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The Coxford Singlish Dictionary

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Displaying latest... (20 entries out of 817)

((tchi’k a’h))
A Hokkien term which has two uses: the first is an exclamation like “what a pity!” and the second is a verb that means to build bad karma, i.e. to do something that will return and haunt you.
1. “He so smart, become scholar, then go and kill himself. Aiyoh, damn chik ak!”
(He’s so such a smart fellow that he became a scholar. However, he killed himself. What a pity!)
2. “Mr. Tan whole day treat his employee like sai like that. He damn chik ak, one.”
(Mr. Tan always treats his employees in a crappy manner. This will come back and haunt him in the future.)

The proper and correct Singlish pronunciation of 'correct'; illustrates how Singlish can combine two related words, creating a new word with improved potency. Often used as a response when the truth is glaringly obvious.

Although sometimes used to describe one's former girl-friend/boyfriend/whatever, in current Singlish, 'ex' is more often a short form of 'expensive', and used to express incredulity, or in some cases, envy.
1. Wah lau, original DVDs a bit the ex one, man, better go JB and buy.
2. Julie very high-class one you don't know meh? She always dress very ex.

Another derogatory term for someone who is very 'cheena'. Usually used with the suffix 'Chinaman'. There is probably a shade of difference between 'ching-chong' and 'cheena', but it is subtle. 'Ching-chongness' tends to be comical, whereas 'cheena' leans more on the sleazy.
1. You don'ch know meh? His father very ching-chong Chinaman one, always wearing pajamas at home.
See also: Cheena  Cheenapiang  Cheena Gherk  

CHEENAPIANG/CHEENAPOK  (Contributed by Crab)
A derogatory term used by Singaporeans who are more well-versed and comfortable in English to describe (insult) those who are more well versed in Chinese and who cannot speak English properly.
1. “Wah lau! He's super cheenapiang, man. Hear the way he speaks English!”
2. “Ah Lians and Ah Bengs are all cheenapoks!”

See also: Cheena  Cheena Gherk  

A local variant of ‘Don’t’ (much like ‘don’ch’), which has become especially popular in the wake of text messaging on cellphones.
“Dun lai dat, lah!” (Please don’t be like that.)
See also: Don'ch  

JERORIZE  (Contributed by Kevin)
To nullify something. Literally, to make ‘zero’ (or as we pronounce it, “jiro” or “jilo”).
“If you don’t clear your leave by the end of the year, I will jerorize them.” (If you don’t clear your leave by the end of the year, I’ll record it as forfeited.)

KING  (Contributed by Adrian Eng)
Someone who’s an extremely good example of something. Often used together with other adjectives to describe a person who’s superlative at something, usually unsavoury.
1. “Eh, you want to contest Tanjong Pagar in the General Election, ah? Damn king, ah, you!”
2. "Wah piang, that guy is sotong king man... small thing also can cock up!"
3. "That bobo king... target so big also he cannot kena!"
4. “Every PE lesson only, he got MC. Damn keng king!”

See also: ster  

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.!”

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  

TACTICAL  (Contributed by Kok Leong)
Another term from the Army, Singapore’s most prolific Singlish donor. It means to think quickly and strategically, usually in the context of avoiding notice or being stuck with an unpleasant task. Oddly enough, it’s also used as a verb.
“Eh, if you do’wan to kena arrow, then you better tactical and take cover a bit, skarly the ossifer catch you then you kena.” (“If you wish to avoid getting an unpleasant assignment, you’d best make yourself scarce, before the officer catches you.”)

KOPE  (Contributed by Kok Leong)
(as in 'cope')
To steal, usually something trifling. Similar in meaning to "stun".
“Wah, where you kope all this stuff from?”
See also: Stun  

TERH  (Contributed by Jason Chan)
Used to describe someone as geeky, uncool or lacking in common sense. Unlike 'toot', 'terh' is limited to people.
"Why you tuck your shirt in your underwear? You damn terh, man!"
See also: Toot  

TOOT  (Contributed by Bernard Quek)
Used to describe inept or uncool behaviour. Can be both noun and adjective.
1. “Why is he such a toot? Whole day study and can still fail PSLE!”
2. “Eh, your bag, ah, is damn toot! You NUS oreddy and still use Powerpuff Girls bag!”

See also: Terh  

HOPE  (Contributed by Phyllis Low)
Of uncertain origin, it has come to mean catching something, usually, but not always, unpleasant.
“Wah lau, I kena arrow this type of kang tao hor wa hope tio, ah!!!" ("My goodness, why am I being given a task like this?")

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!”

EYE POWER  (Contributed by K. Ang)
To describe someone standing by, looking on without helping out with a manual task.
“Eh, come and help us move this furniture, leh! You stand there using eye power, ah?”

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.”

BUAY SAI  (Contributed by K. Ang)
Hokkien for ‘cannot’ or ‘incapable’. Can be used in many forms.
1. “You want Ah Beng to help you with your maths? Buay sai! (“Impossible!” or “You can’t!”)
2. “You want Ah Beng to help you with your maths? He damn buay sai one!” (“He’s incapable!”)
3. “Ah Beng buay sai help you with your maths.” (Ah Beng cannot help you with your maths.”)

See also: Cannot Make It  

AI PEE, AI CHEE, AI TUA LIAP NEE  (Contributed by K. Ang)
Teochew saying which literally translates as ' Want cheap, want pretty, want big breasts!' It is used to describe someone who wants the earth, ie. someone with unrealistic or unreasonable desires or expectations.
“Singaporeans all very hard to please, one. They all ai pee, ai chee, ai tua liap nee.”

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