One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
treated as plural A collective term for the indigenous peoples of Malaysia.
- ‘The Orang Asli, nevertheless, are not a homogeneous group.’
- ‘The Orang Asli, numbering nearly 100,000 people, are made up of over 18 ethnolinguistic groups living in Malaysia.’
Malay, from orang ‘person’ and as(a)li ‘of ancient origin’ (from asal ‘source or origin’).
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