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Borrowed from Tok Pisin wantok, from English one talk, i.e. a speaker of the same language.


IPA(key): /ˈwɑn.tɑk/


wantok (plural wantoks)

  1. (Melanesia, Papua New Guinea) A close comrade; a person with whom one has a strong social bond, usually based on shared language.
    • 1989, Vitor Abrantes, Innovative housing practices
      In Saraga, there are more wantoks (3.16) per household than in Bumbu (2.7).
    • 1990, Jeanette Conway, Ennio Mantovani, Marriage in Melanesia: a sociological perspective
      If one steals or cheats to help a wantok one feels not guilty or one might feel ethically obliged to fight to support a wantok without considering whether the wantok is right or wrong.
    • 2004, Frederick Karl Errington, Deborah B Gewertz, Yali's question: sugar, culture, and history
      But BAI wanted to do more than to avoid building a wantok-ridden town.

Usage notesEdit

  • May be used to casually address a friend: Hello wantok.

Derived termsEdit

Tok PisinEdit


From English one talk (alternatively, it can be seen as a compound of wan +‎ tok).



  1. a close friend, to whom one gives complete loyalty
  2. any person with a shared set of Melanesian cultural values, usually based on speaking a closely related language