The Origin of the Word “Chope”

I chope this post, so please like my post, but don’t chop my post.


The Singlish phrase ‘chope’ needs a dedicated post. Although everyone goes on about tissue paper packets in food courts and coffee shops, the word ‘chope’ has an interesting history.

What Does it Mean?



The Singlish word ‘chope’ (Slang for reserving a seat) was derived from chop; to leave a mark. The word ‘chop’ was originally from the Malay word cap, which is from the Hindi word छाप ćhāp (stamp).

‘Chop’ and ‘chope’ are sometimes sounded the same because of the blending of the vowel sounds. Normally when a silent ‘e’ occurs at the end of a word, it converts a vowel to is ‘long’ equivalent.

chop = “chop”

chope = “chohp”

In Singapore, these two sounds are blended into one sound, and the diphthong is kept short for ‘oh’.


Warning: Using ‘Chop’

English Meaning:

To cut something into pieces with repeated sharp blows of an axe or knife. It can also be a thick slice of meat, especially pork or lamb.


The use of the word ‘chop’ to mean ‘stamp’ is unique to this part of the world, so please be careful, business people in the West will be quite confused.


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