Everyone in Malaysia knows the word “Gostan”. Every. Single. One.
But have you ever wondered where the word came from?
Ok, guys, it’s time to put on our linguistic glasses and break down this word that we have used all our lives!
So, gostan actually comes from the English term, “go astern” or “go stern”. These terms are nautical terms, which means that people normally use them when they are on a ship or sailing.
When you’re on a ship, you can’t really tell the helmsman (person who steers the ship) to go forward or backwards. So you have to tell them which part of the ship you want to move towards.
So if you want to go forward then you say “go ahead” but if you want to move backwards, then you say “go astern”.
The British Empire started
colonising visiting Malaysia in the 1700s with their ships, and this is probably how the term “go astern” was introduced to us.
From then on, instead of pronouncing 3 syllables (go-as-tern), Malaysians decided to shorten it to gostan (gos-tan) which is 2 syllables.
And that, my friends, is how gostan came to be, and this term will continue serving Malaysians well for generations to come.
What do you think about this? Would you like to see similar content? If so, what are the terms that you want to know more about?
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