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The Coxford Singlish Dictionary

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Search for keyword:
...or View the Pow-Ka-Leow Index
(57 entries out of 817)

L.C./LOW CLASS  (Contributed by Chris Yeo)
Meaning literally ‘low class’, but often used to express embarrassment, as if the upper crust were incapable of screwing up.
“Aiyoh, today hor, I ran for the taxi outside Hyatt Hotel and tripped on the tail of my brand new Donna Karan coat and lagi some more, my shopping spill all over the sidewalk... soooo L.C.!”

LAGI  (Contributed by Minglun)
(lah-ghee)
Malay for "additional", "again", "more", "also" or "still". In Singlish, it's often paired with an adjective to kick it up a notch.
1. "Wah lan, this new DVD player is lagi best."
2. "Piang eh, I oreddy so busy, you arrow me some more, lagi chia lat."


LAH
The ubiquitous Singlish tag. Used like a fullstop in a sentence.
1. "It was just like that, lah."
2. "He was running, lah."
3. "Donno, lah."

See also: Leh  Lor  Meh  

LAI DAT
"Like that". Yet another Singlish tag.
1. "He look like a pig lai dat."
2. "Wah lau, I like damn tired lai dat."
3. Beng: "How are you?"
Seng: "Lai dat, lor."


LALING
(lah-ling)
The proper pronunciation of "darling".
"Oh my lurf, my laling, I hunger for your tush, a long and lonely time!"

LAMBONG  (Contributed by Hiao Cheow)
Malay for "running wild, aimlessly" (used in games)
1. The bugger was so drunk, he slip, and fell down and went lambong.
2. I dunno how to shoot, but one kick and the ball went lambong, into the net


LAN CHEOW
(UMC-Nazzster)
A Hokkien term meaning "penis". Often used in a similar fashion to "like real".
Recruit: "Eh, Sergeant, sign my Off Pass leh.." Sergeant: "Lan Cheow! Knock it down twenty!"

LAN LAN  (Contributed by Minglun)
(lahn-lahn)
Hokkien term which literally translates as "penis, penis". It means to have no other choice.
"Gah'men say must do, we lan lan also must do."

LAN TUI  (Contributed by AA)
(lahn tooi)
Hokkien phrase literally meaning "penis split". The Hokkien version of "Up yours!" or "Nuts to you!".
"You want me to type 100 copies by today? Lan tui, unnerstand!"

LANCING/LUMSING  (Contributed by grace & Mizan)
(lun-sing)
Mispronunciations of "dancing", often deliberate.
"Eh tonight free or not? Wan' to go Canto for lancing lancing?!"

LANGGAR
(lahng-gahr)
Malay for "collide" or "hit".
1. "Did you hear about Paul's car? It kena langgar this morning."
2. "He langgar-ed me yesterday."


LAO CHEOW  (Contributed by J Tai)
Literally, an 'old bird', meaning an experienced individual.
"If got any problem go and find him, he is lao cheow, so sure can help one."

LAO CHIO  (Contributed by K. Ang)
Hokkien for 'Old Pretty'. Used to describe pretty/sexy older women. Not to be confused with ‘Lao Hiao’.
“Eh, not say I say what, ah, but I think Ah Beng’s mother is a lao chio.”
See also: Lao Hiao  

LAO HIAO
A derisive term for a flirtatious old lady.
"Auntie Lian Huay always wear so much makeup! What a lao hiao!"

LAO KWEE
Hokkien term meaning to lose face. Used in the same way as "malu", denoting great embarassment.
"Our football team can lose to Macau, si beh lau kwee man!"
See also: Malu  

LAO LAN
Hokkien for "leaky penis." Means someone who is annoyingly arrogant or cavalier about things.
See also: LU LAI LU LAO LAN/L-CUBE L-SQUARE  

LAO PEE HUI  (Contributed by K. Ang)
Hokkien for nose bleed. Usually used to describe one’s reaction to an arousing situation.
“Hwah! Ah Lian's mini-skirt so short! See oreddy lao pee hui, man!”

LAO POK
Adjective to describe something as crappy or lousy.
"Your car so lau pok, who want to sit?"
See also: LAO YAH  

LAO SAI
Hokkien for "dribble shit". It means a case of diarrhoea.
"Ang mor png, chia'h liau sure lau sai" ("After eating western food, you will definitely have diarrhoea.")

LAO YAH/ LAO YAH POK  (Contributed by Daniel Hong)
Used to describe something as crappy, broken or useless.
"Wah lau, where you buy this car? So lao yah pok one!"
See also: Lao Pok  

LASSI LOMAK
The Singlish pronunciation of "Nasi Lemak". Often refers to the inferior Chinese-made version.
"Let's go Fong Seng and eat lassi lomak."

LAU TER KHOR
Literally, Teochew for "old male pig" and used to describe a lecherous man.
See also: Chee Ko Pek  

LAUNGE
The proper way to pronounce "lounge" in Singapore. Usually associated with seedy karaoke/KTV bars.
"Eh, tonight want to go to Platinum Arowana 88 Launge, not?"

LAYLIO  (Contributed by Minglun)
(lay-lee-oh)
The proper pronunciation of "radio".
"Eh, on the laylio, leh."

LEBBER
Mispronunciation of "level".
1. "Your training reach what lebber oreddy, ha?"
2. "You study Air Lebber one, ha? (Are you taking your 'A' Level examinations?)


LECEH  (Contributed by Maryanne Bell)
(lay-chay)
Malay for "troublesome", and used to describe a laborious or irksome task or action. Has passed into mainstream Singlish.
"The Army always make you do leceh things like polish boots, clean rifle and stand by bed"
"Punching parking coupons is damn leceh man!"
"Aiyoh, don't ask me to go and queue for 4D again, lah. Damn leceh!"

See also: Kang Kor  Mah Fan  

LEH
(lay)
Yet another Singlish tag, similar in usage to "Lah", but which adds a slightly quizzical tone to the sentence.
"I didn't know Ah Beng was like that, leh."
See also: Lah  Lor  Meh  

LELONG
(lay-long)
To sell off cheaply in a clearance sale.
"I heard that to pay off his debts, he's lelong-ing his assets."

LEMBEK
(lurm-be'h)
A Malay term meaning limp, flaccid or physically weak. Not necessarily to be confined to sexual contexts and does not necessarily connote impotence.It could sometimes just mean "weak at the knees".
1. "Wah lao, I see her in her mini-skirt, I instantly lembek, man."
2. "I'm damn out of shape. Run twenty metres only lembek."


LEPAK
In Malay, "white" or "fair", usually used to imply that one is a wimp or a sissy

LER/LI/LU  (Contributed by SinnerLee)
Variant pronunciations of the Hokkien word for "you"

LESS MEANS HOR  (Contributed by Edwin)
A phrase used exclusively by Ah Lians, it translates into "That means that ...." or "Which means that ...."
Joseffyn: "Aiyah, I cannot get the 9 o'clock show tonight, I only got the 7 o'clock show!"
Jazamine: "Less means hor, we must meet at the MRT station at 6.30, lah!!!"


LIAK BOH KIEW
(lia'h boh kew)
See Catch No Ball  

LIAO
A Hokkien tag which depending on the context can mean either "already" or "finished".
1. "His mother early-early si liao, loh." (His mother died very early.)
2. "Like that his business sure liao, lah." (In such circumstances, his business is surely finished.)


LIKE REAL
The Singlish equivalent to "As if!" or "Yeah, right." An expression of incredulity and disbelief.
Beng: "Eh, I just got into Mensa."
Seng: "Like real!"


LIM PEH KA LI KONG
Hokkien phrase literally meaning, "Let your father tell you..." or "Listen to your father". Used even when the speaker is not the addressee's father. It's a phrase which is designed to put you in your place - a subordinate position, naturally.
"Lim peh ka li kong, if you do like that, you sure kena hantam." (Listen to your father, if you carry on like that, you'll definitely be beaten up.)

LOANMAI  (Contributed by Edwin)
(lone-muy)
A local contraction of "If you don't mind..."
"Eh, Ah Seng, loanmai pass me the diskette with the sales file inside, can or not?"


LOBANG
Malay term literally meaning "hole". It means "tip" or "opening" or "contacts".
1. "Eh, you got any lobang to get me a cheap car or not?"
2. "I'm looking for a job. If you have any lobang, let me know."


LOBO  (Contributed by You Yang)
A term which originated, and is still used mostly in the Army. It is used to describe someone as an idler or a job as easy to handle. It is believed to be an acronym for either "Left Out Battle Order" or "Lazy Old Bastard".
"Look at him, slack all day, damn lobo."

LOH SOH  (Contributed by Soh Sze Tiong)
(law saw)
Longwinded.
"Wah lau, this sort of simple thing also can talk so much. Why you so loh soh one?"

LOLEX
A very expensive Swiss watch, favoured by Chinese businessmen.

LOMANCE/LOMANTIC  (Contributed by Chen Zhi Wei)
The correct pronunciation of "romance" or "romantic".
1. "Wah, bring me flowers, ah? How come so lomance one?"
2. "When you chase girls that time, must be lomantic lah. Then they sure like you."


LONG LONG NO SEE  (Contributed by Lucus Hu)
A Singlish corruption of "long time no see".
"Wah! Long long no see, man! You put on a lot of weight, hor?"

LONG TIO OOH SIAH
See MENG KIA, LONG TIO OOH SIAH  

LONGKANG/LONGKAU  (Contributed by AA)
From the Malay word for "drain", it is used to describe any form of man-made water passage, from small drainholes to big canals. It is very possible that the word "longkang" itself was derived from the Chinese word for "ditch" (long gou in Mandarin, longkau in Hokkien.).
"All the most tok kong makan places in Singapore are by the longkang, one."

LONGKAU CHUI
Hokkien phrase literally meaning "drain water". Used to describe an inferior brew of coffee.
"Piang eh! This Starbutts' kopi taste like longkau chui, still dare to charge so bleddy much!"

LOOD  (Contributed by UMC-Nazzster)
Yet another Hokkien term meaning "fuck" or "screw".
"Ah Gan always go Geylang to lood char bor." (Ah Gan is always going to Geylang to find women to have sex.")
See also: Kan  

LOOKSEE-LOOKSEE
To have a quick look around.
"Let's go to the new shopping center and looksee-looksee, lah."

LOR
(law)
Yet another Singlish tag, similar in usage to "Lah", but which adds a slightly cynical or resigned tone to the sentence.
"Aiyah, don't care him. He's always like that, lor."See also: .
See also: Lah  Leh  Meh  

LOST FORM  (Contributed by Bernard Quek)
Used to describe a lack of ability and/or desirability in all aspects.
1. "Aiyah, just now I so lost form, you know! I drop all my things all over the bus, so malu!"2. "I think she very lost form lor, I mean, so fat already still wear that type of tight, tight tube!"
See also: Malu  

LOW MORALE  (Contributed by half-cocked)
Another army-inherited term, which is largely self-explanatory. Used to describe an unhappy and dispiriting situation, even in non-military or even non-group activities.
"That time I kena arrow go on dispatch, I was sick, then it started raining heavily. Damn low morale, man."

LU LAI LU LAO LAN/L-CUBE L-SQUARE  (Contributed by AA)
Rare modification of "lao lan" to mean "lao lan to the extreme". Also abbreviated as "L-cube L-square".
See also: Lao Lan  

LUAN LUAN/LUAN LUAN LAI
To do things recklessly or without a plan.
"Don't ask Ah Beng to help. He always luan luan lai one."
See also: Si Suah Lai  

LUI
A uniquely Singaporean word. Meaning 'money', it is used only by Singaporean Hokkiens. The word is believed to have been derived from the Malay word for money, "duit".
1. "Boh lui, mai kong lah!" (No money, no talk!)
2. "Ooh lui, oo song." (Got money, got satisfaction.)


LUM PAH
Hokkien for "testicles".

LUM PAH PAH LAN
A Hokkien term describing a person on whom a plan or action has backfired. Literally: "the testicles hitting the penis". The rhythm of the phrase suggests a ricocheting action, a surprisingly elegant touch, in such a rude phrase. The anglicized phrase "bang balls" probably came from this.
"He go and buy the puppy to impress his girlfriend, and instead it go and bite her. He damn lum pah pah lan now."
See also: Bang Balls  

LURF
The proper pronunciation for "love". Especially emphasized during karaoke sessions.
"Oh, my lurf, my laling, I hunger for your tush, a long and lonely time..."

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