Published on May 5, 2015
1. A BIT THE (Contributed by Stella) A Singlish phrasemeaning 'very',alwayssaid in a clearly sarcastic tone. 1. " Wah,you a bitthe late,hor!" 2. "Piangeh,your shirta bit the short,man!" See also:VeryThe ABOURIT Sloppy pronunciation of "aboutit". Aiyah,thiskindof small thing,don'worrage abourit. ACT (ADJECTIVE) BUAY(ADJECTIVE) To fail miserably at affecting a pose. Substituteany adjectiveof yourchoice. See also:Act Cute BuayCute Act LianBuay Lian ACT BLUR To play innocent I knowyouknowwho didit,so don’tact blur! See also:Buat Bodoh Bedek Wayang N.A.T.O. ACT CUTE (Contributed by Yong Kuan) A phrasewhich describesbehaving in an exaggeratedly cuteoradorablefashion.Can beused asboth verb and adjective.Usually performed by femaleswho appearthey cannotescapetheirchildhood. 1. "Eh, Ah Lianis alwayssoact cute one!She tryingto be smurf,isit?" 2. "Ah, ignore her,lah.She's justactingcute again." ACT CUTE BUAY CUTE/A.C.B.C. (Contributed by Angus) Literally describesthe common occurrenceof a Singaporean girltrying to panderto a guy'swishes,but failing miserably. "Ee-yurr.Itell you,I damnbuay tahanwatchingAh Lientryto get AhBeng to go kwameenite withher. Damn ACBCone." ACT LIAN BUAY LIAN, ACT BENG BUAYBENG/AI LIAN BUAY LIAN,AI BENG BUAY BENG (Contributed by Woogie) To fail at being an Ah Lian or Ah Beng,despite trying. "Wah lau,Johnsonisdamncondemn.ActBeng buaybeng.Si behhopeless." See also:Act Cute BuayCute ACTION (Contributed by Terry How) Arrogantand haughty.Basically thesameas "Ya Ya' and "Dao".Also sometimesused to mean "full of hotair." "You don'chtalk so much,actiononly!" See also:Ya Ya Dao
2. AGAIN? A much moreeconomicalway of saying,"Ibeg yourpardon?" See also:Say Again? AGAKTAREK (Contributed by Patrick Wong) A Malay phraseliterally broken down as'estimate' (agak) and 'pull'(tarek).Itmeansto "hold back"or "be charitable"or "notto go too far". "Don't talk so bad abouthim.Agaktarek a bitand give himsome face,lah." AGARATION (ah-gah-ray-shun) The noun formof the Malay verb "agak-agak",which meansto estimate. "I arrivedat the numberthroughagaration." See also:Agak-Agak AH BENG An unsophisticated Chineseboy,usually Hokkien.Stereotypically,hespeaksgutterhokkien and likes neon-coloured clothes,spiky,moussed hairand accessoriessuch ashandphonesorpagers,allof which are conspicuously displayed.Healso likes to squat,even when a seat is available. "Wah laoeh,why youso chao ah bengone?"(Goodness,whyare yousuchan ah beng?) See also:AhHuay Ah Kow Ah Lian AhSeng Beng Chao AhBeng/AhLian AH BENG AH SENG A group of Ah Bengs. "Why yougo and make friendwiththose AhBengAhSeng?"(Whyare you associatingwiththose Ah Bengs?) See also:AhBeng AH CHEK "Uncle",a generic nameused to addressan olderman. AH HUAY A pet-namewhich literally means,"Flower".Interchangeablewith "Ah Lian". AH KAH AH CHEW (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) (' kah ah' chew) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning "ducklegs,duckhands".Used to describesomeone'sextremely poor coordination."Ah Kah"and "Ah Chew"can beused separately. 1. "Don't go and ask himto helpyousetup the stage.He's verythe ah kah ah chew." 2. "Wah lau, like thatalsocannotscore!The playerisdamnah kah, one!"
3. AH KOW A pet-namewhich literally means,"dog."A generic namegiven to thesidekicks of the Ah Beng,as well as dogs. See also:AhBeng AhBeng AhSeng AH LIAN A pet-namewhich literally means,"lotusflower".Thefemale equivalentof an Ah Beng - an unsophisticated Chinesegirl.Stereotypically dressesin neon colours,wearsa hugeribbon perched on the top of her head,and carriesa tiny basket. See also:AhBeng AhHuay ChaoAh Beng/AhLian AH LONG Hokkien for “loan shark”.An illegal moneylenderwho imposesexorbitantinterestratesand abbreviated paybackperiods,usually to makeup forthe borrower’scomplete lackof collateral. AH MM (ah-umm) Generic nameused to addressan old woman. AH NIA Hokkien for "Pretty,Beautiful".Termused to refer to a pretty girl. See also:AhHuay Ah Lian AH POOI Generic namegiven to a fatperson.Ah Beng'ssidekick. See also:FattyBom Bom AH QUAH (ah-koo-ah) An offensivetermfor an effeminateman.TheSinglish equivalentof “faggot”or“fairy”. See also:Pondan AH SENG Ah Beng's sidekick.Also a generic pejorativeterm used to denote'anybody'.Asin "Tiu Lei Ah Seng", meaning "FuckYou". See also:AhBeng AH SOH Generic nameused to addressan older(though notnecessarily old) lady.Sometimesused asa pejorative term fora sloppily-dressed woman. "Our CEO isdamn powerful,butshe alwaysdresslike AhSohone."
4. AH THEN?/ ARBO/ARBUTHEN (Contributed by trashkore) The Singlish equivalentfor"of course"or "duh!"."Ah then?"is thesarcastic responsegiven to blindingly obviousquestionsorstatements.Somehow,it evolved into "arbuthen"sometimeduring the1980's (possibly a deliberate mispronunciation of "Ah,butthen?"),and hasnow become"arbo". 1. Ah Beng:"Eh, yourvoiddeckso cleanand new,yourconstituencykenaupgrading,ah?" Ah Seng:"Ahthen?" 2. Ah Lian:"Wah, see yougot wearso swee-swee...confirmyoutonightgopaktor, lor!"(Judgingby howprettilyyou're dressed,youmusthave adate tonight.) Ah Hway:"Arbuthen?" 3. Ali:"Eh, yourexamfinishoreddy,ah?Isee youlike veryfree lai dat." Ah Lee : "Arbo!" AH TONG AH SENG Equivalentto theEnglish phrase"Tom,Dick and Harry".Possibly of Cantoneseorigin. "EveryAh TongAh Sengalsogot handphone today." AI PEE, AI CHEE, AI TUA LIAP NEE (Contributed by K. Ang) Teochewsaying which literally translatesas' Wantcheap,wantpretty,wantbig breasts!'It is used to describe someonewho wantstheearth,ie.someonewith unrealistic or unreasonabledesiresor expectations. “Singaporeansall veryhardtoplease,one.Theyall ai pee,ai chee,ai tua liapnee.” AI SI Literally, "wantto die". Courting disaster. "Ai si,ah?" (Doyou wantto die?) See also:ChuaySi AI TZAI A Hokkien exhortation to calmdown. “The examisnotcountedone.Ai tzai!”(The examresultsare not takenintoaccount.Relax!) See also:Steady Tzai AK KAH CHIEW JI (Contributed by Half-Cocked) Literally, to be as close to someoneastwo testicles. "Don'ch worry,I ak kah chiewji withthisfeller.If Iask,he sure help you one." AK KAH LIAO/AK (ah-kah-leow) To be good and intimatefriendswith someone. 1. "Ah Bengand the bossare damn ah kahliao,so he sure can findyoulobangone." 2. "I didn'tknowyou andyour CEO were soak."
5. AKASAI (Contributed by Shaun Mathew) A pejorativedescription of something orsomeoneasextremely cutesy and girlish.Possibly a contraction of "act cute until like sai".(act cute until like shit) "Aiyoh,Priscillawearthe HelloKittyhairclips,soakasai!" ALL FART AND NO SHIT Used to describesomeonewho'sfull of empty promises. "Ah,shadduplah.Everydaysayyou wan'to treat me go lunch.You all fart andno shitonly." AN CHUA (ahn-choo-ah) Hokkien for "What'sthe matter?","What'sup?"or"How are things?"Heard very often as the firstor second phraseused on a mobile phone. "Hallo?AhKow?An Chua?" ANG MOR GAO (Contributed by Michael Witty) Hokkien for "red haired monkey",a referenceto Caucasians. See also:AngMor Mat Salleh OrangPutih ANG MOR/ANG MOR NANG Hokkien for 'red-hair'.A pejorativeterm used to describeCaucasians See also:Mat Salleh ANG TAO CHULOOT (Contributed by revolushun) A graphicreferenceto the fully erect male member.The phallic shapeof the cigarhas notgone unnnoticed by Hokkien speaking Singaporeans. Probably originated froma bastardized pronounciation of the English word cherootforcigar. ANGKATBOLA Malay term meaning to curry favourorbesycophantic.Literally,to "carry balls". See also:Sah Kah ANONEH (Contributed by Ayam Goreng) (ah-nor-neh) A Japaneseexpression similarto "Well..." or "If that'sthe case...",in Singlish this hascome to be a generic term forany Japanesegirl. 1. "Wah lau, see thatanoneh!Herdressingdamnsolidone." 2. "I got some char bor friendsinPasirRis,theyare all anonehworkingforairline one." APU NEH NEH (Contributed by lanmao) Childish and racist term for an Indian man. (To a child):"Don't go out by yourself ,skarlythe Apuneh-nehcatchyouthenyou know!"
6. ARGLY The correct pronunciation for"ugly". "Wah lan,checkout Ah Beng'sshirt.It's damnargly." ARROW To delegatesomebody to performa task.Generally used only if the taskis unpleasantorboring.Derives fromthe Army or civil service practice of stamping a tiny arrow nextto thenameof theperson in official documents. "I don't knowwhyI alwayskenaarrowby the Inche to washthe jamban." ARROW (Contributed by Half-Cocked) Anotherterminherited fromthe Army.Itmeansto be tasked with something,usually unpleasantor troublesome. 1. "Wah lau, I kenaarrowcleantoilet!" 2. "So suay,I was justinthe office,denhe come andarrow me type hisdocument." ARSE LUCK Used to describeextremely bad luck.Originally idiomatic in England,butvery popularin Singlish. "AhHock just got hisdrivinglicense andstraightawaykenacaughtforspeeding.Whatarse luck!" ATAS (ah-tahs) Malay for"upstairs",it describessomeoneassnobbish,hoity-toity,affected orarrogant. "Wah, younowsadaydo'wanto eatikanbilis,onlyeatcaviar.Become damnatas oreddy." AYAM Malay for"chicken".Used to describe someoneashopelessoreasily intimidated. "Man U. sure win.The otherteam damnayam one." B.G.R. Acronymfor“Boy Girl Relationship”. BAK CHEW TAK STAMP (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Classic Singlish hybrid of Hokkien and English.Literally translatesas"eyeshavebeen pasted overwitha stamp",meaning to beblind. "How can youstepright ontothat bigpile of kao sai (dogshit)?Youbak chew tak stamp,isit?" BAKERO (Contributed by UMC-Nazzster) (Bah-kay-row) A Singaporecorruption of theJapaneseswearword "baka yarou",which loosely means"stupid neanderthal".Often erroneously thoughtto mean "bastard".
7. "Wah lau,the principal isa damnbakero,man!" BALIK (bah-le’h) Malay for“to return home”. “5 o’clockand youbalik-ingorreddyah?” See also:Tsao BALIK KAMPONG (Contributed by Terry How) Literally, Malay for "return to the village". Used in the sense of "fuck off" or "get lost", or most accurately, "go backwhere you camefrom."Chantsof "balikkampong"can usually beheard atthe National Stadiumby Singaporean fanstrying to scarethevisiting soccer team.But weALL know who'sreally going to "balikkampong"in the end. "Aiyah,whyyougo andlistentohim?Justtell himto balikkampong,lah!" BALU A Hokkien term, butderived fromthe Malay word "baru",meaning "recently". "Thishandphone balubuehehandoreddykoyak."(Iboughtthishandphone onlyrecentlyandit's alreadybroken." BANG Onomatopoeictermdenoting exasperation orfrustration.Similarto "Pek Chek". "I expectedtowinthe lottery,insteadIkenafine.Damnbang,man." See also:Bang Balls Lum PahPah Lan PekChek BANG BALLS Essentially theAnglicized version of the Hokkien phrase"LumPah Pah Lan". "Wah lan!WhenI heardI kena samanthat time,Idamn bangballs,dropon floor,bounce three times!" See also:Bang Lum Pah PahLan BANGALI See Mungalee Bhai BARANG BARANG (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) ColloquialMalay for"chattels",or "personalproperty orbelongings". Sergeant:"OK,soldiers.We are movingoff toPengSanHill in10 minutestime.Have youall gotyour barang-barangready?" BASKET (bahs-kate) Nothing to do with woven receptacles.A termof uncertain origin,butthe general consensusisthatit wasonce a euphemismfor"bastard".Nowadays,itis an exclamation denoting frustration.
8. "Basket!Five minute only,oreddykenasaman!Nocoupon!" BAYI See Bhai BECAUSE THE SKY IS SO HIGH, THE BIRD SHIT IN YOUREYE (Contributed by Edwin) This phraseis essentially an annoyed retortto being asked "why",and conveysthemeaning thatthe questioneroughtto mind his or her own business.Popularin themid-70's, its usagebegan to decline in the early 80's and is rarely heard thesedays. Sally:" Eh,Jasmine,howcome I neversee youwithRogeranymore?" Jasmine:"We oreddybreakup,lah!" Sally:" Why?" Jasmine:"Because the skyis sohigh,the bird shitinyour eye!" BEDEK/ACTION BEDEK/BEDEK KACANG (Contributed by Lixing) (bay-deh') A Malay word meaning "toaim at",it is used to describesomeonewho is acting dishonestly or disingenuously,orwho is full of hot air, or who pretendsto be capablebutis in reality a failure.Can also be used as a verb in the senseof "tobluff"or "mislead".Tagging on "action"or"kacang"(peanuts) is merely foremphasis. 1. "Oi,you make sure youcan reallydoit,ah! Don't anyhow bedekme,okay!" 2. “I sawyou pontangschool today,youdon’tcome and bedekkacangwithme,okay?”(Isaw you playingtruanttoday, don’tyouact innocentwithme!) 3. ""Wah! That S-League playerreallywanttoscore,sia!Butopengoal still canfall down!Soaction bedekone,man!" See also:Act Blur;Buat Bodoh;Wayang BEH TAH HAN (baytah hahn) A hybrid Hokkien-Malay termmeaning,"Ican'tstand it" or "Ican't deal with it". (Hokkien forcannotis "beh"and "tahan"in Malay is "endure".) 1. "Why musthe speakwiththataccent? Damn behtahan!" 2. "Aiyah,sometimesIreallybehtahanhim!" BEH/BUAY (bay/bway) A prefix meaning “not”.Either pronunciation isacceptable. “He damnbehpai say one.”(He’snotashamed.) BELAKANG MARI (Contributed by James Chong)
9. Literally, Malay for "going by therear". Used to describesituationswherean alternative(often covert) approach isemployed when theobvioushasfailed. "Wah, that guysupersaht man!Cannot getinfirsttime,thenbelakang mari secondtime canorreddy!" ("Wow,he'scool!He couldn'tgetin the firsttime,butbyacting sneakythe secondtime,he managedto do it!") BENGKOK (beng-kohk) Malay for'bent' or 'crooked'. "Adey!Yourshirta little bengkokleh.Lateststyleorwhat?" See also:Senget BHAI SI MI SEK “Bhai WhatColour?”A racist gameplayed by churlish Chinesepeople.It involvespinching your companion wheneveryou spota Sikh gentleman,and notletting go till yourcompanion shoutsoutthe colourof his turban. See also:Bhai BHAI/BAI (bah-yee) Racist way of addressing a Sikh gentleman. The term “bhai” in Punjabi is innocuous and means “brother”. But this hassince taken on racist connotationsin Singapore. BIN CHOW CHOW Hokkien phraseliterally meaning,"smelly face".Used to describesomeonewith a grumpy lookand sour disposition. "I do'wanto talkto him,lah.He alwayssobin chow chow one." BLANCO To apply white correction fluid overan error. "Blanco"is actually the trademarknameof a long- established whitening liquid. "Noneedto getme a newform.I'll justblancooverthe oldnames." BLANJAH Derived fromthe Malay word "belanja",meaning "expenditure".In Singlish,it meansto give someonea treat or to pay for someoneelse. "If I get promotion,Isure blanjahyouall lunch." BLARDER Ah Beng pronunciation of “Brother”.Contrary to popularbelief,doesnotmean “bladder”. “Ah Bengismy bloodblarder.We bothhave the same tattoos.”
10. BLUR Used to describesomeoneasrather ineptor in a world of his own.May also be used to describethe feeling of being dazed.A common usageis"Blur like sotong". 1. “Such a simple thingalsocannotdo.Youdamn blur!” 2. “Wah lao,I do maths,dountil blur,man.” See also:Concuss BLUR TOAD A common variantof “Sotong”.Of uncertain origin. See also:Sotong BOBO/BOBO KING/BOBO SHOOTER (Contributed by imayoda and Daniel Hong) Used to describea soldier who frequently misseshis shooting target.Derived possibly froma military term frequently used atthe shooting range,W/OW/O(wipe-out) forno hitsatall. 1. "Eh, it's that boboshooteragain,alwayscrosslane one." 2. "RecruitBengis superbobokingone.Last time at the range,he accidentallyshothisOC." BOH When placed beforeany word, it turns it into the negative. The Hokkien equivalent of "not" or "un". Thus, "Boh Chup"is the negativeof "Chup",and "Boh Chee"meansnotto haveany "Chee". BOH BAH TI Hakka forMm Tzai Si See also:Mm Tzai Si BOH BEH CHOW (Contributed by Kevin) Hokkien term which literally translatesas "no horserunning".Itis used to describe something or someonewhich/who isso exceptionally good thatthere'sno competition. "Wah laueh,that chio bureallybohbehchow man! Si pehtok kongah!" BOH CHEE (Contributed by AA) Hokkien for "no balls". "Eh, like datalsodon'ch dare try. He damn bo chee,lah." See also:Boh LumPar Chee BOH CHIAK PNG (Contributed by Henry Tan) Literally, Hokkien for"havenoteaten rice". Used to describe someoneasphysically weak. "Wah lau,like thatalsocannot carry! You bohchiak png,ah?" BOH CHUP Nonchalant;relaxed;phlegmatic.Can beused asboth adjectiveand verb.
11. 1. “He’s verybohchup abouthiswork.” 2. “Aiyah,bohchup him,lor.” BOH ENG Hokkien term literally meaning "notfree".Used to convey how busy you are. "Go East Coast to swim?Bohenglah!" See also:Mana Ooh Eng? Chia'hSior Eng BOH HER HAE MAH HO A Hokkien proverb which translatesas"If thereare no fish,prawnsarejustasgood."Itis unclearif this is a statementsaid in resigned acceptanceof one's second choices,or if it is a cheerfully pragmaticway of dealing with situationswhereyou do notget whatyou originally intended.Perhapsboth. "You couldn'tgetticketsto the AnitaMui concert,so youboughtus seatsforthe BukitPantat CommunityCentre AngklongOrchestraPerformance?Iguessbohherhae mahho." BOH HEW/DON'T HEW (Contributed by Henry Tan) Hokkien for "don'tgivea damn". It's notentirely clear what"hew"translatesto on its own,butit's invariably used in the negative. 1. "Aiyah,thissmall-small thing,justbohhew,canoreddy." 2. "It's not worthfightinghimoverthissortof thing. Don'thew him, better." See also:Boh Chup BOH LANG AI/BOH NANG AI Hokkien for "nobody wants", meaning "useless". "Thissort of free gift,bohlangai,one lah." BOH LIAO (Contributed by AA) Hokkien for "nothing betterto do".Dangerously idle.In Mandarin,it's"wuliao". "What for he go and dothat sort of thing?Must be damnbo liao." BOH LUI (Contributed by Yong Kuan) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning "no money".Commonly heard fromstudents,NSmen,and people aspiring to MurchidisBendzes. 'Eh, tonightcannottreat youall to karaoke.I bohlui liao!' BOH LUM PAR CHEE (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Hokkien for "no testicles/balls/guts",itis used to admonish someoneforbeing a coward. "You don'tdare printthisLexiconentry,youbohlumpar chee." See also:Boh Chee BOH PIAN Hokkien for "Can'tdo anything aboutit"or "No choice."
12. "Must pay covercharge.This one bohpianone." BOH SAY (Contributed by AA) Hokkien phrasemeaning "doesn'thavethelook". That kindalsocan be occiferah?Damn boh say,leh!" See also:OohSay BOH TAH BOH LUM PAR (Contributed by Woogie) Literally, Hokkien for"If it's notdry,you've gotno balls."A daregiven to someoneto drinkup something unpleasant. "You say youcan tahan spicyfood? Thendrinkthat whole bowl of laksa,lah!Bohtah,boh lumpar!" BOH TAI JI Hokkien for "Nothing'sthematter"or "nothing'swrong". "Here everythingbohtai ji,whyyouitchybackside come andlisturb?" BOH TAK CHEK Hokkien for "no schooling". "You ah, bohtak chekone,howcan get chenghu kang?" BOH TAU BOH BUAY Hokkien term which literally translatesas,"no head no tail", meaning "incomprehensible". "Wah laueh,that movie wasdamnboh tau bo buay." BOH TSENG HU A Hokkien term literally meaning,“to lack governance”.Meanslawlessnessorchaotic. “Wah, bossgo on leave,thiswholeplace bohtsenghuorreddy.”(Withthe bossonleave,the office is withoutcontrol.) BOH TUA BOH SUAY (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning "no big,no small". Used to admonish someonefornotknowing his place. Famously used by PMGoh ChokTong in a NationalDay Rally speech. "You talklike thatto your father?Si noongkia!Damn bohtua boh suay!" BORAK Malay,to bluff or to talkidly "Dun borakme man,youoni paytwo dollarforthis!" See also:TalkCock BORROW For somereason,“to lend”.
13. “Eh, can borrowme yourbook?” BOSS Nothing to do with one'ssuperiors,this is a deliberately sloppy pronunciation of "balls".Used attheend of sentencesfor emphasis.Interestingly, itdoesnotadd any obsceneovertonesto thesentenceor subject. 1. "Did yousee the shirtAh Bengwas wearing?Cangoblind,boss." 2. "I just readthat bookby the oppositionpolitician.Fierce,boss." BUAY GAM (bwaygahm) A Hokkien term describing something asinconsistent,orbeing an imperfectmatch. “Why didI breakup withAhLian? Aiyah,she andI justbuaygam lor.” BUAY HIAO BAI (Contributed by J Tai) Literally, not to knowwhatuglinessis. Notembarrassed easily. "Hisvoice cannot make it still goand singso much,damn buayhiaobai." BUAY KAN (Contributed by half-cocked) Hokkien for,literally, unableto fuck.An especially crude term used to describe an utterly incompetent person.Appliesonly to extremecases. "Wah laueh,thisfellasobuay kan,if we put himincharge, sure cock-upone." BUAY KANTANG (Contributed by ketchup) Literally meaning "tosell potatoes",thisphrasemeansthatthereis morethan meets the eyein a given situation.it is a hybrid of theHokkien phrase"buay kan tan",meaning 'noteasy'and theMalay word 'kentang',forpotato. "Don't anyhowrush.Thissort of thing,ah, buaykantangone." BUAY KIA NANG TU LAN (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) Hokkien phrasewhich meansto do thingsunabashedly,orunashamedof doing thingsothersmight disapproveof. "Wah lau,thissort of voice alsocan cut album.Damnbuaykia nangtu lan!" See also:BuayPai Seh BUAY KUMGUAN Hokkien for "unwilling"or "reluctant". "Aiyah,askhimto helpyoudamnno use,lah.He sure damnbuay kumguan,one." BUAY PAI SEH (Contributed by Ch'ng Tuan Wee) Also "thick-skinned".Literally translated as"not shy".Meansnotashamed/embarassed by one'sown actions,usually connotesinsensitivity.
14. "Wa lao,you everydayletherbuyyoudrink,buaypai sehone ah?" See also:Pai Seh BUAY SAI (Contributed by K. Ang) Hokkien for ‘cannot’or‘incapable’.Can beused in many forms. 1. “You wantAhBeng to helpyouwithyourmaths?Buay sai!(“Impossible!”or“You can’t!”) 2. “You wantAhBeng to helpyouwithyourmaths?He damnbuay sai one!”(“He’sincapable!”) 3. “Ah Bengbuay sai helpyouwithyourmaths.” (AhBengcannothelpyouwithyour maths.”) See also:CannotMake It BUAY SONG Hokkien for “notsatisfied”.Usually used in a vaguely belligerenttone. 1. “You stare at me forwhat?Buay song ah?” 2. “Ah Bengis supposedtobe mygood friend,yethe treatme like this.Now Idamnbuay songhim.” BUAY SWEE/STEADY (Contributed by Willy Ng) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning,"notbeautiful"or"unsteady",itis used to denotea person'saction as biased or unfair. " Wah lah eh!Langgar still canpass drivingtest.Dammbuayswee/steadyman!" BUAY TZAI Hokkien for “notcalm”. Used to describesomeoneasnervousand unsteady. “Do thissort of thingisveryeasy.Whyyou so buaytzai one?” BUAY TZE TONG (Contributed by Andrew Yong) Hokkien phrasereferring to an inconsiderateperson who lacksinitiative. Literally, "doesnotknow how to moveby oneself." "He see the girl gotso many thingstocarry thenstill dunnohow togo and help.Damnbuaytze tong, leh!" BUAYA Malay for“crocodile”. Means“lothario”or wolf,i.e. sleazy pick-up artist.May also be used asa verb. 1. “Johnny’safterJane,eventhoughhe’ssupposedtobe withJenny.Whata chao buaya.” 2. “Look at Johnnybuaya-ingJane.” BUNG KAH TIO LUM PAR Literally meaning "mosquito biting thetesticles",it is a term used to describe a painfuldilemma,where all optionscarry dire consequences.Similarin spirit to the English "Hobson'sChoice",meaning no real choice at all. Believed to haveoriginated in rural China,by farmerswho had to relieve themselvesin mosquito-infested fields. "I don'ch whackhim,he sure damn ya-yaone.I whackhim, he sure report me to police.Wahlaneh,this isdamn bungkah tiolumpar!"
15. See also:Lum Pah C.K.L.P.S./CHUIKONG LUM PAR SONG (Contributed by Melvin Wong) Hokkien phrasewhich translatesliterally as," mouth talk,testicles shiok".Used to describe someone who mouthsoff only to pleasehimself with no benefitto anyoneelse.Analogousto calling someonea wankerora "N.A.T.O."(No Action,TalkOnly). "Aiyah,youlistentothe Principal forwhat?He whole dayC.K.L.P.S.only." See also:N.A.T.O. C.M.I. (Contributed by Samuel Tan) An acronymstanding for"CannotMakeIt",it'san exclamation denoting resignation and despair. "Aiyah,almost5amoreddyand still haven'tfinishstudyingforthe exam.C.M.I.liao,lah!" See also:CannotMake It Buay Sai CAB (Contributed by Daniel Hong) Nota taxi,but theacronymfor"Chao Ah Beng". "Eh, don'tgo to Sparks lah.That place full of cabs one!" CABUT (chah-bote) Malay for'flee' or 'escape',often used wherethe contextof flight is urgentor unexpected. 1. "If the teachercomes,we all cabut,OK?" 2. "I triedto findhim,buthe cabuttedalready" CAN OR NOT? (Contributed by Terry How) A question on whethersomething ispermissable.This is the Anglicized version of theHokkien phrase"Eh sai bo?" 1. "Today afterschool followme godowntown,canor not?" 2. "Eh, borrowme $5 today,tomorrowI returnyou,can or not?" See also:Eh Sai/EhSai Bo CANNOTMAKE IT (Contributed by Aaron Loh) To try,but fall farshortof any acceptablestandard.Applicableto both peopleand objects. 1. "One beeronlyconcussalready!Hisdrinkingskill damncannotmake it,man!" 2. "His newcar two weeksoldonly,oreddyspoil three times.Itoldhimalready,ProtonSaga:cannot make it." See also:C.M.I. BuaySai CARE-LAIR-FAIR Cantonesefor"movieextra",it is also used to describe peopleas idle hangers-onorlayabouts.Itis suspected thattheterm wasderived fromsomewhereelse.Can also beused asa verb,as in "to care-lair- fair".
16. "Eh, nextweekmycompanyisholdingaproductlaunchfor TV.If got time,come andcare-lair-fair,lah." CATCH NO BALL The literal translation of theHokkien phrase"Lia'h Boh Kiew".Meansto completely not understand. 1. "Wah, that movie wassocheem,I totallycatchno ball,man!" 2. "His accent isso powderful,Icompletelycatchnoball." See also:LiakBoh Kiew CHA SI NANG Hokkien term which translatesas "disturbing peopleuntilthey die". Itis used to admonish noisy people. "I'm tryingto study!Canyou karaoke somewhere else?Chasi nang!" CHALLEN The correct pronunciation of "challenge". "Nextweek,Ichallen'yougoMacritchie andrun." CHAM (chum) A Hokkien word meaning "pitifully disastrous",itis usually uttered with a sad shakeof one'shead. 1. "His girlfriendranoff withhisgrandfather?Aiyah,damnchamone." 2. "Why youso cham, everydaykenasai from yourteacherone?" CHAM SIONG To negotiateor cometo an agreementin order to get outof a spotof trouble. "Officer,noneedtofine me leh.Chamsiong,canor not?" CHAMPION (Contributed by MC) A term describing the unbelievableactionsof a person.Usually used in a derogatory manner. Ah Beng: "Wah lau!You neverhear!AhSengis inhospital!Hisfinger kenabittenoff byhishamster!" Ah Meng:"Seriousah?He damnchampion,man!" CHAO AH BENG/CHAOAH LIAN The quintessentialAh Beng or Ah Lian. "Wah laueh,your handphone socolourful,isdamnchaoah beng,man." See also:AhBeng AhLian CHAO KAH Literally, Hokkien for"smelly feet".A bad loser or cheat. "Don't go and playmah-jongwithhim.He damnchao kahone." CHAO KENG (Contributed by J Tai) To act or pretend in orderto impressothersor escape being given extra duties or responsibilities.
17. 1. "Don't chao kenglah,we knowyou verygood,leow." 2. "No needtochao kenganymore...the otherguyoreddykenaarrow." CHAO KUAN Literally, Hokkien for"smelly-type".Used to denotea cheat or deviousperson. "Don't go and buyfromhim.He damnchao kuan one." CHAP CHENG (chupch'eng) Hokkien for "mixed kind",a derogatory termto refer to people with mixed racial origins,e.g.Eurasians. See also:Geragok Serani CHAP SAR TIAM (chupsar tee-um) Literally, "thirteen o'clock". A Hokkien expression, this describes something as half-baked or incompetent. "Wah laueh,what kindof chap sar tiam companyisthis?Evenfax machine alsodon't have!" See also:Half Past Six KucingKurap CHAR BOR (chah-baw) Hokkien for "woman"or"female". CHAR TAU Hokkien for "Wooden Head".Derogatory termforsomeone,in thesense of an idiot. Can be either an adjectiveor noun. "How manytimesmustI explain!Whyyousochar tau one?" See also:Gorblok CHEAT MYMONEY (Contributed by Daniel Hong) To be tricked into something.Often used when thereis no overtfraud,such asin feeling bad at having entered into an imprudentbargain. "Wah lau,the kwayteowcosts $25 a plate?Hotel orno hotel,thisisdamncheatmy moneyone!" CHEATERBUG Local epithet forcheaters,usually used by children. "AhBeng copymy homework!He'ssucha cheaterbug!" CHEE BYE (chee bai) Oneof the rudesttermsin Singlish. Essentially,"vagina",though notconfined to clinical gynecological circumstances.TheEnglish equivalentwould be"cunt".
18. CHEE HONG The even ruder version of "Pok". See also:Pok CHEE KO PEK A dirty old man. "Wah lau,lookat that uncle,whole daysitbythe publicpool lookingatchar-bor.What a chee ko pek." See also:Hum SupLoh Lau Ter Khor CHEEBILISED (Contributed by Daniel) A sarcasticand crude way of saying "civilised". Obviously a fusion of cheebye and civilised. Mainly used as a creative way to say thatsomeoneis civilised whilenotexactly meaning it or notwanting to be polite. Also used on peoplewho aren't very civilised butare justdying to get bitched. 1. "Wah! Everytime see youwearclothesuntil kanasai.Todaywearuntil socheebilisedforwhat? 2. "Everytime come outall the 4-letterword,youverycheebilised,youknow!" CHEEM Hokkien term meaning something isprofound ordeep orintellectual. "You studyphilosophy?Wahlao,damncheem, man!" CHEEMINOLOGY A hybrid English-Hokkien word meaning thatsomethingiswritten in an intellectual or bombasticfashion, such thatit is completely incomprehensible. "Eh, whenyouwrite essaythattime,cancut downonthe cheeminologyornot?" See also:Cheem CHEENA A pejorativetermused to describe a 'mainlander', a Chinesenational,a minor 'foreign talent'with the implied attributesof opportunism,rudenessand boorishness.Possibly originally derived fromPeranakan (seeCheena Gherk, following),itis nowpopularly used to label a new generation of Chineseemigrants who havearrived in Singaporeto seek their fortunes. See also:CHEENA GHERK SINKEK CHEENA GHERK A pejorativetermused by Peranakansto suggestsomething islow class.Probably from"China"."Cheena Beng"is an Ah Beng who is also "suah koo".Nowadays,"obiang"isthepreferred epithet. See also:Obiang CHEENAPIANG/CHEENAPOK (Contributed by Crab) A derogatory termused by Singaporeanswho aremorewell-versed and comfortablein English to describe (insult) thosewho aremore well versed in Chineseand who cannotspeakEnglish properly. 1. “Wah lau!He's supercheenapiang,man.Hearthe way he speaksEnglish!”
19. 2. “Ah Liansand Ah Bengsare all cheenapoks!” See also:Cheena CheenaGherk CHENG HU KANG Hokkien for "governmentjob".In theold days,it wasalwaysan honourand privilegeto work forthe civil service. So Chineseparentswould alwaystell theirchildren to go and "chuay cheng hu kang"(find a job with thegovernment). CHEOH (Contributed by Jimmy Yu) An informalinvitation to someactivity. "Wah lao!You all yesterlaygoZouknaircheohme one." CHER (tcher) Notto be confused withthesurgically-enhanced American singer,thisisjusta shortand snappy way to addressone'steacher. "Eskewme,Cher,can I go toilet?" CHI TEH BIN (Contributed by Bubba) (chee taybin) Literally translatesfromHokkien as"a piece of face". Describessomeonewho displaysa sourface, suggesting heis arrogantorspoiling for a fight. "Wah lau,I do'wanto work withAhBengah. He everydayalsodamnchi tehbin." CHIA LAT (tjialaht) Hokkien adjectiveliterally meaning "toeat strength".Meansthata taskis onerousand consumesone's energy.Can sometimesbeused to denotebeing in trouble. 1. "Wah, doingmy income tax isdamnchia lat."(Filingmyincome tax returnisverytaxing.) 2. "You forgotto file yourincome tax for3 years?Wah lao eh,youdamn chialat liao."(Youforgotto file your income tax returnsfor3 years?Boy,you're in trouble!) CHIAK BUAY LIAO (chia'hbwayleow) Hokkien phrasemeaning "cannotfinish eating".Itmeansto havecome into great,unending fortune. "Wah, yourfathergot appointedMinister.Lai dat,youchiak buayliao,lah!" CHIAK CHOW (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hchao) Hokkien phraseliterally translated as"eating grass".Itis used to describeimpoverishment,and thus doing without. "I spentall mymoneyat the casino,so now I have to chia'h chow till payday."
20. CHIAK HONG (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hhong) A Hokkien phrasewhich literally translatesas"eating wind".It meansto go on a holiday. "Last week,Iwentchia'hhongwithAuntie GorbloktoHong KongwithKenBrothersReliantAirTravel." CHIAK KANTANG (chia'hkahn-tahng) Literally: "eating potatoes".A pejorativeexpression used to describean Asian who speakswith a Western accent. "He go Cambridge come backonlychiakantang." CHIAK KUAY-KUAY (Contributed by Lee Wee Chong) (chia'hkoo-ehloo-eh) Literally translated fromHokkien as"to eatover and over",this phraseis used to describe achieving a crushing victory,and is often said with a mixtureof confidenceand arrogance. Beng:"Wah lao,today's mathspapersi behdifficult,leh." Seng:"Ai tzai lah,I got study,chia'h kuaykuayone" See also:Sure Can One CHIAK LANG (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hlahng) Hokkien phraseliterally translated as "eating people".It is used to describe someoneasexploitative. "I alwaysworkovertime,butnevergetovertime pay.Mycompanyisdamn chia'hlang,man!" CHIAK LEOW BEE (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hleowbee) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning to "eat rice till it's finished".It describessomething asuselessor a big waste. "You spendsomuch moneyontuitionandstill alwaysfail yourexam?Youdamnchia'hleow bee!" CHIAK LUI (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hlui) Hokkien phraseliterally translated as"eating money".Itis used to describe someoneasa con man or cheat. "You borrowmoneyfromthat AhLong, mustbe careful.Waithe chia'hlui thenyouknow." CHIAK PAH BOH SAI PANG (chia'hpah bohsai pahng) Hokkien expression which literally translatesas"Finished eating,no shit to excrete".A phraseused to denotethatsomeoneis frivolousand hastoo much timeon one'shands. "Why mustyoualwayscome and disturbme?Chia'hpah bohsai pang!"
21. CHIAK PAH PAK KA CHNG (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) (chia'hpah puckkah chng) Hokkien phraseliterally meaning "eattill full, hit backside".Itmeansto be able to enjoy withoutpaying. "Eh, youthinkthisyourgrandfatherrestaurant,can chia'hpah pak ka chng,is it?" CHIAK SIOR ENG (chia'hsyaweng) Hokkien expression meaning,"too free".Moreexasperated version of "Mana Ooh Eng". "Playgolf ona weekday?!Chia'hsiorengah?!" See also:ChiakPahBoh Sai Pang CHIAK TSUA (chia'htsoo'ah) Hokkien term literally meaning,"toeat snake".Meansto goof off orskive. "Justbecause you're outstationdoesn'tmeanyoucanchia'h tsua,okay?" CHIAM SEE TONG (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) With all duerespect to opposition MPMr.ChiamSee Tong,thisphraseis actually Hokkien for"bearfor the moment"(which ironically may be of some comfortto Mr.Chiam). "Wah lao,thisjobis damnhojjiber,butgotno choice.Mustchiam see tongfirstuntil can findbetter job." CHIBABOOM/TERBABOOM QuintessentialSingaporean sound effectforan explosion. 1. "Then ah,the bomb essploded...CHIBABOOM!" 2. "Wah lau, wha'ppentoyourhair? Terbaboomlike that." CHICKABONG Of indeterminateorigin,this mean spirited term is used to describe an overweightand unattractivegirl. "Didyou see AhBenglastnight?He got drunkand wentto pokthissuperchickabong." CHICKEN/CHICKEN FEED (Si PehEng Kia) In traditionalEnglish,the term"chicken feed"refers to an amountof money thatisso small thatit is not worthhaving,e.g."I'mearning chicken feed compared tomostlawyers."In Singlish,itsuse hasbeen expanded to includetasksthatare ridiculously easy to accomplish.It is also commonly mispronounced "chickenfeet".Itis also very often abbreviated to just"chicken". 1. Ah Beng:Eh, how?Maths testhard or not? Ah Seng:Aiyah,chickenfeet,lah! 2. Ah Lian:Wah! Ah Bengsiohooncan make ringring!(WhenAhBeng smokes,he canexhale insmoke rings!) AhSeng:Aiyah,damnchickenone,lah!
22. Ah Lian:You can, meh? CHIK AK ((tchi’ka’h)) A Hokkien term which hastwo uses:the firstis an exclamation like “whata pity!” and thesecond is a verb that meansto build bad karma,i.e. to do something thatwill return and hauntyou. 1. “He so smart, become scholar,thengoand kill himself.Aiyoh,damnchikak!” (He’ssosuch a smart fellowthathe became ascholar.However,he killedhimself.Whata pity!) 2. “Mr. Tan whole daytreat hisemployeelikesai like that.He damnchikak, one.” (Mr. Tan alwaystreatshisemployeesinacrappymanner.Thiswill come backand haunthimin the future.) CHILI PADI (chili pah-dee) Chili padiis a small butpowerfulchili pepper.A euphemismfor a petite, sexy woman. CHING-CHONG Anotherderogatory termforsomeonewho isvery 'cheena'.Usually used with the suffix 'Chinaman'. There is probably a shadeof differencebetween 'ching-chong'and 'cheena',butit is subtle.'Ching- chongness'tendsto becomical, whereas'cheena'leans moreon thesleazy. 1. You don'ch knowmeh?Hisfatherveryching-chongChinamanone,alwayswearingpajamasathome. See also:Cheena Cheenapiang CheenaGherk CHIO A somewhatimpoliteway of describing a woman aspretty. "Checkoutthatchick,man. Damn chio!" See also:ChioBu CHIO BU (chee-ohboo) A pretty woman.A somewhatrudeterm. "Far East Plazagot a lotof chio bu." See also:Chio CHIO KAO PENG Hokkien phrasemeaning "tolaugh until onefalls down". "Last night's‘PhuaChu Kang',I chiokao peng." CHIONG (Contributed by Terry How) (chee-ong) Hokkien for "torush forward".Isused to denotecreating havocand/orhaving fun.
23. "Eh, todayafterwork,go where andchiong?" CHO BOH LAN A Hokkien phrasemeaning "uselessand idle". Literally: "doesno penis". "You go and hire himforwhat?He damn cho bohlanone." CHOCHOK (cho-cho') Derived fromthe Malay word "cucuk",which means"to prick" or "to poke".It is used in the sense of "disturb","bother","rib",or"makefun of".Like theequivalentHokkien phrase"ji seow",it can also mean to masturbateorbea prick-tease,despitethe probably innocuoussource-word. "That guy damnjokerone,alwayscome andchochokme." See also:Ji Seow CHOON BOH? (Contributed by Roger Ng) Hokkien phrasemeaning "areyou accurateor not?"Used to expresssceptismat a claim. "That goonduactuallypokthat chiobu? Choonboh?"("Thatloseractuallymanagedtowoothat pretty girl?Are you sure?") CHOP CHOP KALI POK (Contributed by Wendy Tan) Denotesbeing in a hurry."Kali pok"is thecorrect Singlish pronunciation of "curry puff". "Eh, quickleh,late oreddy.Chopchopkali pok,can?!" CHOR/CHOR LOR (Contributed by AA) Hokkien for "rough"or"crude",sometimeseven "hard"and "demanding". 1. "Piangeh,my rugbytrainingthisweekisdamnchor, man." 2. "Have youheardhow AhLian swears?Damnchor lor,man!" CHUAYSI Literally, "looking fordeath".Courting disaster. "Oy!Mai chuaysi,lah!"(Hey,don't court disaster) See also:Ai Si CHUI KANA KAH, KAH KANA LUM PAR (Contributed by Bernard Lee) Literally, Hokkien for"mouthlike legs, legs like testicles". Used to describe someonewho isextremely clumsy. "AhBeng chui kana kah,kah kana lumpar,still can jointhe bombdisposal unit!" CHUT PATTERN Hybrid termwhich describeseither someonerevealing himself to be the swinehe really is, or someone showing anotherhisbad attitude."Chut"in Hokkien means,"to come out". "I neverthoughtJohnnywouldtreathismotherlike that.Chutpatternoreddy."
24. COCK (Contributed by MC) Despite seemingly obsceneconnotations,theuseof "cock is actually fairly benign.It hasbecomethe de facto Singlish way to describe something asbeing nonsensicalorsub-standard;thelocal equivalentof "rubbish"or"junk".Sometimesused astheshort formof "cockanaden". 1. "Don't listentohim,he'sonlytalkingcock." 2. "Wah lau, yougo and buythiscock thingfor what?" 3. "Why youso cock, go and investinthatdot-com?" See also:Cockanaden Kotek COCKANADEN (Contributed by imayoda) Used to describesomeonewho is very blur. Ah-Jon:"Eh,where tofindthe LimPehKa Li KongColumnah?" Ah-Boy:"Under ' Columns'lah,youCockanaden!" CONCUSS An adjectiveused to describe the feeling of having experienced a concussion.Similarto "blur". "I studiedthe whole nightuntil concuss." See also:Blur CONFIRM Used as an adjective,to convey emphasis. "Look at her,she confirmvirginone." CONFIRMAND GUARANTEE (Contributed by J Tai) A phrasethatlendsadded emphasis. "That guy damnhypocrite man..gotcute girl at the AGM, he confirmandguarantee dare not oppose herand stand upfor hisopinions." See also:Confirm CONFIRMPLUS GUARANTEE/CONFIRMPLUS GUARANTEE TIMES 2, WITH 3 YEAR WARRANTY (Contributed by viciv) Variationsof Confirmand Guarantee. "Oi,youreturningthatVCD or not?" "Aiyah,of course lah!Confirmplusguarantee times2,with3-yearwarranty!" See also:Confirmand Guarantee CORRIGHT The properand correct Singlish pronunciation of 'correct'; illustrateshow Singlish can combinetwo related words,creating a new word withimproved potency.Often used asa responsewhen thetruth is glaringly obvious.
25. CURI AYAM (Contributed by Mike Soo) A Malay phrasewhich literally means"stealing chicken",it is an expression meaning to do something surreptitiously.Exactly whatthesurreptitiousaction isdependson thedoer, butit's often illicit. 1. "My wife isoutof town! NowI can curi ayam!" 2. "Once myboss leavesthe officethenIcan curi ayam and talkcock withyou,okay?" DAO (dt’ao) Arrogantand haughty.Basically thesameas “Ya Ya”. “Afterhe got the scholarship,he became superdao.” See also:Ya Ya Sombong DIE COCKSTAND (Contributed by K. Ang) Describes one’sreaction to an eventof immensepleasure.NearestEnglish approximation:‘orgasmic’. Onegradehigher than ‘steam’.Themale equivalentof 'orgas'. “Hwah,I yesterdaywenttoGeylangtoeatthe beef horfunthere.Die cock stand,man.” See also:Orgas Steam DIE DIE (Contributed by Minglun) To go all out,with no possibilityof non-compliance.TheSinglish equivalentof "die trying". "I promise die die willpayyoubacktomorrow." DO'WAN Singlish contraction of "do not want". "I toldyouI do'wan to doit, youstill askme to do it.Do'wan meansdo'wan,youunderstandornot?" DON'CH PLAY-PLAY Fromthe Hokkien phrase,"maisng-sng".A warning againsthubris:do notfoolwith thingsbeyond your ability. Often deliberately mispronounced "don'tpray-pray". "AhBeng hasa reallybad temper.Betterdon'chplay-playwithhim." See also:Mai SiaoSiao Mai Sng Sng DON'CH SHY "Don'tbe shy."For emphasis,say "Don'ch shy-shy."In Hokkien:"meng hakhee". "Take some more,menghak hee,don'chshy-shy." DOWANDONE Expression of irritation orannoyancewhen someoneturnsdown youroffer. Ah Seng:"Igot ticketfor the concert,youwant or not?" Ah Beng(ina boredtone):"Ai yah,toolecehman." Ah Seng(disgusted):"OKlah,dowandone!"
26. DRAMA To act in a melodramaticfashion.Used asan adjective,nota noun. "It's onlya small matter.Noneedtobe sodrama." DRAMA MAMA A camp or flashily effeminatepersonality. "These theatre typesare all dramamamas." DUBDEW The properway to pronounce"W". 1. "Eh, Ah Bengboughta newbee-em-dubdew." 2. "The newpresidentof AmericaisGeorge Dubdew Bush." DUN (doh'n) A local variantof ‘Don’t’(much like ‘don’ch’),which hasbecomeespecially popularin thewakeof text messaging on cellphones. “Dun lai dat, lah!”(Please don’tbe likethat.) See also:Don'ch DUNGU (Contributed by SinnerLee) Malay forstupid or feeble-minded.Could bethesourcefor the popularSinglish word "goondu",meaning a stupid person. "Aiyah,don'taskhim to help,lah.He damndunguone." See also:Goondu EARLY EARLY DON' SAY (Contributed by edaniel) Singlish for "Why didn't you say so earlier?" Ah Beng:"Eh,tomorrowI got reservistsocannotgo see show wif you." Ah Seng:"Aiyah,whyyouearlyearlydon'say.I boughtthe ticketoreddy." EH SAI/EH SAI BO? (sometimespronounced"oi sai/oi sai bo") Hokkien phrasemeaning,"Isit possible?",or asit's locally anglicized,"Can or not?" Beng:"Eh, lendme yourcar, eh sai bo?" Seng:"Eh saaaaaiiii!"(Of couuuuurse!) See also:Can or Not? Mana Eh Sai How Can? EKSI/EKSI BORAK To be arrogant.Of Malay origin.'Eksi borak'is an arrogantperson. 1. "Just because youpassyour'N' Level,noneedtobe so eksi,okay?" 2. "Just because he gotintoNUS lawfac, he suddenlybecame this eksi borak."
27. ESSCITING The correct pronunciation for"exciting". "Piangeh,that tigershowwastoo esscitingforme oreddy." ESSPLODED The correct pronunciation for"exploded". "AhBeng kenaconcusswhenthe nenek(grenade) essplodedtooclose tohim." EX Although sometimesused to describeone'sformergirl-friend/boyfriend/whatever,in currentSinglish, 'ex' is moreoften a shortformof 'expensive',and used to expressincredulity,or in somecases,envy. 1. Wah lau,original DVDsabit the ex one, man,bettergo JB andbuy. 2. Julie veryhigh-classone youdon'tknow meh?She alwaysdressveryex. EXTRA (Contributed by Brandon Seah) An adjectiveusually applied to peoplewho do thingswhich are unnecessary orpointless. 1. " Eh, Johnny!Recessalreadyyoustillwant todo homework!Yousi pehextra,youknow!" 2. "This sortof simple thingdon'tmake until socomplicated,canornot?Why you soextraone?" See also:Loh soh EYE POWER (Contributed by K. Ang) To describe someonestanding by,looking on withouthelping outwith a manualtask. “Eh, come and helpusmove thisfurniture,leh!Youstandthere usingeye power,ah?” FATTY BOM BOM Used to describea fat person,equivalentto theEnglish "fatso". See also:AhPooi FETCH (Contributed by Daniel Hong) To drive someonesomewhere. 1. "You wan' me to fetchyou to the MRT station?" 2. "Eh, is someone fetchingyouhome?" FIAK (Contributed by Rolland) A morepolite local way to say "fuck". 1. "Aiyah,thistype of small-smallthing...fiakit,lah!" 2. "You go andcucuk him for fiak?"("Whyonearth didyougo and provoke him?") See also:Fish For Fuck FIERCE Singlish adjectivedescribing something as"daring"or "strong".
28. "Didyou readthat bookby that oppositionbugger?Damnfierce,boss." See also:Heong Powderful Terror FISH Populareuphemismfor"fuck". "What the fish,man!" FLIM (Contributed by Bernard Loo) The correct pronunciation of "film".Used forboth moviesand photographicfilm. "Eh, I heardAhKong wenttosee an R(A) flim yesterday." FLY AEROPLANE (Contributed by Rene Sim) A Singlish phraseof unknown derivation,describing being stood up. "Eh, tonight'sfunctionisdamnimportant,okay?Don'tflyaeroplane orImake sure youdie!" See also:PangPuay Kee FORAZUMPER (Contributed by Edwin) (four-air-zumper) The local pronunciation of "forexample". "You see thissoftware cando manythings,forazumper, youcancalculate youroverheadsbyclicking thisicon..." FRIEND To befriend someone.Used asa verb.Sometimesrepeated foremphasis. 1. "You alwaysdisturbme.I don'chfriendyouorreddy." 2. "Why cannot holdherhand?Friend-friendonly,mah." FRUS The Singlish abbreviation of "frustrated". "I studyso hard alsokenaF9. Damn frus,man!" FUCKSPIDER Of uncertain origin, this termoften connotesextremefrustration.Thegeneralconsensusisthatit originatesfromthe Army (thesourceof many creative Singlishphrases),wherea "spider"wasdirt in the barrel of one's rifle. If during inspection,you found a "spider"in yourrifle, you'd haveto strip it and clean it all over again.Hence,"fuckspider"would either be a common expletiveamongstrecruits,oran exhortation by an annoyed inspecting officer/NCO.Some,however,believeitdatesbackto an old practice amongstboysto catch spidersin the undergrowth,housethemin small boxesand makethem fight. FUGLY (Contributed by Bernard Goh)
29. Abbreviation of "fucking ugly",used when "extremely ugly"cannotdo justice. "She thinkshe damnpretty,butacherly,she damnfugly." GABRA (Contributed by Terry How) To panicor be so nervousthatyou messthingsup. "Acherly,she adamn solidathlete.But everytrackmeet,hor,somehow she gabra." GAHMEN (Contributed by edaniel) Has nothing to do with the garmentindustry,butisthe Singlish mispronunciation of "government". Originsusually attributed to incensed taxi driversoffering unsolicited political opinions. Taxi driver:"The gahmenalwayscharge for everything.Increase ERP,increasetaxi rental,thengoand cut CPF.Like that howcan?" GARANG Malay for'fierce' or "powerful".Can mean "impulsive","courageous","foolhardy". 1. "The CO damngarang one,so don'tji seow withhim" 2. "Why so garang for?You not kiasi isit?" GASAK/GASAKBUTA Derived fromthe Malay phrase"gasakbuta",itliterally meansto "fightblind".It hastwo meanings:one is to do thingsin a panicky orhaphazard manner,whiletheother is to grab or swipethingsin a gluttonous,indiscriminatemanner. 1. "This sortof thingmustdo properly,cannotanyhow gasakbuta!" 2. "Wah lau! Everybodygoto McDonald'sand gasak all the HelloKittyoreddy!" GAUMM TIM Cantonesefor"cannotmanage".Often used in thesense thatthingsare going outof control. "AhLiengot promotedtomarketingmanager?Wahlau, she sure gao mm timone." GEI YAN (Contributed by Bubba) (kayyan) Describes something asvery interesting,or intriguing. "Eh, didyoucheck outthat TalkingCockwepsite?Si behgei yanone." GER (Contributed by Andrew Yong) Singlish pronounciation for"girl". "That ger quite chiohor." GERAGOK (Contributed by Maryanne Bell) (grah-goh') "Geragua"is Malay forshrimp."Geragok"hasevolved o mean dried shrimp,often pulverized to makea ratherfoul-smelling,buttastebud-awakeningcondiment.Through culturalassociation somehow,ithas
30. also become an insensitive way to ddress a Eurasian, i.e. a person of mixed Asian and Caucasian ancestry. See also:Serani GERAM Malay word meaning "exasperated"or"greatly annoyed". "WhenI hearpeople dothissort of thing,ah,I get damngeram, man!" GEREK Malay word meaning "perforated",which has somehow morphed into an adjective for "groovy" or "cool". "Didyou see KassiminhisMarlboroleatherjacket?Gereksial!" GIAH LUM PAH CHUT LAI TOM TO'TENG (giahlumpah choo' lai tome to'h teng) A rathergraphicexpression which translatesas"to takeone'stesticles outand bang themon the table". It is an act of self-flagellation,and thephraseisusedwhen onehasdiscovered hehasdonesomething especially idiotic or horrific. "Wah lau,whenI foundoutthat the char bor I was tryingto chee honginthe discowasactuallymy auntie,Igiahlumpah chu lai tom to'teng!" GIAMSIAP See KiamSiap GIVECHANCE Singlish expression for"to befair, generous,orto give a fighting chance". 1. "Our goalie nothere yet,sogive chance,can or not?" 2. "That guy alwayskenawhack,theynevergive chance tohimone." See also:Panchan GLAM/UN-GLAM (Contributed by MC) Shortforglamorous,meaning fashionableorcool.Its antonymis"un-glam". 1. "Eh, that Wendyah, soglam one!Everyweekalsogotnew dress!" 2. "Aiyah,I heardthat AhBenghas become an insurance salesman.Damnun-glam, man!" GO FLYKITE (Contributed by Daniel) Derived fromthe English admonition "go fly a kite!" which means"pissoff","fuckoff","buzzoff",etc, depending on yourlevel of profanity-tolerance.Of course,weeconomicalSingaporeanshaveremoved the extraneousindefinitearticle. "He knowI sobusy,still askme to do things.Askhimgo flykite,lah!" GO WHERE? (Contributed by Terry How) Contraction of "Whereare you/wegoing?"or"Whereshall we go?" "Eh, tonightgowhere andmakan?"
31. GONECASE Someoneorsomething beyond help.A lostcause. 1. "We triedto help,buthe oreddygone case." 2. "If youcontinue like this,yousure gone case." GOONDU Idiot,twit, moron,etc.Derived fromthe Tamil word for"fat",connoting clumsinessand awkwardness. "Why are you sucha goondu?" GOR CHIAM TUA KUAYGU CHIA LENG (Contributed by Henry Tan) Hokkien phrasewhich literally translatesas"five cents biggerthan a bullockcart's wheel". Used sarcastically to criticise someoneforthinking thathis money is worth a lot. "Wah, youwant tobuy thisfor only$1 ah?You gor chiam tua kuay gu chia lengah?" GOSTAN A Malay contraction of thecolonial instruction to "go astern",i.e. to reverse one'svehicle orturn it around.Can beused asa verb. "You can gostanyour car some more.Still gotspace behind." GOT Denoting availabilityof something. Beng:"Got milkor not?" Seng:"Got!" GOT EYE SEE NO TARZAN/GOT EYE SEE NOOR-YEE-OR (Contributed by Hume) A brilliant exampleof hand-me-downSinglish wordplay,thisbizarrephraseis derived fromthe Mandarin proverb,you yan jian bu dao tai san:"to haveeyes,butbe unableto see thelarge mountain",meaning to be blind,ignorantorclueless. The inclusion of 'Tarzan' is becauseEdgarRice Burroughs'famous fictional apeman'snameis transliterated as 'Tai San' in Mandarin. And overtime,somelocal wits have morphed theTarzan referenceinto his trademarkjunglecall. 1. "Eh, you goteye see notarzan! You know whothat man isor not?He's our new principal!Don'tplay- play,okay!" 2. "Wah lau, thattruck so bigalso can langgar!You got eye see noor-yee-or,isit?" GOT LICENCE (Contributed by trashkore) Reflecting Singapore'shighly regulated society,itis a Singlish term for"allowed to", usually used when oneis allowed to commita social vice, i.e. smoking ordrinking. Seng:"Na beh,nowmysistergot licence frommymothertosmoke!" Bala: " Good what,nowyouand your sistercanshare cigarette." Seng: Lan cheow!She everytime kapohmycigarette!
32. GOT...MUST... (Contributed by Edwin Lian) UbiquitousSinglish syntacticpairing.Basically used wheneveronewishesto suggestthatit is imperative to seize an opportunity. 1. "Got foodmusteat,lah!" 2. "Got showmustsee,lah!" 3. "Got sale,mustshop!" GRANDFUDDER ROAD "Yourgrandfather'sroad".A belligerentexpression aimed atroad hogs.Similar to the English expression, "Do you own theroad?""Wah lau,driveso slow!Your grandfudderroad,isit?" GUPOON SI (Contributed by Calvin Fong) (goopoonsee) Hokkien phrasemeaning,"Even a cow would die".Used to describe especially tough and arduousevents. 1. "Wah lau, kenadoone hunletpussup,gu poonsi,man!" (Wow,doingone hundredpushupsisso tough,it can evenkill acow!) 2. "Last nightwe go tothree launge,si behsiong.Gupoon si,man!"(We visitedthree loungeslastnight. It was veryhardgoing.Evena cowwouldhave been killed." HA NI AH PA, LUM PAH HOR LI KAR (Contributed by AA) VulgarHokkien phraseused when responding to a stupid person saying "Ha?"It literally means,"Ha your father,suckmy balls". Sometimesabbreviated to "ha ki lum pah". HA? (Contributed by Terry How) Supercontraction of "Could you pleaserepeat thatagain?"Theequivalentof "What?" Ah Lien:"EhBeng,my periodtwomonthsdidn'tcome oreddy,maybe gotbaby...how?" Ah Beng:"Ha? Talkafter football game canor not?" HABIS (Hah-base) Malay for"finished"or "end". 1. "Alamak,masuktwogoalsalready!Habislah!" 2. "If the bosssee youtuang like that,yousure habis,man!" HALF PAST SIX (Contributed by 12 O'Cock) Describing something orsomeoneasbeing half-baked orincompetent,thetermis actually a sexual reference to the angleof the dangleof themale organ.Half pastsix is weak,butquarterpastthreeor 9:45 is very strong!. "Wah piangeh,whyyour companyso half pastsix one,thissort of easythingalsocan cock-up." See also:ChapSar Tiam KucingKurap
33. HAN NA! (Contributed by Lee Wee Chong) (hahn- nah) Local exclamation meaning "Enough already!",often said in exasperation. Beng:"You knowhor..your shirtberryuglyleh..." Seng:"HAN NA!!!" See also:Ya Lah! HAN TSE (Contributed by AA) (huntss) Hokkien for "sweetpotato".Often used to scold idiots. How this came to be used on dumb people is unclear,butit's believed thatas moronsoften utter,"Orh",and "orh"soundslikeHokkien for"yam", replying with a differenttuberis seen aswitty. Who saysHokkien is an unsophisticated language? Beng:"...andthat's howbabiesare born.Understand,not?" Seng:"Orh!"Beng:"'Orh'your head,lah!Han tse!" HANTAM (hun-tahm) A Malay word meaning to beator hit. "Don't go and disturbhimwhile he sobusy.He sure hantamyou one." HAO LIAN Arrogant,cocky orsmug.Can beused as a verb. 1. "That asshole issi pehhao lian." 2. "Just because yourlettergotpublishinthe 'Forum'page,noneedto hao lianaroundhere,okay!" 3. "Hao lianmeh?"(What'sthere tobe arrogantabout?) HAPPY LIKE BIRD Completeeuphoria. "You goingto ORD insix days?Like that, mustbe happylike bird!" HARD UP In Singlish,thisterm is generally neverused to denote'impoverishment'or'in greatneed of money'. Instead,it is used in the senseof 'desperate',and describessomeonewho isdesperately in need of something,e.g.theoppositesex. 1. "Ah Beng,whyyouso hard up - goand pak tor that girl so arglyone?" 2. "Ah Seng,everybodyknowsyousah-kar'ingthe bossbecause yousi behhardupfor promotion." HAVOC Used to describea wild child, or someonewho'spromiscuous. "AhLienis damnhavoc one." HAWK ONE OR KOH ONE? (Contributed by Edwin)
34. Phraseused by soya bean drinksellers to inquireif you wish yourdrinkto be hotor cold. HAYWIRING ALL OVER THE SHOP (Contributed by KC) This phraserefersto a stateof confusion and disorderthroughoutan organisation orplace.It is of course an army term and quite close in meaning to theAmerican 'SNAFU'(Situation Normal,AllFucked Up).The theory is that it is a uniqueSingaporefusion of 2 terms,the American term HAYWIRING,which derives fromthe way an old fashioned hay- baling machinewould jamif a bit of wire wasaccidentally fed in with the hay,and theEnglish term 'SHOP'which is notrelated to retail space,but refersto the main workspacein a factory,the'shop floor'. "Why youall like that?Small problemandyou're haywiringall overthe shop!" HEAN TOH (Contributed by Kanna Kuay Kio) (hee-untoe) Hokkien for "flip thetable". Originated fromclashesbetween secret society members.Preludesto these fightsalwaysconsisted of someoneflipping overa table. Used frequently asa challenge to a fightor cheerfulbantering between friends. "Eh, youstare what?Buaysong izzit?Wan' to heantoh,ah?" HECK CARE An expression either used to describesomeoneas nonchalantorcavalier,or to exhortsomeoneto ignore something. 1. "This sortof seriousthing,howcanyou be so heckcare?" 2. "Ah Bengbotheringyouagain?Aiyah,heckcare him, lah!" HELICOPTER/CHINESE HELICOPTER An adjectiveused to describe a Chinese-educatedperson.Itoriginated in the Army wherethe term Chinese- "educated"rapidly evolved through successivemispronunciation from"educated"... "edicated"...."edicotted"...."edicopter"...,eventually settling on "helicopter"!Often pronounced "helicotter" foradded emphasis. "My platoonisfull of helicopterone." HENG A Hokkien word meaning "lucky"or "fortunate".Usually said afterhaving escaped a tightspot,or avoided a near miss. 1. "As soonas you left,the bosscame outto arrow people.Youdamnhengone." 2. "Heng ah! The policemandidn'tsee me shootthe redlight." HENG KAO KAN (Contributed by Gabriel Png) A Hokkien term which literally means"to begiven to a dog for fucking".Used asan expression of extremefrustration. "Na behI buySCORE! twogoals,thentheygo andscore three.Hengkaokan, siah!"
35. HENTAK KAKI A Malay army drill command meaning to "march in place" and thuscan refer to any formof inaction or idling. Outsideof the military, it also describessomeonewhosecareerhasstagnated eitherby choice or incompetence. "AhBeng usedtobe a high-flyer,butnow he justhentakkaki." HEONG (hyong) Hokkien for "strong"or"fierce". "Wah lau,hisB.O. isdamn heong." See also:Powderful Siong. HERO Has thesame meaning asin English,but often connotes eithera foolhardy person orsomeoneoutto grab attention. 1. "Just pass,can oreddy.Whytry and score A? You heroor what?" 2. "It's too dangerous.Don'ttry to be hero." HIAO MI A flirtatiousand vain girl. "Don't be such a hiaomi,can or not?" See also:Hiao HIAO/HIAO LAY LAY A Hokkien term describing someoneasflirtatiousand/orvain.The"Lay Lay"is added foremphasis.Can be used as a verb. 1. "Look at Jane in hermini skirt.Si behhiao,man." 2. "Aiyah,she alwayswearjeanstight-tight.Veryhiaolaylayone." 3. "She wear somuch makeupbecause she wan'to go andhiao laylay,lor." See also:HiaoMi HO GAI SIAO (Contributed by Terry How) This Hokkien phraseexpressesregretover having taken in bad advice. "AhBeng tell me goto No.90-052 GeylangLorong 69 lookfor"Tiffany"sayshe have damnjude one. Wah lan eh!Din'chknowshe sooopooi one - damn hogai siao!" HO SAY Hokkien exclamation denoting satisfaction,orenthusiasticendorsement. 1. Beng: "Eh,I belanjayoumakantonight,okay?"Seng:"Ho say,ah!" 2. "His companyIPOoreddy,he sure ho sayliao." HOJJIBER/HORRIJIBER (Contributed by Egwin)
36. AcceptableSinglish variantpronunciationsof "Horrible". 1. "Wah lau, simple thinglike this,howcandountil sohojjiberone?" 2. "I just sawthat 'Hannibal'flim.Damnhorrijiberone." HOKKIEN PENG The quintessentialprivatesoldier - salt of theearth,if notdownrightearthy.Formsthefoundation of our armed forces,and the personswithoutwhomthisSinglish dictionary would notbepossible. HONG KAN A very rude Hokkien phrasemeaning,"asking forit".Literally, "wanting to be fucked". "Why youstare at me?Hong kanis it?" HOONG KEE (Contributed by zx) Hokkien for 'cigarette'. "Eh, go outside andtake a hoonkee break,ai mai?" HOOT The quintessentialAh Beng term for"fight"or "beatup". 1. "You go and stare at the AhBeng,sure kena hoot." 2. "Ai tiohootah?" (Do youwantto be beatenup?) HOPE (Contributed by Phyllis Low) Of uncertain origin, it hascome to mean catching something,usually,butnotalways,unpleasant. “Wah lau,I kenaarrow thistype of kangtao hor wa hope tio,ah!!!"("My goodness,whyamI being givena tasklike this?") HOR AnotherSinglish tag,used like a punctuation mark. "He,hor, verykan cheongone. See also:Lah Leh Lor Meh HORLAN (Contributed by Desmond) Deliberate mispronunciation of "Holland".Of uncertain origin, theterm is used to denotefinding oneself in a far-off place,orunexpected consequence,usually unpleasant.Somehaveposited thattheterm may derive fromthe Hokkien predilection to incorporatetheword "Lan" into their speech,and thereis some basis for thisbelief, as the Taiwanesereportedly usetheword "Horlan" to denote"bullshitting". 1. "Wah lau, nowwe knowthe buggermade us go to Horlan!" 2. "Ah Bengreportedusto the Principal?Horlanliao,lah!" HORLUMPICK (Contributed by Desmond) Singlish mispronunciation of "Olympics",usually by theoldergeneration. "Eh, yougot watch the SydneyHorlumpick,not?"
37. HORN To sound thehorn of one's car.Used as a verb. "Why isthe car infront of us so slow?Hornthe bugger!" HOW CAN In trueSingaporean economicalstyle,thisis a contraction of "How can this be?"or "How can this be possible?"OriginatesfromtheMalay-Hokkien hybrid phrase,"Manaeh sai?" "AhBeng became a President'sScholar?How can?" See also:Mana Eh Sai HOW SEOW (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Very rude Hokkien term meaning "nonsense"orbullshit"."Seow"in Hokkien means"sperm". "You alwaystalktoomuch. Don't howseow,lah!" HUAT SIO (Contributed by Mike Soo) Hokkien for "fever"or getting hotunderthe collar, or to describe someoneascrazy. 1. "Piangeh,everytime Isee AhLienonly,Ihuatsio,man!" 2. "Aiyah,thathuat sioone come oreddy!"(Ohno,that nut has arrived!) HUM KAR CHAN (Contributed by AA) (humga chaan) Cantonesecurse,meaning "WholeFamily Die" or "Whole Family Bankrupt". HUM PAH LANG/CHA PAH LANG Means"everything",and may connotea lackof discrimination.It could be derived fromCantonese,but there is also a Malay term"hamparan",which means'carpet'or'cover'. "Wah lau,so kiasu,humpah langalsowant!" HUM SUP LOH (haamsup) Cantonesetermliterally meaning,"saltyand wetfellow".A dirty old man. See also:Chee KoPek Lau Ter Khor I (LOCATION) OREDDY (Contributed by Edwin) An abbreviated formof saying "Iam already at( Location)".Thishascome into existence so as to take advantageof thefree20 secondsof incoming calls on yourhandphone.So if you'reat Bishan and someonecalls you on yourhandphoneand asksyourlocation: "Where younow?" "I Bishanoreddy" IF COCK CANTALK, CHEE BYE CAN KAH PAGER (Contributed by revolushun)
38. An especially rude retortused againstsomeonewho justexclaimed "Talkcock,lah!" IMMEELLY The properpronunciation of "immediately". WhenI heardthat the lotterywentupto $5 million,Iimmeelygoandbuy." INNARDS (Contributed by Kok-Tong Khoo) Common contraction/mispronunciation of "in otherwords". IRON RINGS (Contributed by Justin Lee) The properpronunciation of "onion rings". Ah Beng:"Sowhat side dish
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