Honk if you want to know what the 'om telolet om' meme means

Indonesian youths display "om telolet om" posters asking for passing bus drivers to toot their horns on the side of a road in Solo, Central Java, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. The phrase got picked up online. International DJs have released mixes with om telolet om honks and social media feeds have been spammed with om telolet om messages followed by bus icons. (AP Photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Honk if you want to know what the internet's latest meme "om telolet om" means.

The expression was started by Indonesian children standing on the side of the road yelling for bus and truck drivers to toot their horns, which play a series of jingle-like beeps.

Internet videos showed Indonesian kids holding signs and jumping up and down with each passing bus while calling out: "Om telolet om! Om telolet om!" When the driver lays on the horn, the children jump and shriek with delight.

Once the videos went viral so did the expression. International DJs have released mixes with om telolet om honks in them, and social media feeds have been spammed with om telolet messages followed by bus icons. Some people have posted videos online in New York and other cities yelling out "om telolet om!" to passing trucks.

Many, though, still ask what it means. The expression loosely translates to "uncle, honk, uncle" ("telolet" is onomatopoeia for the festive beeps).

A video posted on Instagram from Indonesia showed police officers dancing in the street when passing buses and trucks blasted their horns.

Despite all the fun, The Jakarta Post reported this week that police in Jepara, Indonesia, where children first started yelling the phrase at buses, have banned the practice for safety reasons.

Must Read

Victoria's Secret China show struts on despite...

Nov 20, 2017

Gigi Hadid and Katy Perry didn't make it but the Victoria's Secret show in Shanghai has managed to...

BBC's China editor resigns over gender pay gap...

Jan 8, 2018

The BBC's China editor has resigned her position in Beijing in protest over what she called a...

Lifelike robots made in Hong Kong meant to win...

Jan 16, 2018

David Hanson envisions a future in which AI-powered robots evolve to become "super intelligent...

Holidaying frog game finds fans among China's...

Feb 13, 2018

A mobile game starring a vacationing frog has attracted a massive following in China by speaking to...

Chinese tech giant Tencent plans US listing for...

Jul 9, 2018

Tencent, China's most valuable tech company, says it plans to spin off its streaming music service...

Sign up now!

Advertisement