Singaporeans love Initialisms not Acronyms

Initialisms and Acronyms


The key difference between an acronym and an initialism is that an acronym forms a new word, while an initalism does not.

For example, you say “nay-toe” for NATO; this means you are saying a word, as opposed to saying each letter (ehn-ay-tee-oh).┬áSo “NATO” is an acronym. But “MRT” is an initialism for Mass Rapid Transit: you say each letter individually (you don’t say “mert”, so you know it’s not a word).


List of Popular Singaporean Initialisms
(with creative meanings)


ICAImmigration & Checkpoints AuthorityI Chope Already



COECetificate of EntitlementCash On Expressway or worse, “Si hor yi” (give them after death)
CPFCentral Provident FundCash Prior to Funeral or Coffin Provision Fund
DBSDevelopment Bank of SingaporeDamn! Boh Salary
EDBEconomic Development BoardEnough, Don’t Bluff
ERPElectronic Road PricingEverytime Raise Price or Everyday Rob People (contributed by Judhi)
GSTGoods and Services TaxGovernment Salary Tax or Go Squeeze Them
HDBHousing Development BoardHighly Dangerous Building
LTALand Transport AuthorityLong Tio Ah (crash!)
MASMonetary Authority of SingaporeMad Accounting System/ Must Always Suffer
MOEMinistry of EnvironmentMuggers Only Environment
MRTMass Rapid TransitMad Rush to Train
NTUNanyang Technological UniversityNinja Turtle University
NUHNational University HospitalNever Use Heart
NUSNational University of SingaporeNever Use Sense/ Not Up to Standard/ Nothing Up Stairs
NUSSUNUS Student UnionNo Use, So Screw Up
OCBCOversea-Chinese Banking CorporationOwe Cash, Boh Credit
OUBOverseas Union BankOwe Until Bankrupt
PAPPeople’s Action PartyPay And Pay
POSBPost Office Savings BankPurposely Owe Some Banks
PSAPort of Singapore AuthorityPoor Ships Ahead
PSIPollution Safety IndexPlease Stay Indoors
PUBPublic Utilities BoardPay Until Broke
PWDPublic Works DepartmentPurposely Want to Dig
SAFSingapore Armed ForcesServe And Forget
SBSSingapore Bus ServiceSuper Blur Sotong/ Screwed-up and Bad Service
SDUSocial Development UnitSingle, Desperate and Ugly/ Sexually Depressed and Unwanted
SGHSingapore General HospitalSure Giveup Hope
SIASingapore International AirlinesSuffer In Agony or Sex In Air
SMRTSingapore Mass Rapid TransitSorry Must Repair Train
UOBUnited Overseas BankYou Owe Bank

From website



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