Bojio (An In-depth Analysis)

Today, we talk Malaysian English.

Don’t understand? Check glossary.

Yee-10 The standard answer to a standard malaysian phrase-The Alley.jpg

People talk about bojio1 so many time already. Even Urban Dictionary also got. So, why I want to talk about it leh2?


People talk about definition, make silly YouTube video, but no one really try to understand the why behind bojio.

The Twin Brothers

Strange, isn’t it?

Around the time bojio started becoming a slang word in Malaysia and Singapore, the world of advertising and marketing in America became obsessed over FOMO3.


I think not.

In fact, I propose these twin brothers give us some chim4 insight about our current generation.

The Reason Behind it

People say bojio because why? They want to feel included. And the reason FOMO exists is this: people want to be in the inner circle—to be in the know.

Our generation is scared of being left out of anything.

And a convenient way to convey those fears in a socially acceptable manner—bojio.

Truth is, we were never meant to be part of every conversation or occasion. Instead, we were meant to treasure those few moments we get to share with each other.


The underlying assumption of bojio is this: I deserve to be jio-ed5.

The error of this assumption: You are jio-ed not because you’ve deserved or earned it; you are jio-ed because of who you are—a friend whose company is valued.

Next time before you say bojio, think and see why people never jio you. Perhaps it was not a conversation or occasion meant for you.

Or maybe, you’ve just not been a great friend, in which case there are deeper issues that you will need to wrestle with.

Wow, I didn’t think you’d read this far. I’m sure you have some thoughts on the subject so shoot away in the comment section! But first, the glossary.


1Bojio. Never invite.

2Leh. A suffix of no standard meaning used by Malaysians to spice up sentences and to express very different meanings—in this case, it acts somewhat like a question mark.

3FOMO (Fear of missing out). Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere.

4Chim. Deep.

5Jio-ed. Past-tense of jio, meaning invite.

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Location: The Alley, Penang, Malaysia
Photo by: Daniel Yee

2 thoughts on “Bojio (An In-depth Analysis)

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