Thursday, July 2, 2009

Everyday Words and Phrases in Singapore

Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2009

Everyday Words and Phrases in SingaporeHere are some of the useful words and phrases that are usually used in Singapore. Most of the people here use “Singlish” or the combination of Chinese, Malay and English. Some of them are really amazing.

Lah - a suffix denoting exaggeration.
Example- Ok I understood orredy lah!

How- what is to be done, how are you, how would it be possible.
Example- Boss not well today. Then meeting how?

Can. Used to denote maybe or possible.
Example- Can borrow me five dollars or not?

Cannot. Used to say No or not possible.
Example- Cannot leh, I broke orready!

Alleady / Orredy (Singlish for already).
Example-The tourists come orready, let's start tour mah!

Alla mak! This is used almost every time some one is amazed. This is a word that one exclaims with.
Example- 'Alla mak! what she doing here la!'

Aiyoh! This is used to express dismay or pity.
Example - She so pretty, then why she go kill herself, Aiyoh!

Ayer - means water.

Baju - Malay word for ladies top or dress (it forms the top half of the traditional Malay 'bajukoro')

Blur - means confused. Interestingly, it is used as an adjective not as a verb.

Boleh - Malay for 'can' or possible.

Chin chye not to worry about the details, indicating to relax.
Example - Jus Chin chye la!

Chinese Helicopter originated in the National Service (army), meaning a very educated person

Gahmen - slang version for government (of Singapore).

HDB - abbreviation for Housing Development Board Standard Government accommodation, Nearly 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB Flats.

Jalan - Malay word for road or street.

Kaypoh a keypoh is a busybody, a nosey parker

Kampong - Malay village

Kopitiam - Hokkien for coffee shop. In Singapore, these are local cafeterias where one can get tea, coffee and the omnipresent Kaya toast and other snacks.

Lelong - Sale or Auction. Singaporean salesmen & saleswomen prefer to use the word 'offer'

Mee - a kind of noodle, very common in Singapore's food courts.

Nasi Padang - a mixed Malay meal

Mee Goreng and Nasi Goreng are also popular dishes in Singapore.

Makan - Malay for food 'You makan alleady?' literally translated means have you eaten already?

Sala - Malay word means wrong or incorrect.

Sayang - Malay word meaning love

Shiok - Malay word meaning best quality

Sotong - Malay for squid. So a sotong person is someone who is clueless (dumb).

Stylo - Singlish for stylish

Wah! - used to denote amazement.
Example - Wah!' Mr. Lee got new car orready.

Ya Lah! - this emphasizes yes.
Example - Ya Lah! , I know he come here once orready.

Terimakaseh or Makaseh - both words mean 'Thank You' in Malay.

Ebu or Ibu - means Mother in Malay.

Abang - means brother in Malay.


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