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The Coxford Singlish Dictionary

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Search for keyword:
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(19 entries out of 817)

WAH LAN/WAH LAN EH/LAN EH
(wah lahn)
Hokkien term which can be loosely translated as "Oh Penis". Probably the most common Singlish expression of all, it is used in much the same way as "oh my goodness", "wow", or "damn!", depending on the tone used, and the context. More polite variants include "Wah Lau" and "Wah Piang".
1. "Wah lan eh! How can you do this sort of thing to me?"
2. "My first thought when I saw her was 'wah lan eh'."
3. "Lan eh, I ask you to do this sort of simple-simple thing, you can also cock up!"

See also: Wah Lau  Wah Piang  

WAH LAU
The most common polite variation of "Wah Lan".
See also: Wah Lan  

WAH PIANG/PIANG
Essentially a more polite version of "Wah Lan". Can be abbreviated to just "Piang".
1. "Wah piang! Check out his Johor Baru perm! Like bird's nest, sial!"
2. "Piang, you go and paint your car pink for what?"
3. "Piang eh, how come you can fail primary school maths one?"

See also: Wah Lan  

WAIT LONG-LONG  (Contributed by Chan Kok Hoe)
The anglicized version of the Hokkien phrase "Tan Ku Ku", which means "forget it" or "it'll never happen".
"You want raise from this boss? Wait long-long ah!"
See also: Tan Ku Ku  

WAKE UP YOUR IDEA
Singlish phrase, popular in the army, meaning, "get a clue" or "stop dreaming".
Sergeant: "Who say you can tuang like that, recruit? You better wake up your idea!"

WAYANG
Originally a Malay word meaning "theatre performance", it now means an act of pretence.
"Eh, we all saw you take his wallet. Don't come and wayang, okay?"
See also: Act Blur  

WEN
(wurn)
One of the more curious Singlish expressions, it is actually a mispronunciation of “won’t”, and is invariably followed by “one” or “lah”. It is used to express an opinion that something is unlikely to occur.
1. Johnny: “You think Ah Beng will pass his O levels?”
Ah Seng: “Wen, lah.”
2. “I know he said he would lend you his car, but I bet he wen one.” 


WHACK
To approach something carelessly or eat something with relish.
1. “Eh, the seafood buffet here is quite solid. Whack all the prawns, man!”
2. "This is a serious job, okay, you cannot anyhow whack."


WHAT  (Contributed by Daniel Hong)
Yet another Singlish sentence tag, this is often used by people who are in defensive situations.
Ah Beng: "How come you borrow my shirt now got hole one?!" 
Ah Seng: "Borrow that time orredy like dat, whaaaat!"
Ah Beng: "Then why you nebber say first?"
Ah Seng: "You nebber ask, whaaaat!"


WHAT DONE?
Eternal question asked by waiters and waitresses at local restaurants when someone orders a steak.
Ah Beng: "I want a sirloin steak."
Waitress: "What done you want? Lare? Menium? Weww done?"


WHAT FOR TU DONNO
An expression of bewilderment at another's actions.
"Ah Beng went to buy that condemn tech stock? What for tu donno!"

WHAT TALKING YOU?  (Contributed by Daniel Hong)
Singlish for "What are you talking about?", it is a statement of incredulity or disbelief.
"Eh, Ah Beng where can pass 'A' Maths? What talking you?" (How can Ah Beng pass his 'A' Maths exams? What are you talking about?)

WHAT-SQUAT  (Contributed by Edwin)
If someone asks you, "What?" in what you perceive to be a rude manner, it is customary to respond with "Squat!"  This exchange was popular in the 1970s but is now rare. See example below.
Tan: "Ah Lim ah!!"
Lim (irritated): WHAT!!!!
Tan: SQUAT!!
Lim: I berak, you angkat! ("I shit, you carry!")
Tan: I kencing you minum! ("I piss, you drink!")


WHERE GOT
Pithy term expressing disbelief or sometimes, outrage.
1. Beng: "Seng, you took my wallet, right?"
Seng: "Where got?"
2. "He accused me of stealing his wallet. I ask you, where got like that?"
3. "A young man dying while in the prime of his life… Where got meaning?"   


WHERE GOT? GOD IN HEAVEN  (Contributed by Edwin)
"Where got?" is a typical Singlish statement of outrage or disbelief, akin to "How can it be?"  The proper Smart Aleck retort would be "God in Heaven", due to the similarity in sound between "God" and "got".
Ah Seng: "Eh, Beng ah, where is the file on inventory, ah?"
Ah Beng: "Top cabinet."
Ah Seng: (after frantically searching) "Where got?"
Ah Beng: "God in Heaven, lah! Arbuthen?"

See also: Where Got?  How Can?  

WIN LIAO/WIN OREDDY  (Contributed by Stella and Daniel Hong)
From the Hokkien exclamation "Ngiah liao lor!", it marks the surrender of an argument or expression of unfairness, with somewhat grudgingly friendly, yet ironic tone.
1. "Wah, you win liao, lor! Ask me help you do so many things!"
2. Ah Beng: "I insist I am right!"
Ah Seng: "Yah lah, yah lah, you win liao lah!" 
3. Boss: "I'm going on off tomorrow, so I need you to type up all these documents."
Secretary: "Like that win orredy lor." 


WON'T DIE
Singlish phrase used to reassure someone that something is not hazardous or troublesome. Derived from Hokkien, "buay si", with the same meaning, and directly translated into English.
"It's only an injection. Don't scared, won't die one" (The latter, in Hokkien, would be, "Meng kia, buay si eh.")
See also: MENG KIA, LONG TIO OOH SIAH  

WORRAGE
The proper pronunciation of "worried".
"Eh, you whole week go where, ah? I at home very worrage one, you know!"

WORTH/WURF  (Contributed by Char Kuey Teow)
Singlish abbreviation of "worth it", it is properly pronounced "wurf".
1. "Wah, $100 for this kind of thing is very wurf what!"
2. "They want to pay you in SingTel shares? Damn not wurf, man."


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