Welcome to Singlish/Singapore Dialect Dictionary. Hope this helps dialect-deficient Singaporeans and clueless non-Singaporeans to better understand the intricacies of the Singapore mind.
In other words, "isn't it obvious?"
A rhetorical question used to express disgust at the listener's stupidity in grasping the obvious.
e.g. Ah Mao: "Go World Trade Centre can take 61 meh?" Ah Kow: "Ah then? Of cos lah!"
Means: to be given a task by your superior that you don't want to do. It also mean that you have been allocated a task in your absence.
e.g. "Wahlau! My boss 'arrow' me to do this job. I very pek chek lah!!"
e.g. "You sabo king! Just because I never come for meeting you arrow me to do this report!"
Bak Chew Tah Stamp/Sai
Which literally means "eye stuck with a stamp/smeared with shit" Connotative meaning is "very blind."
e.g. "Wah liao ayy! His girlfriend so argly, bak chew tah stamp!"
e.g. "She so happening! He like tek ko she really bak chew tah sai!"
Bo Eng Lah!!
Meaning : Not free or can't be bothered
e.g. "Aiyoh! So many things to do. Go bowling? Boh eng lah!"
Commonly used by Singaporeans of the Ah-beng & Ah-lian species. It means "lend" and is usually used in the context of a request.
e.g. Ah-Beng: "Eh, my Brylcream don't know go where. Can you borrow me your hairgel?"
Buey Tah Han
Translation (Hokkien): Cannot take the pressure or cannot solve problem.
e.g. Student 1: "Wahlaoeh, this exam I really buey tah han it ah. So many questions I don't know." Student 2: "Yah lor... I also want to bengsan already."
Often used to praise someone for something specific. Origin: Mandarin. (eg. "Ni zhen xing!")
e.g. Ah-Kow: "You so fast finish your homework already har. You very the can, man!"
N.B. Can also be used without "the." eg. "Wah, you very can!"
Catch No Ball! (Lia Boh Q)
Meaning: Don't understand.
e.g. "Can you repeat that again? I catch no ball leh!"
Meaning: To compromise (usually to get out of trouble)
e.g. Ah Lian to an ow ka (traffic police) who is giving her a ticket: "Why like that, can cham siong or not?"
A quick way of calling "teacher". Most prominently heard from secondary skool students.
e.g. Student A: "Cher cher! Can I go to the loo?" Teacher : "Go lah go lah!"
Chiminology (deep sia...)
Meaning: To describe difficult words such dat one cannot understand.
e.g. Ah Beng: "Ooi! What you say I don't understand lah, stop using those chiminology can or not!" Ah Seng: "When writing must use some chiminology, then Cher (read: teacher) will think that I am very educated mah."
An English equivalant would be 'be quiet!'
e.g. "Diam Diam! You had better be good or mummy will butcher you"
N.B. Diam Diam is the same as Diam, except it is more serious.
Usually used as an expression to request a favour from someone who might be going your way.
e.g. "My bicycle broke down today, can dom pang your car to work today or not?"
"Since you are going out for lunch, can I dom pang you to buy me some cheeken lice (rice)?"
Fri-End (read: Fer-rend)
The Singaporean equivalent of buddy or mate, or it can be used by kids to mean 'befriend'.
e.g. "Fri-end, you better not come round here anymore or else I wah-lap (wallop) you" or "If you friend Ah kaw then I don't friend you"
Meaning: vain beyond belief
e.g. "Mai hao lian lah! who's going to look at you?"
Means: very serious; prefixed with see-peh; to make it even more serious.
e.g. "Jia-lat man! Exam this time sure fail one."
e.g. Parent yelling at his son, "How come you get geelo for this test?!"
Jude (not a name in this case)
It 's a word commonly use by buayas (color wolf). No known sources where it is from (btw personally, I think muz be from those Ah-beng clans). It's actual meaning is pretty or rather sweet in description of a girl (female human being).
e.g. "Ooi Ah Seng!! Look there!! You see that girl walking across the Atrium. Wah-lau damn jude man!!!! "
Meaning: to be hurried, flustered, uptight e.g."The MRT door heaven open yet, you so kan-cheong for whaaaat!"
e.g."Now only April, November then exam, why so kan-cheong?"
Explanation: Up the lorry (literal)
Other meaning: Die!!!
e.g. Usage: "Wah-piang eh! Tomorrow got test leh, haven't prepare yet, so Ke Chia!!!
Meaning: literally "to be stained by shit". Is used to comment that a person has done something to thoroughly embarrass/disgrace himself
e.g. "Wah liaow! His singing so terok but still action on stage, really kena sai, man!"
Meaning: To be laggi weak physically.. (Warning: Could be sexually offensive, so please be lem bek just this once - use with care!) Origin:(probably) Malay
e.g. "Aiyoh ! Why he everything cannot do one, so lembek!
e.g. Darleng ah... I lerf you for-efer you know? Donch leaf me hor? (Ah-beng's lomantic way of talking)
On The Ball (Inspired from On The Roll)
To describe a person for exceptionally hardworking.
e.g. "Why you so on the ball, spoil the market ..."
Adjective: meaning ugly, especially for ah-lian/ah-beng category of ppl.
e.g. "Wah lau, your sister really look or piang, man."
Meaning: Apologetic with embarassment and some shyness! Origin: Hokkien
e.g. "Today you pay for dinner again huh, so pai seh!"
e.g. "Eh, Ah Seng fart in the lift one. Not scared of pai seh!"
Literal translation: "Beat Bird." Can be dirty at time, so be careful of its usage. English equivalent :Blind
e.g. "Look at the plane in the sky!" "Where?" "You pa-jiao one is it! There!!!!" "Oh There"
Sa Kah (3-legged....hehehehehe)
Meaning: to flatter someone, get into someone's good side.
e.g. "I know you are want to get good grades, but for goodness sake, not sa kah until like that lah!
>Meaning: so shiok you feel almost invincible e.g."Wah! You very sart, ah! Win lottery now can spend! Can lend me munny or not?"
English Trans.: VERY!!!!!
Usage: Usually used by true-blue Singaporeans to replace the "colonial scums" word , VERY. This highly versatile replacement can be used in almost any sentence which requires the word "very". Best used with other Singlish words, like siong, sian, jar lat, etc...
e.g. "Wah lau!! That 5BX see-buay siong ah!!! Can die!!! Kar-n*-**!!"
e.g. "Miss Chin's Philo lecture see-buay sian! Almost hung myself!!!"
e.g. "Eh! Ah Gao! You got buy the flower for Ah Huay or not?? Don't have, har??!! See-buay jarlat leh you!!!"
CAUTION!!: Even though this wonderful word is fairly versatile, new users should be warned that there are some instances where a replacement may be inappropriate.
For example, see-buay euphonious just doesn't kick! Or like Ah Gao would say.. see-buay buay kam!!
See Gin Nah!!!
Meaning : "see" meaning die in Hokkien "gin nah" meaning children or kids.
In Hokkien. Used to scold someone who got you in trouble, sabo you, done you injustice or who simply irritates you!
e.g. "See gin nah, you. Try to be funny right? Wait till I get my hands on you."
English equivalent: mission failed.
Usage: usually use to describe a failure or loser.
e.g. "Sooo simple job, also cannot do you relly seik bai no."
1st meaning: crazy, out of his mind
e.g. "I think he siao liao, so 'on' for what? Never ask you to do you still go and do!!"
2nd meaning: expression used before or after disasters. A.k.a. die lah (liao)!
e.g. "This time siao liao! Got assignment to hand in tomorrow still haben't do!"
Meaning: Simply great, superb!
e.g. Ah Mao: "Did you watch the football match last night?" Ah Kow: "Got lar! That Abbas Saad dem solid siah! That beautiful goal he kicked in saved the Lions man!"
Spoil the Market
Meaning: Raise the standard (of something) to an unacceptably high level.
e.g. "His project do until so solid... spoil the market only!"
Origin: Hokkien word
Translation: mountain tortoise.
Meaning: To tell someone that he/she is not well informed or not knowledgeable.
e.g. "What! Aiyah, sooo simple you also donch know. So very swah-ku one!
Meaning: Very Good or Very Solid.
e.g. Ah Beng1: "You see her legs..Tok Gong man !" Ah Beng2: "No..her body more Tok Gong !" Ah Beng3: "No Lah...what tok u, dat one is my Mother Lah..!"
You know that you're tum-sim when:
1.You buy $1.50 rojak and ask for all tow-pok and yew char kuay.
2.You pay $80 for a trip to Phuket & demand they serve lobsters.
3.You don't pay attention to discounts less than 40%.
4.You will buy 12 ovaltines to get 1 free. (And redeem the gift hankerchief at the counter)
5.You rent out your 3-bedroom apartment to 12 people.
6.Your picture is hung at the Marina seafood center with the words "do not admit" embossed on it.
7.Your income tax returns is $1.27 and you insist the government should sell you Telecoms shares at a discount.
8.You pay 60 cents for a bus trip from Mandai to Pasir Ris.
9.You want to pay $10 for a COE and expect the road to have no traffic jams.
10.You bought a $4.50 T-shirt from Chinatown and ask for a written warranty.
Wah Piang Eh!!!
Meaning: what the heck. (similiar 2 wah lah). Used when the person is frustrated.
e.g. "Wah piang eh! So s-way ah. Why I always kanna tekan?"
Wenla (read: won't lah)
Expression which implies that something will not happen, as in the conversation below:
e.g. A: "Hey, do you think it will rain?" B: "Aiyah, WENLA!"
Meaning: get out of the way or having avoided something unpleasant
e.g. "Xiam! Xiam! Shio(hot) ah!" (use by the hawker)
e.g. "Neng tiao (officer) call seow eh wash toylet. Wa boh kenna, xiam tiok see pei heng ah!"
You Thought (another version)
e.g. Sergeant : "Ooi.. You *@?*&^!! Wat the F**k are you doing here?!! You're suppose to be prowling not sleeping!!" Private : "I thought Ah Kao was on the prowl now." Sergeant : "Yes, You thought, I think, Who confirm?"
Meaning: An army term used with relation to being sleepy.
e.g. SGT: "Recruit, cannot fight the Z-monster, right?" Recruit: "No!! SGT!!!!!!!" SGT: "Neber mind, go and support the wall!!"
Contributed by Chee Wee