Part 2 of Discovering Singlish: 67 Unique Words and Phrases from Singapore's Colorful Dialect

November 7, 2023

Singapore, a vibrant and multicultural city-state, is known for its diverse linguistic landscape. One of the most fascinating aspects of Singapore's linguistic tapestry is "Singlish." Singlish is a unique and colloquial variety of English spoken in Singapore, influenced by various languages and cultures, including Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and more. In this blog, we'll explore 100 Singlish words and phrases, each with its own distinctive meaning, adding a touch of humor, warmth, and local flavor to daily communication.

  1. Swee - Excellent or perfect. "Your cooking is swee!"
  2. Chio - Attractive or good-looking. "She's really chio, right?"
  3. Alamak - An expression of surprise or frustration. "Alamak, I forgot my wallet."
  4. Tok Kong - The best or top-notch. "This restaurant is really tok kong."
  5. Lim Kopi - To take a coffee break. "Let's lim kopi and discuss the project."
  6. Paktor - To go on a date or have a romantic relationship. "Are they paktor-ing?"
  7. Kena Sai - To be in trouble. "I kena sai for being late to work."
  8. Lai Liao - Someone has arrived. "The food delivery lai liao."
  9. Chiong - To put in effort or work hard. "We need to chiong for this project."
  10. Heng - Lucky or fortunate. "I'm so heng to find my lost keys."
  11. Jio In - To invite someone. "I jio in my friends to the party."
  12. Makan - To eat. "Let's makan at the hawker center."
  13. Zho Bo - Unreliable or not trustworthy. "He's zho bo, don't believe him."
  14. Char Bor - A woman or girl. "That char bor is really friendly."
  15. Catch No Ball - To not understand or be confused. "I catch no ball with his explanation."
  16. Kaypoh - Nosy or overly curious. "Stop being so kaypoh about my business."
  17. Paiseh - Embarrassed or ashamed. "Don't be paiseh, just ask for help."
  18. Lepak - To relax or hang out. "Let's lepak at the beach."
  19. Heng Suay - Luck or misfortune. "It's all heng suay, you know."
  20. Blur Sotong - Extremely confused or clueless. "He's like a blur sotong in the meeting."

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