Singlish

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Template:Figures of Speech


  • People here had long adopted Singlish as their lingua franca though GARMEN had tried to introduce Mandarin speaking for all Singaporeans
Singlish, a portmanteau* of the words Singaporean and English <defined by wikipedia* nonsense!

Singlish, being the "lingua franca" had been around and used in in Singapore, is now a mixture of dialects and english, making the language as another "foreign" language. To allow people to learn Singlish faster, A brand new Coxford Singlish Dictionary is here.

  • Asking_lah? I thot the Nationale language is in Majulah Singapura? or have they officially change it to Singlish? Plse tell us HOR, we need to know lah! Ingnoramous165.21.154.115 08:51, 23 Apr 2005 (SGT)
  • Now trying to add better formatting so that visitors can see the definitions better... will take a long time hor, since only me solo. -Gloser

A

goto see our new 2004 Singlish.com [[1]]
A BIT THE (Contributed by Stella)
A Singlish phrase meaning 'very', always said in a clearly sarcastic tone.
1. " Wah, you a bit the late, hor!"
2. "Piang eh, your shirt a bit the short, man!"
See also: Very The
ABOURIT
Sloppy pronunciation of "about it".
Aiyah, this kind of small thing, don' worrage abourit.
ACT (ADJECTIVE) BUAY (ADJECTIVE)
To fail miserably at affecting a pose. BUAY means "NOT".
?Substitute any adjective of your choice.
See also: [[Act Cute Buay Cute]], [[Act Lian Buay Lian]]
ACT BLUR
To play innocent
I know you know who did it, so don抰 act blur!
See also: Buat Bodoh, Bedek Wayang, N.A.T.O.
ACT CUTE (Contributed by Yong Kuan)
A phrase which describes behaving in an exaggeratedly cute or adorable fashion. Can be used as both :verb and adjective. Usually performed by females who appear they cannot escape their childhood.
1. "Eh, Ah Lian is always so act cute one! She trying to be smurf, is it?"
2. "Ah, ignore her, lah. She's just acting cute again."
ACT CUTE BUAY CUTE/A.C.B.C. (Contributed by Angus)
Literally describes the common occurrence of a Singaporean girl trying to pander to a guy's wishes, but failing miserably.
"Ee-yurr. I tell you, I damn buay tahan watching Ah Lien try to get Ah Beng to go kwa meenite with her. Damn ACBC one."
ACT LIAN BUAY LIAN, ACT BENG BUAY BENG/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, Johnson is damn condemn. Act Beng buay beng. Si beh hopeless."
See also: Act Cute Buay Cute
ACTION (Contributed by Terry How)
Arrogant and haughty. Basically the same as "Ya Ya' and "Dao". Also sometimes used to mean "full of hot air."
"You don'ch talk so much, action only!"
See also: Ya Ya Dao
ADOI
(ah-doi)
A Malay exclamation of disgust or pain, similar to "alamak", but used to denote a lesser degree of exasperation.
See also: Alamak
AGAIN?
A much more economical way of saying, "I beg your pardon?"
See also: Say Again?
AGAK TAREK (Contributed by Patrick Wong)
A Malay phrase literally broken down as 'estimate' (agak) and 'pull' (tarek). It means to "hold back" or "be charitable" or "not to go too far".
"Don't talk so bad about him. Agak tarek a bit and give him some face, lah."
AGAK-AGAK
(ah-gark, ah-gark)
Malay term meaning "to estimate".
Note that the "ga" is pronouced with a "hard" tone.
See also: Agaration
AGARATION
(ah-gah-ray-shun)
The noun form of the Malay verb "agak-agak", which means to estimate.
"I arrived at the number through agaration."
See also: Agak-Agak
AH BENG
An unsophisticated Chinese boy, usually Hokkien. Stereotypically, he speaks gutter hokkien and likes neon-coloured clothes, spiky, moussed hair and accessories such as handphones or pagers, all of which are conspicuously displayed. He also likes to squat, even when a seat is available.
"Wah lao eh, why you so chao ah beng one?" (Goodness, why are you such an ah beng?)
See also: Ah Huay, Ah Kow, Ah Lian, Ah Seng, Beng, Chao Ah Beng/Chao Ah Lian

AH BENG AH SENG A group of Ah Bengs. "Why you go and make friend with those Ah Beng Ah Seng?" (Why are you associating with those Ah Bengs?) See also: Ah Beng

AH CHEK "Uncle", a generic name used to address an older man.

AH HUAY A pet-name which literally means, "Flower". Interchangeable with "Ah Lian".

AH KAH AH CHEW (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) (' kah ah' chew) Hokkien phrase literally meaning "duck legs, duck hands". Used to describe someone's extremely poor coordination. "Ah Kah" and "Ah Chew" can be used separately. 1. "Don't go and ask him to help you set up the stage. He's very the ah kah ah chew." 2. "Wah lau, like that also cannot score! The player is damn ah kah, one!"

AH KONG Hokkien for 揋randpa.?

AH KOW A pet-name which literally means, "dog." A generic name given to the sidekicks of the Ah Beng, as well as dogs. See also: Ah Beng Ah Beng Ah Seng

AH LIAN A pet-name which literally means, "lotus flower". The female equivalent of an Ah Beng - an unsophisticated Chinese girl. Stereotypically dresses in neon colours, wears a huge ribbon perched on the top of her head, and carries a tiny basket. See also: Ah Beng Ah Huay Chao Ah Beng/Ah Lian

AH LONG Hokkien for 搇oan shark? An illegal moneylender who imposes exorbitant interest rates and abbreviated payback periods, usually to make up for the borrower抯 complete lack of collateral.

AH MM (ah-umm) Generic name used to address an old woman.

AH NIA Hokkien for "Pretty, Beautiful". Term used to refer to a pretty girl. See also: Ah Huay Ah Lian

AH POOI Generic name given to a fat person. Ah Beng's sidekick. See also: Fatty Bom Bom

AH QUAH (ah-koo-ah) An offensive term for an effeminate man. The Singlish equivalent of 揻aggot?or 揻airy? See also: Pondan

AH SENG Ah Beng's sidekick. Also a generic pejorative term used to denote 'anybody'. As in "Tiu Lei Ah Seng", meaning "Fuck You". See also: Ah Beng

AH SOH Generic name used to address an older (though not necessarily old) lady. Sometimes used as a pejorative term for a sloppily-dressed woman. "Our CEO is damn powerful, but she always dress like Ah Soh one."

AH THEN?/ ARBO/ARBUTHEN (Contributed by trashkore) The Singlish equivalent for "of course" or "duh!". "Ah then?" is the sarcastic response given to blindingly obvious questions or statements. Somehow, it evolved into "arbuthen" sometime during the 1980's (possibly a deliberate mispronunciation of "Ah, but then?"), and has now become "arbo". 1. Ah Beng: "Eh, your void deck so clean and new, your constituency kena upgrading, ah?" Ah Seng: "Ah then?" 2. Ah Lian: "Wah, see you got wear so swee-swee... confirm you tonight go pak tor, lor!" (Judging by how prettily you're dressed, you must have a date tonight.) Ah Hway: "Arbuthen?" 3. Ali: "Eh, your exam finish oreddy, ah? I see you like very free lai dat." Ah Lee : "Arbo!"

AH TONG AH SENG Equivalent to the English phrase "Tom, Dick and Harry". Possibly of Cantonese origin. "Every Ah Tong Ah Seng also got handphone today."

AI PEE, AI CHEE, AI TUA LIAP NEE (Contributed by K. Ang) Teochew saying which literally translates as ' Want cheap, want pretty, want big breasts!' It is used to describe someone who wants the earth, ie. someone with unrealistic or unreasonable desires or expectations. 揝ingaporeans all very hard to please, one. They all ai pee, ai chee, ai tua liap nee.?/font>

AI SI Literally, "want to die". Courting disaster. "Ai si, ah?" (Do you want to die?) See also: Chuay Si

AI TZAI A Hokkien exhortation to calm down. 揟he exam is not counted one. Ai tzai!?(The exam results are not taken into account. Relax!) See also: Steady Tzai

AK KAH CHIEW JI (Contributed by Half-Cocked) Literally, to be as close to someone as two testicles. "Don'ch worry, I ak kah chiew ji with this feller. If I ask, he sure help?you one."

AK KAH LIAO/AK (ah-kah-leow) To be good and intimate friends with someone. 1. "Ah Beng and the boss are damn ah kah liao, so he sure can find you lobang one." 2. "I didn't know you and your CEO were so ak."

AKAN DATANG Malay for "coming soon". Seen in movie trailers and some advertisements, but less so nowadays. "Be more patient OK, akan datang"

AKASAI (Contributed by Shaun Mathew) A pejorative description of something or someone as extremely cutesy and girlish. Possibly a contraction of "act cute until like sai". (act cute until like shit) "Aiyoh, Priscilla wear the Hello Kitty hairclips, so akasai!"

ALAMAK Of uncertain provenance, a general Malay exclamation that has long been rumoured to mean "Allah's mother". This has not been confirmed, and in any case, the term has since become a common expression of dismay or incredulity. "Alamak! Why you go and do this sort of stupid thing?"

ALI BABA (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) To steal or cheat. 1. "You don' act blur, okay! I know you ali baba my fries when I went to the toilet!" 2. "Don't try and Ali Baba, okay! I saw you take another ace of spades out of your pocket!"

ALL FART AND NO SHIT Used to describe someone who's full of empty promises. "Ah, shaddup lah. Everyday say you wan' to treat me go lunch. You all fart and no shit only."

AMACAM (Contributed by Mat) (ah-much-ahm) A contraction of the Malay greeting, "Apa Macam" which is the Malay equivalent of "What's up?" or "What's happening?" "Eh, Ramli! Long time no see! Amacam?"

AN CHUA (ahn-choo-ah) Hokkien for "What's the matter?", "What's up?" or "How are things?" Heard very often as the first or second phrase used on a mobile phone. "Hallo? Ah Kow? An Chua?"

ANG MOR GAO (Contributed by Michael Witty) Hokkien for "red haired monkey", a reference to Caucasians. See also: Ang Mor Mat Salleh Orang Putih

ANG MOR NANG|AngMoh Hokkien for 'red-hair'. A pejorative term used to describe Caucasians See also: Mat Salleh

ANG TAO CHULOOT (Contributed by revolushun) A graphic reference to the fully erect male member. The phallic shape of the cigar has not gone unnnoticed by Hokkien speaking Singaporeans. Probably originated from a bastardized pronounciation of the English word cheroot for cigar.

ANGKAT BOLA Malay term meaning to curry favour or be sycophantic. Literally, to "carry balls". See also: Sah Kah

ANONEH (Contributed by Ayam Goreng) (ah-nor-neh) A Japanese expression similar to "Well..." or "If that's the case...", in Singlish this has come to be a generic term for any Japanese girl. 1. "Wah lau, see that anoneh! Her dressing damn solid one." 2. "I got some char bor friends in Pasir Ris, they are all anoneh working for airline one."

APU NEH NEH (Contributed by lanmao) Childish and racist term for an Indian man. (To a child): " Don't go out by yourself , skarly the Apu neh-neh catch you then you know!"

ARGLY The correct pronunciation for "ugly". "Wah lan, check out Ah Beng's shirt. It's damn argly."

ARROW To delegate somebody to perform a task. Generally used only if the task is unpleasant or boring. Derives from the Army or civil service practice of stamping a tiny arrow next to the name of the person in official documents. "I don't know why I always kena arrow by the Inche to wash the jamban."

ARROW (Contributed by Half-Cocked) Another term inherited from the Army. It means to be tasked with something, usually unpleasant or troublesome. 1. "Wah lau, I kena arrow clean toilet!" 2. "So suay, I was just in the office, den he come and arrow me type his document."

ARSE LUCK Used to describe extremely bad luck. Originally idiomatic in England, but very popular in Singlish. "Ah Hock just got his driving license and straightaway kena caught for speeding. What arse luck!"

ATAS (ah-tahs) Malay for "upstairs", it describes someone as snobbish, hoity-toity, affected or arrogant. "Wah, you nowsaday do'wan to eat ikan bilis, only eat caviar. Become damn atas oreddy."

AYAM Malay for "chicken". Used to describe someone as hopeless or easily intimidated. "Man U. sure win. The other team damn ayam one."

B

B.G.R. Acronym for “Boy Girl Relationship”.

BAK CHEW TAK STAMP (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Classic Singlish hybrid of Hokkien and English. Literally translates as "eyes have been pasted over with a stamp", meaning to be blind. "How can you step right onto that big pile of kao sai (dog shit)? You bak chew tak stamp, is it?"

BAKERO (Contributed by UMC-Nazzster) (Bah-kay-row) A Singapore corruption of the Japanese swear word "baka yarou", which loosely means "stupid neanderthal". Often erroneously thought to mean "bastard". "Wah lau, the principal is a damn bakero, man!"

BALIK (bah-le’h) Malay for “to return home”. “5 o’clock and you balik-ing orreddy ah?” 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 back where you came from." Chants of "balik kampong" can usually be heard at the National Stadium by Singaporean fans trying to scare the visiting soccer team. But we ALL know who's really going to "balik kampong" in the end. "Aiyah, why you go and listen to him? Just tell him to balik kampong, lah!"

BALU A Hokkien term, but derived from the Malay word "baru", meaning "recently". "This handphone balu bueh eh and oreddy koyak." (I bought this handphone only recently and it's already broken."

BANG Onomatopoeic term denoting exasperation or frustration. Similar to "Pek Chek". "I expected to win the lottery, instead I kena fine. Damn bang, man." See also: Bang Balls Lum Pah Pah Lan Pek Chek

BANG BALLS Essentially the Anglicized version of the Hokkien phrase "Lum Pah Pah Lan". "Wah lan! When I heard I kena saman that time, I damn bang balls, drop on floor, bounce three times!" See also: Bang Lum Pah Pah Lan

BANGALI See Mungalee Bhai

BANGLA (Contributed by Andrew Yong) Racist abbreviation of "Bangladashi." "Those two Bangla very hardworking, day in day out never stop working one."

BARANG BARANG (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) Colloquial Malay for "chattels", or "personal property or belongings". Sergeant:" OK, soldiers. We are moving off to Peng San Hill in 10 minutes time. Have you all got your barang-barang ready?"

BASKET (bahs-kate) Nothing to do with woven receptacles. A term of uncertain origin, but the general consensus is that it was once a euphemism for "bastard". Nowadays, it is an exclamation denoting frustration. "Basket! Five minute only, oreddy kena saman! No coupon!"

BAYI See Bhai

BECAUSE THE SKY IS SO HIGH, THE BIRD SHIT IN YOUR EYE (Contributed by Edwin) This phrase is essentially an annoyed retort to being asked "why", and conveys the meaning that the questioner ought to mind his or her own business. Popular in the mid-70's, its usage began to decline in the early 80's and is rarely heard these days. Sally: " Eh, Jasmine, how come I never see you with Roger anymore?" Jasmine: " We oreddy break up, lah!" Sally: " Why?" Jasmine: " Because the sky is so high, the bird shit in your eye!"

BEDEK/ACTION BEDEK/BEDEK KACANG (Contributed by Lixing) (bay-deh') A Malay word meaning "to aim at", it is used to describe someone who is acting dishonestly or disingenuously, or who is full of hot air, or who pretends to be capable but is in reality a failure. Can also be used as a verb in the sense of "to bluff" or "mislead". Tagging on "action" or "kacang" (peanuts) is merely for emphasis. 1. "Oi, you make sure you can really do it, ah! Don't anyhow bedek me, okay!" 2. “I saw you pontang school today, you don’t come and bedek kacang with me, okay?” (I saw you playing truant today, don’t you act innocent with me!) 3. ""Wah! That S-League player really want to score, sia! But open goal still can fall down! So action bedek one, man!" See also: Act Blur; Buat Bodoh; Wayang


BEH TAH HAN (bay tah hahn) A hybrid Hokkien-Malay term meaning, "I can't stand it" or "I can't deal with it". (Hokkien for cannot is "beh" and "tahan" in Malay is "endure".) 1. "Why must he speak with that accent? Damn beh tahan!" 2. "Aiyah, sometimes I really beh tahan him!"

BEH/BUAY (bay/bway) A prefix meaning “not”. Either pronunciation is acceptable. “He damn beh pai say one.” (He’s not ashamed.)

BELAKANG MARI (Contributed by James Chong) Literally, Malay for "going by the rear". Used to describe situations where an alternative (often covert) approach is employed when the obvious has failed. "Wah, that guy super saht man! Cannot get in first time, then belakang mari second time can orreddy!" ("Wow, he's cool! He couldn't get in the first time, but by acting sneaky the second time, he managed to do it!")

BENG Contraction of “Ah Beng”. “Why you dress so beng one?” See also: Ah Beng

BENGKOK (beng-kohk) Malay for 'bent' or 'crooked'. "Adey! Your shirt a little bengkok leh. Latest style or what?" See also: Senget

BERAK (Contributed by Andrew Yong) (bay-rah') Malay for "to shit". (The Malay word for faeces is "tahi".) "Eh, you all wait awhile for me, hor, I need to berak."

BHAI SI MI SEK “Bhai What Colour?” A racist game played by churlish Chinese people. It involves pinching your companion whenever you spot a Sikh gentleman, and not letting go till your companion shouts out the colour of 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 has since taken on racist connotations in Singapore.

BIN CHOW CHOW Hokkien phrase literally meaning, "smelly face". Used to describe someone with a grumpy look and sour disposition. "I do'wan to talk to him, lah. He always so bin chow chow one."

BISING (bee-seng) Malay for "noisy". "Alamak, every Saturday night, my upstairs neighbour throws a karaoke party. Damn bising, sia!"

BLANCO To apply white correction fluid over an error. "Blanco" is actually the trademark name of a long-established whitening liquid. "No need to get me a new form. I'll just blanco over the old names."

BLANJAH Derived from the Malay word "belanja", meaning "expenditure". In Singlish, it means to give someone a treat or to pay for someone else. "If I get promotion, I sure blanjah you all lunch."

BLARDER Ah Beng pronunciation of “Brother”. Contrary to popular belief, does not mean “bladder”. “Ah Beng is my blood blarder. We both have the same tattoos.”

BLUR Used to describe someone as rather inept or in a world of his own. May also be used to describe the feeling of being dazed. A common usage is "Blur like sotong". 1. “Such a simple thing also cannot do. You damn blur!” 2. “Wah lao, I do maths, do until blur, man.” See also: Concuss

BLUR LIKE FUCK The rude version of “blur like sotong”. See also: Blur

BLUR LIKE SOTONG See Sotong

BLUR TOAD A common variant of “Sotong”. Of uncertain origin. See also: Sotong

BOBO/BOBO KING/BOBO SHOOTER (Contributed by imayoda and Daniel Hong) Used to describe a soldier who frequently misses his shooting target. Derived possibly from a military term frequently used at the shooting range, W/O W/O (wipe-out) for no hits at all. 1. "Eh, it's that bobo shooter again, always cross lane one." 2. "Recruit Beng is super bobo king one. Last time at the range, he accidentally shot his OC."

BODOH Malay for “stupid” or “fool”. “Salim is such a bodoh. When he lit his cigarette, he set his eyebrows on fire.”

BOH When placed before any word, it turns it into the negative. The Hokkien equivalent of "not" or "un". Thus, "Boh Chup" is the negative of "Chup", and "Boh Chee" means not to have any "Chee".

BOH BAH TI Hakka for Mm Tzai Si See also: Mm Tzai Si

BOH BEH CHOW (Contributed by Kevin) Hokkien term which literally translates as "no horse running". It is used to describe something or someone which/who is so exceptionally good that there's no competition. "Wah lau eh, that chio bu really boh beh chow man! Si peh tok kong ah!"

BOH CHEE (Contributed by AA) Hokkien for "no balls". "Eh, like dat also don'ch dare try. He damn bo chee, lah." See also: Boh Lum Par Chee

BOH CHIAK PNG (Contributed by Henry Tan) Literally, Hokkien for "have not eaten rice". Used to describe someone as physically weak. "Wah lau, like that also cannot carry! You boh chiak png, ah?"

BOH CHUP Nonchalant; relaxed; phlegmatic. Can be used as both adjective and verb. 1. “He’s very boh chup about his work.” 2. “Aiyah, boh chup him, lor.”

BOH ENG Hokkien term literally meaning "not free". Used to convey how busy you are. "Go East Coast to swim? Boh eng lah!" See also: Mana Ooh Eng? Chia'h Sior Eng

BOH HER HAE MAH HO A Hokkien proverb which translates as "If there are no fish, prawns are just as good." It is unclear if this is a statement said in resigned acceptance of one's second choices, or if it is a cheerfully pragmatic way of dealing with situations where you do not get what you originally intended. Perhaps both. "You couldn't get tickets to the Anita Mui concert, so you bought us seats for the Bukit Pantat Community Centre Angklong Orchestra Performance? I guess boh her hae mah ho."

BOH HEW/DON'T HEW (Contributed by Henry Tan) Hokkien for "don't give a damn". It's not entirely clear what "hew" translates to on its own, but it's invariably used in the negative. 1. "Aiyah, this small-small thing, just boh hew, can oreddy." 2. "It's not worth fighting him over this sort of thing. Don't hew him, better." See also: Boh Chup

BOH LANG AI/BOH NANG AI Hokkien for "nobody wants", meaning "useless". "This sort of free gift, boh lang ai, one lah."

BOH LIAO (Contributed by AA) Hokkien for "nothing better to do". Dangerously idle. In Mandarin, it's "wuliao". "What for he go and do that sort of thing? Must be damn bo liao."

BOH LUI (Contributed by Yong Kuan) Hokkien phrase literally meaning "no money". Commonly heard from students, NSmen, and people aspiring to Murchidis Bendzes. 'Eh, tonight cannot treat you all to karaoke. I boh lui liao!'

BOH LUM PAR CHEE (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Hokkien for "no testicles/balls/guts", it is used to admonish someone for being a coward. "You don't dare print this Lexicon entry, you boh lum par chee." See also: Boh Chee

BOH PIAN Hokkien for "Can't do anything about it" or "No choice." "Must pay cover charge. This one boh pian one."

BOH SAY (Contributed by AA) Hokkien phrase meaning "doesn't have the look". That kind also can be occifer ah? Damn boh say, leh!" See also: Ooh Say

BOH TAH BOH LUM PAR (Contributed by Woogie) Literally, Hokkien for "If it's not dry, you've got no balls." A dare given to someone to drink up something unpleasant. "You say you can tahan spicy food? Then drink that whole bowl of laksa, lah! Boh tah, boh lum par!"

BOH TAI JI Hokkien for "Nothing's the matter" or "nothing's wrong". "Here everything boh tai ji, why you itchy backside come and listurb?"

BOH TAK CHEK Hokkien for "no schooling". "You ah, boh tak chek one, how can get cheng hu kang?"

BOH TAU BOH BUAY Hokkien term which literally translates as, "no head no tail", meaning "incomprehensible". "Wah lau eh, that movie was damn boh tau bo buay."

BOH TSENG HU A Hokkien term literally meaning, “to lack governance”. Means lawlessness or chaotic. “Wah, boss go on leave, this whole place boh tseng hu orreddy.” (With the boss on leave, the office is without control.)

BOH TUA BOH SUAY (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong) Hokkien phrase literally meaning "no big, no small". Used to admonish someone for not knowing his place. Famously used by PM Goh Chok Tong in a National Day Rally speech. "You talk like that to your father? Si noong kia! Damn boh tua boh suay!"

BOLEH (Contributed by AA) Malay for "can" or "possible". "You do my way, sure boleh one."

BORAK Malay, to bluff or to talk idly "Dun borak me man, you oni pay two dollar for this!" See also: Talk Cock

BORROW For some reason, “to lend”. “Eh, can borrow me your book?”

BOSS Nothing to do with one's superiors, this is a deliberately sloppy pronunciation of "balls". Used at the end of sentences for emphasis. Interestingly, it does not add any obscene overtones to the sentence or subject. 1. "Did you see the shirt Ah Beng was wearing? Can go blind, boss." 2. "I just read that book by the opposition politician. Fierce, boss."

BOTAK/BOTAK HEAD (Contributed by SinnerLee) Malay for bald. "Botak head" is used to describe a bald person, a skinhead or even someone with a short crew-cut. "Which one is Mr. Tan? He's that botak head sitting over there."

BUAT BODOH (bua’h bodo’) In Malay, literally, "to play dumb". To feign ignorance. See also: Act Blur

BUAY GAM (bway gahm) A Hokkien term describing something as inconsistent, or being an imperfect match. “Why did I break up with Ah Lian? Aiyah, she and I just buay gam lor.”

BUAY HIAO BAI (Contributed by J Tai) Literally, not to know what ugliness is. Not embarrassed easily. "His voice cannot make it still go and sing so much, damn buay hiao bai."

BUAY KAN (Contributed by half-cocked) Hokkien for, literally, unable to fuck. An especially crude term used to describe an utterly incompetent person. Applies only to extreme cases. "Wah lau eh, this fella so buay kan, if we put him in charge, sure cock-up one."

BUAY KANTANG (Contributed by ketchup) Literally meaning "to sell potatoes", this phrase means that there is more than meets the eye in a given situation. it is a hybrid of the Hokkien phrase "buay kan tan", meaning 'not easy' and the Malay word 'kentang', for potato. "Don't anyhow rush. This sort of thing, ah, buay kantang one."

BUAY KIA NANG TU LAN (Contributed by Jonathan Ng) Hokkien phrase which means to do things unabashedly, or unashamed of doing things others might disapprove of. "Wah lau, this sort of voice also can cut album. Damn buay kia nang tu lan!" See also: Buay Pai Seh

BUAY KUM GUAN Hokkien for "unwilling" or "reluctant". "Aiyah, ask him to help you damn no use, lah. He sure damn buay kum guan, one."

BUAY PAI SEH (Contributed by Ch'ng Tuan Wee) Also "thick-skinned". Literally translated as "not shy". Means not ashamed/embarassed by one's own actions, usually connotes insensitivity. "Wa lao, you everyday let her buy you drink, buay pai seh one ah?" See also: Pai Seh

BUAY SAI (Contributed by K. Ang) Hokkien for ‘cannot’ or ‘incapable’. Can be used in many forms. 1. “You want Ah Beng to help you with your maths? Buay sai! (“Impossible!” or “You can’t!”) 2. “You want Ah Beng to help you with your maths? He damn buay sai one!” (“He’s incapable!”) 3. “Ah Beng buay sai help you with your maths.” (Ah Beng cannot help you with your maths.”) See also: Cannot Make It

BUAY SONG Hokkien for “not satisfied”. Usually used in a vaguely belligerent tone. 1. “You stare at me for what? Buay song ah?” 2. “Ah Beng is supposed to be my good friend, yet he treat me like this. Now I damn buay song him.”

BUAY SWEE/STEADY (Contributed by Willy Ng) Hokkien phrase literally meaning, "not beautiful" or "unsteady", it is used to denote a person's action as biased or unfair. " Wah lah eh! Langgar still can pass driving test. Damm buay swee/steady man!"

BUAY TZAI Hokkien for “not calm”. Used to describe someone as nervous and unsteady. “Do this sort of thing is very easy. Why you so buay tzai one?”

BUAY TZE TONG (Contributed by Andrew Yong) Hokkien phrase referring to an inconsiderate person who lacks initiative. Literally, "does not know how to move by oneself." "He see the girl got so many things to carry then still dunno how to go and help. Damn buay tze tong, leh!"

BUAYA Malay for “crocodile”. Means “lothario” or wolf, i.e. sleazy pick-up artist. May also be used as a verb. 1. “Johnny’s after Jane, even though he’s supposed to be with Jenny. What a chao buaya.” 2. “Look at Johnny buaya-ing Jane.”

BUNG KAH TIO LUM PAR Literally meaning "mosquito biting the testicles", it is a term used to describe a painful dilemma, where all options carry dire consequences. Similar in spirit to the English "Hobson's Choice", meaning no real choice at all. Believed to have originated in rural China, by farmers who had to relieve themselves in mosquito-infested fields. "I don'ch whack him, he sure damn ya-ya one. I whack him, he sure report me to police. Wah lan eh, this is damn bung kah tio lum par!" See also: Lum Pah

BUSOK (boo-soh') Malay for "smelly" or "rotten". Used to accuse someone of being a cheat or playing dirty. "I don't friend you, you play mah-jong very busok one" See also: Chao Kuan Chao Kah Mungsat


C

  • CAGEY- nervous or with anxiety due to confined environment space where a person lives.
  • CAGED BIRD CAN'T FLY- those people who are residing in HBD flats or Young soldiers under National service cannot leave the Country.
  • CHABOK- "to cabuk" or "Cabuk" literal Hokkien : "running steps" <in Hokkien> i.e. to get away as getaway from Singapore. e.g. migrate to Canada.
  • CHABOK- literal meaning : to escape, ran away or migrate. A Malay slang word adopted into Hokkien and Singlish way of expressing frustration with the cagey situations in S'pore.

CHIOBU - Pretty woman. when used in a sentence : woa... chiobu come already...

D

DURIA_kia - a son of Durian, meaning someone who behavior and conduct is like a local street boy. DEGREE HOLDER - one who has graduated with a degree from a college or university. DETAIL OF TOPO - Geography sense of the people with plans or schemes to control others or businesses. You should know the TOPO<graphy> of the place.

E

ENGINEERED- talks about controlling people and manupilating them for the purposes of the Government, irregardless whether for good or bad. People here <who lived in Singapore > are passive in political matters and usually supporter of the governing administration in Singapore.

F

G

GARMEN- tranliteration of Government

Goondos - see Goondos catch no ball

H

HAND FED BIRDS - the later generation of the 70s,80s and later generations compared with those in the earlier 60s & 70s under NS service. HONORS - honours as in a degree with honours.

I J

K

KIA-SU and KIA-SEE to be afraid of "losing out" and to be afraid of "dying" i.e. afraid of venturing beyond the normal lifestyle habits. A common attitude of life here in Singapore. WE have a KIA-SU GARMEN ie we have a Government with tight controls afraid letting go the reins of freedom. KAYU- to be unable to grasp (stupid?)what someone try to say: "yea i am so kayu!"

KO

meaning a "No!" opposite to Yes, okay

L

M

MBA - Master in Business Administration.

Makan - means eat, e.g You stay here lah, I go makan first...

N

  • Nasi Padang -- Just a mixed Malay meal, not related with Padang at all.
  • Nett -- final price (no bargain!).
  • Noe -- know. Eg. I noe this guy.
  • NS -- National Service.
  • NUS -- ("en new es", or "news", or "noose") -- acronym of National University of Singapore

O

Obiang - a predecessor of Ah Beng (from the 1980-s).

P

Pengkang Hill- an analogy of the environment where competition is keen that human side is disregarded or neglected as "a rat race, a doggie fight"

PUSING PUSING meaning lit. Malay to go round and round, as in a vicious circle, beating around the bush- talking without a point. Q R

S

SHIOK meaning nice feelings of one'self goto see shiok

T

TOPGUNS - Those politicians (or appointed people) on the top of the population with powers to control the Government and run the business of the Country in Singapore.

UV - Ultra violet. outstanding or different in showing off. He's an Ultra Man! an UV personality, of course!

V


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See also