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Playful Malay, Singaporean & Indonesian term for a Black South Indian or Dravidian. Synonymous with 'Keling' or 'Orang Keling' ('Kalingan person'). Malayans carefully distinguish the dark 'Thambis' from the fair Caucasoid Indo-Aryans, terming the latter 'Bayi' & 'Benggali' or 'Orang Benggali'.

Used across the Greater Malay Archipelago, it is derived from the Tamil 'Anna' or 'Annan', meaning brother, as in the case of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister 'C N Annadurai'. Hence this friendly term is not derogatory, as is sometimes wrongly claimed.
1) Ah Mat: See that Ah Neh look black like night lah!

2) Ah Chong: Ah Neh, how are you lah?
Aravanan: I am fine!

3) "அண்ணன் aṇṇaṉ, n. < id. T. anna, K. aṇṇa, M. aṇṇan, Tu. aṇṇe. Elder brother; தமையன். (பிங்.)" - 'Tamil Lexicon'
Madras: University of Madras, 1924-1936: 60.
by Moollah_Do_Pyaza September 10, 2012
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