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Can someone explain the word "Preman"?

Can someone explain the full meaning of the word "Preman"? The dictionary gives it either as a civilian or a street hoodlum. However someone explained it to me that it comes from the word "free man" and that neither of those definitions really capture the meaning.

For learning: Indonesian
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Preman is people who lives or resides in certain place or area, and is widely known by locals who also lived there because of her/his intense existence around that area. In my opinion, his/her intense existence occurs because maybe they are unemployed, that is why some people said word "PREMAN" comes from english phrase "FREE MAN". They have nothing to do, hence the word free.

    Some preman also known because they're claimed to be the "owner" of certain place or area, and that's why comes another phrase "PAJAK PREMAN" where someone should pay when they walk pass/within Preman's area.

    Now and then, Preman linked to street crimes and vandalism, street gamblings, alcohol, people with tatoos, etc.

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