Among my native community in Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo Island, there are several everyday words that you should not mention once you are out of home:
1. If you are going to the river, never ever mentioned the word “crocodile”, especially in the native language. Instead, if you still need to make a reference about the reptile, you should merely say “the grand great mother” or todu-odu in the native language.
2. Never ever say the word “hungry” when you are away from home. Instead you should substitute the word with another that carries the meaning “lazy”. So when your hunting companion, for instance, tells you, “Let’s go home, I’m lazy”, you would know what he actually meant.
3. Never ever say you are afraid of animal bites. Instead you should only say that those bites would make you to feel itchy.
There are many other similar words but I shall be posting them at later times. In the meantime, welcome to Borneo Blog.