A Singaporean’s Dictionary

By Kiana Koh

In Singapore, there are 4 official languages. English, Tamil, Malay, and Mandarin. But Singapore is also famous for Singlish. What exactly is Singlish?

Singlish is a unique language that has its own slang and can be heard everywhere you go in Singapore. Singlish is actually a mixture of all the 4 languages and other dialects!

So how do you go about learning how to use Singlish? Here is a guide!

Lah: It is used very frequently to further prove or emphasize your point in a casual manner.

Eg: It’s over here lah!

Aiyoh/Aiyah: It’s used as an exclamation for something that isn’t very nice or positive.

Eg: Aiyoh, why you so stingy?

Eg: Aiyah, why you so stingy?

Walao eh: Also an exclamation at something that you do not like.

Eg: Walao eh, she damn stupid eh!

Sian: A slang that is used to describe boredom, tiredness or just something that you don’t want to do.

Eg: can I not do this? Very sian leh.

Ang Moh: A Caucasian.

Eg: Wah, see this Ang Moh!

Kiasu: Means a person is scared of losing.

Eg: She send her 4 year old kid for tuition, so Kiasu hor parents now?

Kiasi: Used to describe someone being cowardly.

Eg: He don’t even dare to do this, so Kiasi one!

Meh: To challenge/verify something someone has said.

Eg: you sure it’s like that one meh?

Blur: Referring to someone who is in a daze.

Eg: eh, can you not be so blur?

Bodoh: Referring to someone as an idiot.

Eg: You damn bodoh sia.

Chope: To reserve something.

Eg: I chope this seat already leh.

With this little guide, I do hope tourists visiting Singapore will better understand locals as well as embrace our unique Singlish!

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