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The Quick Singlish Guide

Lifestyle

Published on 24 Oct 2018

by WorldRoamer® Travel Team

The Quick Singlish Guide

Lifestyle

Published on 24 Oct 2018

by WorldRoamer® Travel Team

Interested in Singapore's local lingo, Singlish (aka Singapore Colloquial English)? Pick up these Singlish words and successfully blend in like a local.

The quintessential Singlish you'll need to know when you interact with the uncles and aunties* of the city. To master Singlish you’ll need to mash up a few languages, specifically English, Mandarin, Hokkien and Malay.

Uncles and Aunties: Gentlemen or ladies aged 40 years and above.

"Makan"

Meaning: To eat
Example: "I'm hungry, wanna makan?"

"Shiok"

Meaning: Pleasurable
Example: "Wow, this chicken rice is so shiok!"

"Paiseh"

Meaning: Sorry or Embarrassed
Example: "Paiseh, can I borrow a dollar? I don't have coins."

"Tapao"

Meaning: Takeaway or To-go
Example: "Aunty, one chicken rice tapao."

"Boleh?"

Meaning: Can I?
Example: "I want to have two packets. One to eat here and one tapao. Boleh?"

"Atas"

Meaning: High class
Example: "Don’t go to an atas place tonight can? I am broke."

"Tock cock"

Meaning: Catching up and having banter with friends
Sometimes referred to as rubbish
Example: "Let’s just meet and talk cock over kopi, want?"
"That guy always tock cock one!"

"Buay pai"

Meaning: Not bad
Example: The food here is buay pai, wanna try tonight?

"Si bei"

Meaning: Very
Example: "This mee siam is sibei spicy, I cannot take it."

"Wah lao"

Meaning: Oh my god
Example: "Wah lao he is late again!"

"Swee"

Meaning: Nice, great
Example: "We are going to have drinks tonight? Swee."

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