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The Coxford Singlish Dictionary

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(15 entries out of 817)

N.A.T.O.
(nay-toh)
A local acronym standing for "No Action, Talk Only", which probably originated in the Army. Everyone is labelled this at some point in their career.
"Aiyah, don't waste time with him, he damn NATO one."

NA BEH/NA BU/NI NA BEH/ NI NA BU
Various contractions of "Ka Ni Na Bu Chao Chee Bye".

NABEDOUS
(nah-ber-dous)
Adjective describing something as possessing that "na beh" quality.
"Eh, don't be so nabedous, can or not?"

NAH
(na'h)
Yet another short Singlish tag, used when something is given out; similar in sense to, "Here you are". Possibly derived from Mandarin, where it means "take".
Ah Beng: "Oi, where you put my comb?"
An Seng: (giving it back) Nah!


NEH NEH POK
Hokkien for nipples.
"Wah lau, his T-shirt is so tight, you can see his bloody neh neh pok."

NEH'MINE
A contraction of "never mind". Can be used aggressively, as a threat.
1. "If you're too busy to help me, neh'mine." It's alright if you're too busy to help me.
2. "I always help you and now you sabo me like that? Neh'mine!"


NENEK
(neh-neh')
Not your peranakan grandmother, this is merely the helicopter pronunciation of "grenade".
"Wah lau, the nenek essploded too early and he concuss."

NEVER SEE BEFORE, IS IT?
A belligerent expression similar to "What's the big deal?"
"So what if I'm smoking! Never see before is it?"

NGEOW
Hokkien for 'cat'. Describes someone who is very malicious, nitpicky or tries to find fault.
"That sergeant dem ngeow one, no point go and sah kah him."

NI NAO HIAH/NAO HIAH
A curious term. It seems to originate from the Hokkien term "Lao Hiah", which means "old brother", but pronounced this way, it seems to have become a profanity.
"You steal my girlfriend and now you want to borrow money? Ni nao hiah!"

NO SOUND NO PICTURE  (Contributed by Karen Toh)
A no-show.
"Eh, I thought he was supposed to be here an hour ago? You mean he still no sound no picture ah?"

NONGSNGSE
(nong-sngs)
The proper pronunciation of "nonsense".
"This TalkingCock wep site, ah, is full of nongsngse one."

NOR CHAT
The local pronunciation of "not yet"
1. Beng: "Eh, you finish your homework or not?"
Seng: "Nor chat."


NOT SAY I SAY WHAT
A very common way of prefacing a statement that could be controversial or sensitive. The English equivalent would be, "This might just be my own opinion, butÉ" or "I'm not sure, butÉ"
"Not say I say what ah, but Ah Lian's dressing is si beh obiang."

NOWSADAY
Singlish for "nowadays"
"Nowsaday hor, everyone play SMS leh!"
"My boss nowsaday hor make me chin si beh tu lan - so I fuck care him lor!"


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