Information is from dictionaries and other sources. Comments and corrections welcome. All Malaysian and Indonesian names in the process of conversion into modernised spelling only. Hover over Green Lettering Green lettering at this site hides a tool tip with glosses, further explanations, etc. Hover cursor to reveal. to see additional information.
Traditional Malay names for boobies and similar-appearing waterbirds were historically poorly attested. The early records typically assign one or more general names to the most prominent of the species in each family, which for the boobies is the Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster). Although no names for other booby species were given, it was remarked that all boobies shared the same names.
1. The name Burung Olak-olak is based on the verb olak, which describes various cyclic motions. Here it can be interpreted as describing the circling, tacking back-and-forth motion of seabirds often seen following in the wake of a boat at sea, but it is not in itself a bird name. While olak olak or olak-olak (reduplication indicating the repetitive motion) is usually cited as a popular name for the Brown Booby, other kinds of birds were also described this way. In ornithological Malaysian, Olak is used for shearwaters (Procellariidae) (see chart below).
2. Boobies are sometimes popularly classified as some sort of duck or goose:
(g)ansa laut 'sea goose': 'booby'
(g)ansa batu 'rock goose': 'booby'
itik laut 'sea (= wild) duck': 'booby; various wild ducks (e.g. mallard, Anas); other ducklike birds'
Because the only native ducks are typically freshwater species, today itik laut usually refers to seabirds such as boobies.
3. Several kinds of dark-coloured, fishing birds were collectively popularly named as aquatic crow-like birds. The group includes not only boobies, but also cormorants (Phalacrocorax) and frigatebirds (Fregata), and perhaps others. In historical common usage these names were probably interchangeable, but contemporary sources record only the following:
Pedendang ~ pendendang 'finfoot' is also likely relatable to the dendang-name complex.
Dendang was also used in names for a number of crow-sized landbirds, although in modern popular usage dendang in the meaning of 'crow' has largely been supplanted by its onomatopoetic synonym, gagak. Dendang 'crow' is, however, retained in modern dictionaries, as are dendang air 'cormorant' and dendang laut 'booby', now joined by dandang 'cormorant' (using a variant spelling of dendang). These popular definitions contrast with ornithological Malaysian usage where dendang has been redefined as 'booby'. Instead of describing the other booby species as varieties of dendang laut, they are treated as varieties of dendang.
However, the now superfluous aquatic descriptor has been retained in these species names:
|Original Name||Meaning & General Usage||Restricted Usage||New Name||New Meaning|
|dendang air||'water crow' (= cormorant)||Phalacrocorax carbo (Phalacrocoracidae)||pependeng air||'water cormorant'|
|dendang laut||'sea crow' (= booby)||Sula leucogaster||dendang laut||'sea booby'|
|Form of Name||Original Meaning||Ornithological Malaysian||Ornithological Indonesian|
|olak||'back-and-forth'||Calonectris, Puffinus (Procellariidae)||---|
SCIENTIFIC & WESTERN
OTHER S. E. ASIAN
||Red-footed booby||Burung Dendang-Laut Kaki Merah
'red-legged sea-crow (bird)' (28)
Burung Dendang Kaki Merah
'red-legged crow (bird)' (24, 25, 26)
|Burung Angsa-batu Kaki-merah
'red-legged rock-goose (bird)'
Burung Gangsa Batu Kaki Merah
'red-legged rock-goose (bird)' (29)
nók buu-bii tiin-daeeŋ
'red-footed booby (bird)' (buu-bii from English 'booby')
|Chim điên chân đỏ
'red-footed crazy-bird' (12, 13, 34)
||Brown booby||Burung Dendang-Laut Coklat
'brown sea-crow (bird)' (28)
Burung Dendang Laut
'sea crow (bird)' (24, 25, 26)
Burung Angsa Laut
'sea goose (bird)' (26, 28)
'back-and-forth bird' (old) (see shearwater)
|Burung Angsa-batu Coklat
'brown rock-goose (bird)'
Burung Gangsa Batu Coklat
'brown rock-goose (bird)' (29)
nók buu-bii sĭi-nám-taan
'brown booby (bird)' (buu-bii from English 'booby')
|Chim điên bụng trắng
'white-bellied crazy-bird' (12, 13, 34)
|Burung Dendang-Laut Besar
'large sea-crow (bird)' (28)
Burung Dendang Besar
'large crow (bird)' (26)
Burung Dendang Muka Hitam
'black-faced crow (bird)' (25)
Burung Dendang Penyamar
'camouflage crow (bird)' (24)
|Burung Angsa-batu Topeng
'masked rock-goose (bird)'
Burung Gangsa Batu Ekor Hitam
'black-tailed rock-goose (bird)' (29)
nók buu-bii nâa-dam
'black-faced booby (bird)' (buu-bii from English 'booby')
|Chim điên mặt xanh
'blue/green-faced crazy-bird' (12, 13, 34)
Mostly from Robinson (& Chasen) 1927-1939 v1-4; additions from Madoc 1947 (et.seq.), and Glenister 1951 (both mostly names copied from Robinson)
Danh Lục Chim Việt Nam (In lần thứ hai) (Checklist of the Birds of Vietnam) Võ Quý, Nguyễn Cử, Nhà Xuất Bản Nông Nghiệp, Hà Nội 1999
Chim Việt Nam Nguyễn Cử, Lê Trọng Trải, Karen Phillipps; Nhà Xuất Bản Lao Động - Xã Hội, 2000
Senarai Nama-nama Burung Semenanjung Malaysia dan Asia Tenggara by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Perhilitan (Jabatam Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara, Semenanjung Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur 1981
List of the Names of Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Southeast Asia by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1981
The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 - Non-passerines by Wells, David R., Academic Press, London 1999
A Field Guide to the Birds of West Malaysia and Singapore by Jeyarajasingam, Allen and Alan Pearson, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999
A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore (second edition) by Jeyarajasingham, Allen, Illustrations by Alan Pearson, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012
A Field Guide to the Birds of Java and Bali (second edition) by MacKinnon, John, Gadjah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta 1990
Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009