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 sotong
|To be extremely clueless
|Nothing better to do
|Cannot stand it
|Something is profound or deep or intellectual
|Chop chop kali pok
|Do it Fast, don’t waste time
|Reserve a seat
|Don’t fly my kite
|Please do not go back on your word
|Don’t play play
|Don’t fool around
|Got problem is it?
|Do you have a problem?
|Arrogant, cocky or smug
|Used in various contexts, to question in both positive and negative forms, or as a response in a rhetorical quizzical manner.
|Oh dear! Used to describe a terrible situation
|Nervous, harried or uptight
|Somebody who fears losing out
|Kong si mi
|What 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 target
|To act on your own initiative
|Shy or to have a sense of shame
|used to ask someone to chill, cool it
|To play a trick on someone. Short for “sabotage”, but with an everyday usage
|Extreme pleasure or the highest quality
|Get out of the way!
|Bored, tired, or sick of something
|Siao ah you?
|Are you crazy?
|Talking nonsense / senselessly
|Exclamation of shock
|Why so liddat
|An appeal made to someone who is being unreasonable
|Ya ya papaya
|An 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.
|Bangers and mash
|Sausages and mashed potatoes
|Excellent – the highest quality
|Bob’s your uncle
|There you have it
|Something that you say to someone in a difficult situation in order to encourage them to be brave and to try not to be sad
|An exclamation of surprise
|unbalanced state of mind
|Fancy a brew
|Would you like some tea
|Take a short sleep during the day
|An exclamation of surprise
|It’s all gone a bit pear shaped
|It describes a situation that went awry, perhaps horribly wrong
|Keep your pecker up
|Remain cheerful – keep your head held high
|Mind your P’s and Q’s
|Mind your manners
|Piece of cake
|Something very easy
|Popped his clogs
|Foolish words or ideas
|Spend a penny
|To use a public lavatory
|Stiff upper lip
|Exercises great self-restraint in the expression of emotion
|Stone the crows
|An exclamation of incredulity or annoyance
|Talk of the devil
|Something that you say when a person you are talking about arrives and you are not expecting them
|Pointing out or spotting a target (Used in fox hunting)
|There’s nowt as queer as folk
|Said to emphasize that people sometimes behave in a very strange way
|Going smoothly, doing all right
|Tie the knot
|To get married
|Tit fer tat
|Tough as old boots
|Very strong, and not easily made weaker
|Waste not want not
|It is advising against waste because you might want it in the future
|What a palaver!
|What a load of pointless discussion