Singlish Will Soon Become Extinct

Some would say I’m boh liao for writing this post. However, I say poppycock, don’t talk cock! I enjoy sharing information about slang. It’s shiok, the bee’s knees, although it does come across as cobblers. Don’t say I’m siao or doolally. Just relak, keep your pecker up, even if you buay tahan. I’m off to spend a penny. Toddle pip. Bye-bye.


Singapore is changing so fast and along with it the style of communications. As language evolves, words and phrases are created and some are lost. Here we present some uncommon Singlish phrases along with ones in common use.


Blur like sotongTo be extremely clueless
Boh liaoNothing better to do
Buay tahanCannot stand it
CheemSomething is profound or deep or intellectual
Chop chop kali pokDo it Fast, don’t waste time
ChopeReserve a seat
Don’t fly my kitePlease do not go back on your word
Don’t play playDon’t fool around
Got problem is it?Do you have a problem?
Hao lianArrogant, cocky or smug
Issit?Used in various contexts, to question in both positive and negative forms, or as a response in a rhetorical quizzical manner.
Jia latOh dear! Used to describe a terrible situation
Kan cheongNervous, harried or uptight
KiasuSomebody who fears losing out
Kong si miWhat are you saying?
Liddat oso can!?In response to feats of achievement or actions which are almost impossible, or unexpected. Usually with tinge of awe, sarcasm or scepticism.
Own time own targetTo act on your own initiative
Pai sehShy or to have a sense of shame
Relak lah!used to ask someone to chill, cool it
SaboTo play a trick on someone. Short for “sabotage”, but with an everyday usage
ShiokExtreme pleasure or the highest quality
SiamGet out of the way!
SianBored, tired, or sick of something
Siao ah you?Are you crazy?
Talk cockTalking nonsense / senselessly
Wah lao!Exclamation of shock
Why so liddatAn appeal made to someone who is being unreasonable
Ya ya papayaAn arrogant person

Vintage British Slang

Here is a good example of some vintage British slang that has all but been forgotten in 21st century Britain. However a couple have remained.


Vintage SlangMeaning
Bangers and mashSausages and mashed potatoes
Bees kneesExcellent – the highest quality
Bob’s your uncleThere you have it
Chin upSomething that you say to someone in a difficult situation in order to encourage them to be brave and to try not to be sad
Cor blimeyAn exclamation of surprise
Doolally!unbalanced state of mind
Fancy a brewWould you like some tea
Forty winksTake a short sleep during the day
Gorden BennettAn exclamation of surprise
It’s all gone a bit pear shapedIt describes a situation that went awry, perhaps horribly wrong
Keep your pecker upRemain cheerful – keep your head held high
Mind your P’s and Q’sMind your manners
Piece of cakeSomething very easy
Popped his clogsHe’s dead
PoppycockFoolish words or ideas
Spend a pennyTo use a public lavatory
Stiff upper lipExercises great self-restraint in the expression of emotion
Stone the crowsAn exclamation of incredulity or annoyance
Talk of the devilSomething that you say when a person you are talking about arrives and you are not expecting them
Tally hoPointing out or spotting a target (Used in fox hunting)
There’s nowt as queer as folkSaid to emphasize that people sometimes behave in a very strange way
Tickety booGoing smoothly, doing all right
Tie the knotTo get married
Tit fer tatEquivalent retaliation
Toddle pipGoodbye
ToshRubbish; nonsense
Tough as old bootsVery strong, and not easily made weaker
Waste not want notIt is advising against waste because you might want it in the future
What a palaver!What a load of pointless discussion

Modern Global Internet Slang

Is this the next stage in global communications?


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