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The Coxford Singlish Dictionary|
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z (101 entries out of 817)
S.B.C. (Contributed by Andrew Yong)
Acronym for "Simply Boh Chup".
"Wah lau! Parking lot so big, you still park until like that! Damn bloody S.B.C., sial."
See also: Boh Chup
S.B.S. (Contributed by Joshua)
An acronym for "Si Beh Sian", or "very bored".
"I everyday also kena take the same crowded bus to school. S.B.S., man."
See also: Sian
Singlish contraction of "sabotage". Used to cover instances of practical jokes and tricks to outright betrayal.
"You don'ch sabo me, I warn you, ah!"
A real saboteur.
"He's a damn sabo king. I told him I do'wan to go for the meeting, and he nominates me to go!"
Hokkien term literally meaning "three legs". Meaning sycophancy or buttering someone up, the phrase comes from a rude hand action whereby three fingers are held up to denote supporting someone's genitalia.
"If you don't sah-kah the boss, you won't get your bonus."
See also: Angkat Bola Por Sah-Kah Tzua
A sycophant. Literally, Hokkien for "three-legged snake".
"Look at the bloody sah-kah tzua, giving the boss's wife a birthday present!"
See also: Sah-Kah
Of uncertain provenance, it’s the local equivalent of “cool” or “groovy”.
“You got tickets to the sold out concert? How come you so saht one?”
See also: Saht Saht Boh Chioh
SAHT SAHT BOH CHIOH (Contributed by Hagar)
The ultimate in coolness or grooviness - literally: so cool that there is no smile. Springs from those "cool" types you see in magazine ads who always look frosty, grouchy or dazed.
See also: Saht
Malay for “wrong” and “incorrect”.
“His house is over there, not here. You go sala oreddy, lah.”
A rather witty Malay euphemism for incorrect underwear dressing by men.
The Malay word for "summons". Singaporeans use it as a verb, meaning "to be fined".
"You better not litter, udderwise sure kena saman one!"
Local Hokkien for "gangster" or "thug".
"He's a real samseng, always want to whack people."
Malay for "sweep". Commonly used in the sense "grab" or "snatch"
"Eh, don't be greedy and sapu all the free gifts."
See also: Gasak
SARONG PARTY GIRL/SPG
A pejorative term describing local girls who will only go out with Caucasians. The stereotypical “SPG”, as she is usually abbreviated, is extremely tan, and skimpily-dressed.
A pithy request for someone to repeat something.
“I didn’t hear what you just said. Say again?”
See also: Repeat Again
SAY FIRST (Contributed by Terry How)
Used as an expression to lay down one’s ideas/thoughts/feelings/intentions before doing/saying something. Can also be used as a question in respect to the order of priority of things to be done.
1. “OK, say first, today after work go where and chiong?”
2. “Eh say first leh, you still lurf me or not?”
SAY ME (or him, her, etc.) (Contributed by Bernard Quek)
Essentially an unparticularized accusation or criticism, it is often used to express indignation or exasperation.
1. "Don'ch say her already, lah.. always late one lah, she!"
2. Beng: "You very one kind one, leh!"
Seng: "You say me!"
Singlish contraction for "Why didn't you say so?" or "You should have told me so"
Jenny: "The magazine you borrow - where ah?"
Fanny: "Put back already. Inside your drawer."
Jenny: "Ai yah, say so lah"
SAY SOME MORE (Contributed by Daniel Hong)
Sarcastic warning to another person not to continue their abuse, perhaps even after the argument has ended.
1. Ah Beng: "You damn cock up, ah you!"
Ah Seng: "Still say some more! Whack you then you know!"
2. Mother: "I tol' you you play all the time sure cannot pass exam!"
Son: "Say some more, lah! Like I care!"
Malay for “love”, it is used in most Singlish contexts in the same way as “what a pity”.
“I see them throw away so much food, I always feel damn sayang like that.”
See also: Sim Tiah
An expression of bravado.
“Go to jail, go to jail, lor. Scared what?”
SCUSE (Contributed by MC)
Short for "Excuse me". Used in place of the phrase "Get out of my way!" in a vague attempt to be polite.
See also: Eskew me
To leave the matter alone and watch how it develops. Often repeated for emphasis.
"I oreddy submitted the application form. So now just see how, see how, lor."
SEE ME NO UP
To be looked down upon by someone. Can also be used to accuse someone of being condescending.
"You know me for so long and still treat me like that? You damn see me no up, is it?"
SEE WHAT? (Contributed by Terry How)
A belligerent contraction of "What are you looking at?"
"See what? I break my nose damn funny to look at, meh?"
SEH BIN (Contributed by Bubba)
Describes someone who is very proud.
"I invited him to dinner and he rejected me. Damn seh bin!"
A classic example of Singlish hyperbole. While it literally alludes to prostituting oneself, it is used in conjunction with any instance when one has to contend with hardship.
1. "Die, today I kena fired. Tomorrow got no choice, must go Desker Road and sell backside oreddy."
2. "Heng ah! I today touch 4D. No need to go Geylang and sell backside anymore."
A very unfortunate common mispronunciation of “cement”.
A very unfortunate mispronunciation of “cement mixer”.
Local abbreviation meaning “to give someone a ride” or “drop someone off”.
“Can you send me to the bus stop?”
SENG LEE CHO TUA (Contributed by Kevin)
Hokkien term which literally translates as "business do big". Used (with a bit of sarcasm) to comment on someone who appears to be a show-off or very busy, giving others the impression that he/she is doing very well in his/her job.
"Wah, now you carry 2 handphone ah? Seng lee cho tua leow, hor?"
Malay for "slanted" or "crooked".
"Wah lau, how you can pass driving test when your parking so senget one?"
Hokkien for "crazy".
1. "You want to go and talk at Speakers Corner? You seow or what?"
2. "Look at that seow char bor (crazy woman)!"
Another Malay term to describe Eurasians. Derived from the Arab word "nasrani", meaning Nazarene, or Christian. Considered less demeaning than "geragok".
See also: Geragok
To bring a dispute or matter to an end. Often used as an exhortation.
1. "Eh, this thing drag on for damn long oreddy. Can you hurry up go and settle?"
2. "You not satisfied, is it? Okay! Let's go ow bway and settle!"
See also: Ow Bway Kong
SEVEN MORNING EIGHT MORNING CRY FATHER CRY MOTHER (Contributed by Hume)
A literal translation of a hybrid phrase - qi zao ba zao (Mandarin for 'early in the morning') and kau peh kau bu (Hokkien for 'to bellyache'). It means to complain loudly first thing in the morning.
"You ah, lost ten dollars only what! Don't seven morning, eight morning, cry father, cry mother and wake up the whole neighbourhood!"
See also: Kau Peh Kau Bu
Singlish pronunciation of 'civil servant'. One of the few Singlicisms that actually makes better sense than the original.
See also: Cheng Hu Kang
To be extremely tired. Not to be confused with “shag” (the British colloquialism for having sex) even though it’s often misspelled that way in Singapore.
“I shagged so much last weekend, that I’m totally shacked, man.”
Singlish pronunciation of "shut up".
To be idle.
"Eh, you got homework, hurry up go and do! Don't just sit here and shake leg!"
SHAKE LEG COMPANY (S.L.C.) (Contributed by Lia Tan)
To amble about idly. Similar to "K.L.K.K."
See also: K.L.K.K
Originally a Malay exclamation, but now a universal Singaporean expression denoting extreme pleasure or the highest quality.
1. “This char kway teow is damn shiok, man!”
2. “I ate the char kway teow until damn shiok.”
SHOW HALF BALL (Contributed by K. Ang)
To describe a girl who is revealing substantial cleavage.
“Check out Ah Lian today, man. Her dress is so low cut, she show half ball.”
SI BEH/SI PEH
(see bay/see pay)
Hokkien term meaning "very" or "extremely".
1. “This curry is si peh hiam man!”
2. “Professor Lau’s class was si beh cheem.”
SI GIN NAH
(see gheen nah)
In Hokkien, “si” means “to die”, while “gin nah” is “children. A Hokkien term which can roughly be translated as “bloody kid”. Used in exasperation. See also “Si Noong Kia”, which has the same meaning.
“Si gin nah! You dare to play tricks on your father?!”
See also: Si Noong Kia
SI MI TAI CHI (Contributed by Daniel Hong)
"What's the Matter?" Often used belligerently, and in a similar fashion to "Si mi lan chiao?"
See also: Si Mi Lan Chiao
SI MI/SI MI LAN /SI MI LAN CHIAO
Hokkien for “What?”. With “lan” or “lan chiao” (penis) tagged on, it becomes much more belligerent, not to mention rude; less a question than a warning not to complicate matters.
See also: Si Mi Tai Chi
SI NOONG KIA
Variant of "Si Gin Nah".
See also: Si Gin Nah
SI SUAH LAI
Teochew for "anyhow come". To do something in an indifferent or disorganised manner.
"This meeting is very important, don't si suah lai OK?"
See also: Luan Luan/Luan Luan Lai
SIA LAN (Contributed by AA)
Similar meaning to "Kwai Lan" but to a greater degree.
"Just now the cashier damn sia lan. Pay with big note also complain."
See also: Kwai Lan
SIA SUAY (Contributed by SinnerLee)
Hokkien for "to embarass".
"I warn you, you better get good grades. Don't sia suay me, okay!"
SIAL /SIAH (Contributed by Hagar)
From "sial", the Mat version of "Lah", which is often mispronounced by munjens to omit the "L" at the end. Usually used to emphasize admiration or conviction.
1. "That girl damn jude, sial..."
2. "Wah, your guitar damn good, siah..."
See also: Lah Sial Lah!
SIAL LAH! (Contributed by AA)
Exclamation of surprise or disbelief formed by a combination of "sial" and "lah". Typically used alone or in the beginning of a sentence by mats trying to act more munjen and vice-versa.
"Siah Lah! That girl damn chio siah....."
See also: Sial/Siah
Hokkien term for "get out of the way". Can either be used to shoo people away, or in the sense of making oneself scarce or dodging a task.
1. "Siam ah! Sio ah!” (Get out of the way! (This bowl of soup is) hot!)
2. "I saw the boss coming, so I thought I'd better siam quickly."
See also: Siam One Corner/S.O.C.
SIAM ONE CORNER/S.O.C. (Contributed by AA)
A Mat-ism, exhorting one to skive. Normally used by NS guys as an alternative for Standard Obstacle Course.
1. "Fwah, later boss looking for people to do stock check, better go siam one corner first."
2. "Recruit Tan was charged for S.O.C.ing when he was supposed to do his S.O.C."
A wonderfully concise Hokkien adjective which conveys boredom, weariness, frustration and emptiness. The English equivalent would be "ennui".
1. “My job is damn sian, man.”
2. “Wah lau eh, I do A-maths, do until sian oreddy.”
SIAN JIT PUA (Contributed by Rene Sim)
(see-en jip poo-ah)
"Sian" describes something as boring. "Jit pua" is Hokkien for "half". Put together, and the phrase can be loosely translated as "too boring by half", meaning it is extremely boring.
"Sian jit pua, man! This disco is damn boring!" ("This disco is too boring by half.")
SIAN TAO (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong)
Hokkien term meaning "bullshitter".
"Wah lao, let's get out of here. Sian Tao come oreddy."
SIAN TAO ONG (Contributed by Sian Tao Ong)
Hokkien phrase meaning "King of the Bullshitters".
"He whole day talk cock - damn sian tao ong, one."
See also: Tua Pian Sian
SIANG KAH PAGER
Hokkien for "who paged/beeped me?" To be said very loudly in public places, such as cinemas or during performances..
Hokkien for "mad" or "crazy". Variant spelling of "Seow" above.
See also: Seow
SIAO LIAO (Contributed by Allan Goh)
A Hokkien exclamation which literally means "already gone crazy". Used whenever a situation has gone badly wrong.
1. "Alamak! That day I fax my application to the wrong company! Siao Liao! Siao Liao!"
2. " I just ruined my shirt with a wrong bleaching agent. Siao liao lah, the colour run out oreddy."
Same meaning as "On The Ball".
"Oh no! We're competing against Ah Seng! He's always damn siao on, one."
See also: On the Ball
SIAO TING TONG
Onomatopoeic Hokkien term for a dumbbell or crazy person.
“Why you go and put the cat in the microwave? Siao ting tong!”
A Hokkien phrase which literally means, “heart pain”. The Singlish equivalent of “It’s such a pity.”
“Look at them throw all that food away. Damn sim tiah, man.”
See also: Sayang
Condescending term, used by Malays or Peranakans to describe someone who is very traditionally Chinese, or old-fashioned. This term is going out of fashion, and replaced by "cheena" or "suah koo".
See also: Cheena Suah Koo
Hokkien for "hot". As with English, it can also describe women.
1. "This soup is sio, boy."
2. "That chick is damn sio, man."
SIONG (Contributed by Terry How)
Hokkien for "tough", "fierce" or "difficult".
1. "Wah, Sergeant Kwai-Lan is damn siong man...always tekan me like fuck."
2. "Na beh, these maths sums are si beh siong, man."
See also: Chia Lat Heong
SKALI (Contributed by Mark)
Adapted from the Malay word sekali, meaning "once" or "on one occasion", denoting a one time occurrence. However, in Singlish, it is commonly used convey a general cautionary sentiment with a hint of foreboding. ' Skali' loosely means any one of the following, depending on the context: "If you're not careful, you may find out that..."; "What would happen if..."; "Unexpectedly, it turns out that..."
1. "You better don't anyhow go clubbing and disturb girls. Skali she is one kind of ah lian, then you know."
2. "You everyday go to work damn late and leave so early. Skali your boss find out, how?"
3. "We early already say we want to go Zouk with them. Skali last minute they go and cancel."
4. “I was driving along this road, when skarly this idiot runs in front of me!”
5. "You don't go and read so many porno magazines, skarly you go blind!"
Meaning sloppy or slovenly in Singlish, it is derived from the Malay word "selekeh", meaning stain, or smudge.
"Wah lau, this sort of high-class function, how can you dress so slaykay one?"
SMOKE/THROW SMOKE (Contributed by Bertha)
A term derived from the Army, where smoke is used to conceal tactical operations. Means to bluff, cause a diversion, confuse someone or bullshit. It's used commonly during examinations, when someone has no idea how to answer the question and has to bullshit all the way.
1. "I know you and Ah Huay are going pak tor. Don't try and smoke me"
2. "Wah lao, the essay question so cheem, donno what to write. So I just anyhow write anything, lor. Aiyah, just smoke all the way can oreddy, lah."
Economic term, used in the same manner as "So what now?"
"The show is oreddy sold out. So how?"
An adjective describing something or someone as being very impressive.
1. “Did you see her performance? Solid, man!”
2. “Diana Ser is damn solid, man!”
Arrogant and haughty. Basically the same as “Ya Ya”.
“Piang eh, Ah Lian is si beh sombong one. I saw her in school and she never say hello.”
See also: Ya Ya Dao
A Hokkien term which is a combination of “satisfied” and “at peace”. Sometimes repeated for effect.
1. “Wah, your estate got good food, got good view, you must be damn song, lah.”
2. “We ate the chili crabs, eat until song-song.”
SORRY NO CURE
Singlish phrase used to express indignation at an inadequate attempt at an apology
Ah Kok: "Why you potong jalan my girlfriend?"
Ah Beng: "Ai yah, sorry lah!"
Ah Kok: "Sorry no cure! Ai tio hoot?"
Malay for “squid”. Used to describe someone as rather inept or in a world of his own. Presumably, it comes from the squid’s emission of a cloud of ink, hence the popular phrase, “blur like sotong.” May be used as both noun and adjective.
1. “Aiyah, why you ask him to go and do things? He’s damn sotong one!”
2. “Why are you such a sotong?”
See also: Blur Like Sotong Blur Like Fuck Blur Toad
1. "Eh, today is my first pay day, so I spend you all lunch, lah!"
2. "Wah, you want to spend me? You touch 4D or what?"
SPIAK (1) (Contributed by Eveline How)
A local corruption of "speak".
"Eh, gar'men say Singlish not good, must learn how to spiak good English!"
Of uncertain derivation, "spiak" denotes someone who is very ostentatious and pretentious.
1. "Wah, today you wear so spiak for what? Pak tor, ah?"
2. "Wah, your sandwich got put caviar, so spiak, ah?"
A term used to describe someone who does his work so well, he makes his colleagues look bad.
“Check out how Ah Seng's report! Got leather binding and colour transparencies! He damn spoil market one.”
STANDARD (Contributed by Terry How)
Used to denote quality or skill.
"Wah lan, this prata so cold, damn no standard. Eat oreddy also not shiok."
STAYBER PAH MARBER (Contributed by Ah Boon)
(stay-ber pah mah-ber)
A deliberately sloppy pronunciation of the words "stable" and "marble", the phrase literally means to play marbles in a stable fashion. It is used to describe someone who has shown exceptionally steady behaviour under stress. May also be used as an exhortation to keep cool.
1. "Wah piang, Recruit Phua kena from OC stand in the rain whole day, he si beh stayber pah marber!" (Wow, the OC made Recruit Phua stand in the rain all day, and he's still okay. He's very cool.)
2. "Ah Beng today pah billiard si beh chun, kah. Every cue damn stayber pah marber one, boss!" (Ah Beng's billiard playing today is very accurate. Every shot is very steady.)
3. "Eh, this sort of thing don'ch stress! Must stayber pah marber!"
Used either as a compliment or as an exhortation to calm down. Super Bengs may pronounce it "stay-lee".
1. “You managed to pok Ah Lian? You damn steady lah!”
2. “So you became a prefect? Steady, da!”
3. “Fail ‘O’ Level, scared what? Steady!”
See also: Ai Tzai Tzai
STEADY POM PEE PEE (Contributed by Human Bear)
An extension of "steady", this is an adjective describing someone's prowess or sang froid, i.e. ability to remain cool under pressure.
"Wah! Matthew's MCQ is steady pom pee pee one, leh! He no need to study also can get full marks."
See also: Steady
STEAM (Contributed by Yong Kuan)
To be 'turned on' by or wildly enthusiastic about something.
1. "Wah, Ah Lien wear mini skirt so short, I damn steam her."
2. "Such a solid jacket, sell so cheap. I see only steam oreddy, must buy."
See also: die cock stand orgas
STER (Contributed by Kok Leong)
An army suffix, attached to verbs to describe their perpetrators, e.g. someone who ‘kengs’ (malingers) is a ‘kengster’, while someone who ‘tuangs’ (skives) is a ‘tuangster’. A lesser form than ‘king’ as in ‘tuang king’ or ‘keng king’.
“Eh, all you kengsters! Don’t pretend-pretend you sick so you can stay back and tuang, ah!”
See also: King Keng Tuang
STONE (Contributed by Yong Kuan)
An adjective/verb conveying either a lack of any activity, a state of stupor or stunned bewilderment. While it may owe its origins to it, the local use of the term seems to lack any connection with hallucinogenic drug-use.
1. "The guy never do anything, one. So stone!"
2. "Eh, let's go Orchard, man. Don'ch stone!"
3. "Wah lau, the maths exam question so cheem one. I see only I stone."
See also: Blur Stoner
STONER (Contributed by Yong Kuan)
Someone who's guilty of 'stoning', i.e. someone who's either very stupid, lazy or constantly in a stupor, sometimes all three.
"Why you go and ask him to organize the party? He's a bloody stoner!"
See also: Blur Stone
To pilfer or shoplift. Of uncertain origin.
1. “Ah Beng got caught at Centerpoint stunning some CDs.”
2. "Wah lau eh, Ah Seng is so rich, still go Metro and stun this sort of small, small thing."
“Wah, check out Ah Beng’s Versace jeans! Since when he so stylo milo one?”
A Hokkien term which literally translates as “mountain tortoise”. Used to describe or suggest someone as being unsophisticated and ignorant. The Singlish equivalent of a “country bumpkin” or a “hick”.
“You donno how to use a microwave oven? Why you so suah koo one?”
To ridicule or insult someone.
1. "Why you go and suan him like that? What has he ever done to you?"
2. "Wah lau, did you see? He kena suan in TalkingCock.com!"
Hokkien adjective meaning "calamity" or "catastrophe".
"The same day his father died, his wife ran off with his bookie. He si peh sway, man."
Malay for "like".
"I really suka that girl, can introduce or not?"
Derived from the Malay term "suka" (above), meaning "like", this means to do as one likes, regardless of whether someone else approves.
"You can't just suka-suka do this kind of thing."
See also: Suka
SUP SUP SOI
Cantonese term used to describe something as small and/or unimportant.
1. "Don't bother me, lah. All this is sup sup soi one."
2. Beng: "Thanks for treating me to dinner."
Seng: "Aiyah, sup sup soi, lah."
SURE CAN ONE (Contributed by Terry How)
Phrase used to bolster one's/someone else's confidence that something can be achieved.
"This thing so easy to do, sure can one."
SWEE SWEE BOH KAY CHWEE
Hokkien phrase which literally translates as "beautiful and not diluted with water", meaning something is already perfect, and there is therefore no need to add anything.
"Don't disturb! Everything is swee swee boh kay chwee."
SWEE/SWEE-SWEE (Contributed by Terry How)
Hokkien for "pretty" or "beautiful". Also used to describe something as properly or correctly done.
1. "My best friend's girlfriend is damn swee, man. I also want to kau. How?"
2. "Wah lau! Your best friend's girlfriend also want to kau? Damn buay (not) swee, man!"
3. "Eh, since you volunteer to do this, try not to cock-up huh? Better do swee-swee little bit..." (Since you volunteered to do this, try not to screw it up. You'd better do it properly.)
To be idle or lazy. Mostly used as an adjective but sometimes as a noun.
1. "Ah Beng got posted to HQ? Wah lau, that job damn switch off one!"
2. "Aiyah, don't be so switch off, try and help can or not?"
3. "Don't bother to ask Ah Seng to do it, he is a real switch off!"
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