singlish

Singlish a.k.a Singapore English is widely used in Singapore (haha…but of course. :p ) and you have to be very alert in order to understand what it means. At first, I had no clue (usually, my blank stare gave it away) on the meaning of the majority of the words and statements used. Thankfully, my new found friends are patient enough to explain the meaning of the commonly used Singlish.

Below are some of the words and statements that I’ve heard (the meaning is as explained to me by my new found Singaporean friends):

1. lah, leh, loh, mah, meh
These are expressions commonly used at the end of a statement or sentence. But it can’t be used all at once.
e.g. “ok lah!”

2. ang moh – refers to Caucasians
e.g. “So many ang mohs in East Coast park leh.”

3. blurblur
Meaning: not clear or can’t understand
e.g. “The ang moh talk so fast, I was blurblur mah”

4. wait long long
Meaning: it takes forever.
e.g. “So stingy, we need to wait long long for him to buy us lunch meh.”

5. busybody
Meaning: not busy or nosy.
e.g. “Kenkoy’s so busybody loh, kept talking about his client’s marriage life.”

6. eat snake
Meaning: Go gallivanting
e.g. “After training, let’s go and eat snake leh.”

7. cook yourself
Meaning: you cook your own food
e.g. “You cook yourself mah?”

8. can
Meaning: yes
e.g. “Let’s watch Shrek? Can!”

9. cannot
Meaning: no
e.g. “You go kopitiam? Cannot!”

10. borrow me
Meaning: lend me
e.g. “Borrow me money can? I’ll pay tomorrow”

Very interesting eh? You can “bring” these singlish terms with you when you visit Singapore.

Don’t wait long long, can? Aja!

10 comments

  1. -Those terms used in singlish was really annoying… but i could somehow relate myself to those terms. Indeed, I speak broken english.LOL
    – I was stuned for a while because of the singlish term “eat snake” as an alternative term for the gallivanting. LOL
    – I have here a funny sentence for the singlish terms.
    -Go and cook yourself, then I should eat snake later leh. LOL

  2. nalipatam nga inkabil tay “ay-ayah!” kabsat. hahaha… sakit ti ul kunaman… nu haan mo maawatan tay SINGLISH da ket isu da pay ti makaunget “LAH!” unayen! hahaha…

    1. @brenda is it “ay-yah”? i normally hear “ay-yoh”. LOL kinda crazy right? they will say, “you don’t know english!” but the way it’s pronounced, geez, how the hell you can grasp what they are talking about. hahaha you can’t get over the singlish experience mah? go and drink milk tea with pearl. lol

  3. … and to sum it up, at the end of the story, they will even tell you, “Ay-yah (Ay-yoh!), you cannot understand English leh. Use your bren (brain) lah. Grrr… Dumisnog ak man nu kasta classmate. hahaha..

    1. @brenda LOL there’s one instance as well when an indian told me, “you have a very thick accent, I can’t understand you… talk to my boss”…. and guess what? I was shocked and speechless… LOL and then when I spoke to the boss (who has an American, accent), our conversation was smooth and perfect! LOL

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