“Don't sweep the floor!” Verbal and nonverbal taboo in Nagan Raya, Aceh

Veni Nella Syahputri, Meta Keumala, Endah Anisa Rahma, Zahratul Idami, Edy Saputra


In daily life, individuals occasionally use language to connect with other individuals, and they have their specific manner to pick the language variety which can affirm their character. This language can be in the form of verbal and nonverbal language. This research aimed at finding out the types of verbal and non-verbal taboo, along with the mythical and factual reasons underlying their usage. The method used was qualitatively based. The data collection was done through several interviews with the participants who are the native speakers of Acehnese in Nagan Raya. Later on, the data were recorded using an android device and in the analysis, the three-step analysis was employed. The process was data reduction, data display, and data verification. Then the results show that, first, nine swearing taboo words are occasionally used by the people there. The reason for using these words is generally to express anger and disappointment. Second, concerning the non-verbal taboo, there were 10 data obtained concerning non-verbal taboo, and the reason behind using these nonverbal taboo is to threat the youth to get them obedient so that they can carry out the day safely.


verbal taboo; nonverbal taboo; swear words; mythical taboo; sociolinguistics

Full Text:



Akerlof, G. A. (1980). A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 94(4), 749–775.

Akerlof, G. A., & Kranton, R. E. (2000). Economics and identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(3), 715–753.

Benabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2004). Willpower and personal rules. Journal of Political Economy, 112(4), 848–886.

Cole, H. L., Mailath, G. J., & Postlewaite, A. (1998). Class systems and the enforcement of social norms. Journal of Public Economics, 70(1), 5-35.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Fershtman, C., Gneezy, U., & Hoffman, M. (2011). Taboos and identity: Considering the unthinkable. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(2), 139–164.

Gao, C. (2013). A sociolinguistic study of English taboo language. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(1), 2310-2314.

Ghounane, N. (2013). A sociolinguistic view of taboo language and euphemisms in the Algerian society: Attitudes and beliefs in Tlemcen speech community. (Master), Tlemcen University, Tlemcen.

Habibovic, A. (2010). Taboo language: Sweedish teenagers’ understanding of and attitudes to English taboo language. Kristianstad: Kristianstad University.

Haidt, J., Rozin, P., McCauley, C., & Imada, S. (1997). Body, psyche, and culture: The relationship between disgust and morality. Psychology and Developing Societies, 9(1), 107–131.

Jaya, I., & Daud, B. (2017). A discourse analysis of Melengkan at a Gayonese wedding ceremony. Studies in English Language and Education, 4(1), 105-119.

Junaidi. (2017). Bahasa tabu dalam masyarakat Pidie. (Master), Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh.

Khatib, M., Tabari, B. H., & Mohammadi, M. J. (2016). Tracing native culture in Iranian students’ academic writing: Focus on acknowledgments. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, 5(1), 46-54.

Maskur. (2016). Linguistic expression of taboo language in Keude Aceh traditional market, East Aceh. (Master), Universitas Negeri Medan, Medan.

Miles, M., Huberman, A., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rosadi, I., Tiarina, Y., & Rosa, R. N. (2013). Differences in euphemisms used by male and female in Minangkabaunese. E-Journal English Language and Literature, 2(1), 121-132.

Sutarman. (2013). Tabu bahasa dan eufemisme [Taboo language and eufemism]. Surakarta: Yuma Pustaka.

Teguh, H. A. W. (2008). A study of taboo words and euphemistic expressions of Ali G Film. (Barchelor), Universitas Islam Negeri Maulana Malik Ibrahim, Malang.

Ullmann, S. (1972). Semantics: An introduction to the science of meaning. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Wang, N. (2013). An analysis of the pragmatic functions of swearing. Griffith Working Papers in Pragmatics and InterculturalCommunication, 6, 71-79.

Wardhaugh, R. (2000). An introduction to sociolinguistics (3rd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics (5th ed.). Malden: Blackwell Ltd.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v6i2.14785

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats