lah', '~bah' and '~kah' for us. Ever wondered how so many forms of 'Boss' are used everywhere around us or how useful they are?

Lemme recount how many types I've heard of:
  • There's the 'cam'bos?' pre-fix variant: Actually a postmanteau of 'Apa macam, boss?'. Bastardised into the short form.
  • We have the actual 'boss' to show deference or respect to an actual boss or person of senior rank. Or in some cases that I know, to kiss ass.
  • You ever heard those dragged-out ones?: 'Booooohhhhhhsssssss' or 'Buuuuuuhhhhhhssssss' if you're in Sabah. Trying saying 'boo' but drag the last O and add LOTS of S'ses behind it.
  • Like I mention above, one of my male colleagues like to say 'BOSS!' in a way that sounds he's exhaling air from his lungs sharply. Not too loud but gets your attention anyhow.
  • 'Boss.. Boss.. Boss...': Rarely used but sounds like a mild rebuke from one person to another, usually between colleagues.
  • Loud and sharp 'BOSS!!!' and raising the right arm with palms facing forward. Standard greeting used by local guys to local guys in a social setting.
  • Another use of the word 'boss' is the one with the OK pre-fix: 'kay'bos' used by weary workers to their seniors to indicate 'yeah, yeah ya dick, i got it. Now piss off'.
  • Sometimes, in a government office, I'd hear a 'oh.... bosss...' by the clerks (usually female) to some unsuspecting customer. Usually, it means 'You're have been a victim of bad bureaucracy, oversight and indifference. Can't help you but maybe if you fill in this form, one of our officers will look into it...'.
Hehehe.... I only think of these so far. You guys heard of any others?


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