Ancient Word of the Day: Siamang

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Endangered siamangs are the largest type of the gibbon family. They have distinctive black coats and communicate using a complex system of booming calls. They have gorgeous throat sacks that swell up as they sing together. Like other gibbons they form gregarious and close-knit family groups. They face a major existential threat from palm oil deforestation and illegal animal trafficking that occurs as a result of this deforestation.

Did you know name of one of the most vocal gibbons of the Bornean jungle ‘Siamang’ originates from several indigenous languages in the Central Aslian group in SE Asia?

Siamang: n.ultimate originof the wordʔamang(where theʔrepresents a glottal stop), is from several indigenous languages of the Central Aslian group.

When speakers of Malay borrowed the wordʔamang, they added the personal articlesi. Similar to an honorific like “mister”,sigenerally applies only to humans, or to animals…

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