12 Singaporean Phrases That The World Should Be Using

12 Singaporean Phrases That The World Should Be Using

So Shiok! Makan already? Here are some Singaporean phrases the world should adopt.

No doubt Singapore has positioned itself as a mighty lion in the globalised market, and we can’t be any prouder of that. But one thing that we sadly haven’t influenced the world with is our unique language. Let’s look at some of these damn good Singaporean phrases formed by us and why the world could possibly adopt them.

1. So Shiok

Have you ever been at a loss of words to describe a certain dish, your good night’s sleep, the weather and what not? Forget about it, just use “shiok”!

“Wah the weather is so shiok.”

“This curry is very spicy. Shiok!”

2. Makan already?

Singaporean Phrases

Image credit: blog.makankaki.com

We think that “makan” is so common that it deserves an entry in the English dictionaries or thesauruses. Don’t blame us, we’re just eager to share our discovery (makan is another word for eat) with the rest of the world!

Imagine Martha Stewart saying, “When we makan these delicious Asian meatballs…”

3. Why bo jio me?

Image credit: memecrunch.com

If you ever want to hint to someone that you’re upset on not being invited to a dinner party, just bring in a “bio jio”. Your sarcasm is well-confined in a term that encapsulates a negative and positive connotation at the same time when used with the English language. Your friends will never guess it.

4. We HTHT until 4am

According to the very reliable Urban Dictionary, HTHT means “heart to heart talk”.

We have already told you that we’re a nation of acronyms and abbreviations, haven’t we? Since we’re too cool to spend more muscles enunciating phrases that sound too heavy, we have conveniently compressed “heart to heart talk” to “HTHT”.

It saves energy. Trust us!

5. Okay can can

Don’t just say “okay” or “all right”. Bring in some enthusiasm! Each extra “can” speaks millions about your emotions.

6. Stare what stare?

Image credit: memecrunch.com

When you’re in a fight against someone, won’t a “Whatcha lookin’ at” be too polite? Try this: “Eh you stare what stare?”

Fierce? Checked. Murderous rage? Checked. He/she should run away? Yes.

7. What lah you

Image credit: memegenerator.net

8. Sorry, sorry, PS PS

And if you don’t know what to say after committing a silly blunder, throw in a “PS, PS” with a slightly embarrassed-looking salute to show how shameful you feel for your actions. It helps to lighten the mood.

And if you don’t know, PS is short for “paiseh”, which means embarrassed. Abbreviations, abbreviations.

9. Sian

Image credit: enterarena.blogspot.com

Feeling tired of everything now, or anything for that matter? Use this in ANY or EVERY modern situation. Homework? Bad traffic? Feeling lethargic? So sian.

10. The queue is DAMN long!

While the number of times you use “can” depicts your emotions, just the word “damn” before anything intensifies the whole situation.

11. Don’t pon(teng)

If you ponteng a class, you intentionally skip it. To cut a syllable, use “pon”. Another alternative to “bunk” perhaps? Of course! Diversity is very important for the frequent truant.

And no, it’s not “porn”. But well, let the sexual innuendos come.

12. Don’t play play

Image credit: rogerpoh.wordpress.com

The best way to warn someone not to mess with the situation, object or anything for that matter, is by giving a stern look and saying “don’t play play”. Easy!

Also read: 20 Things Singapore Does Better Than Other Countries

Any more Singaporean phrases to add to this list? Share it at the comments section below!

About Author

Parveen Maghera
Parveen Maghera

An avid non-fiction reader, Parveen loves digging deep into stories of unique individuals, be they from Europe or the Middle East. Indeed, if travelling was free, you won't see her again. It is her wish to embark on a world tour some time in her future. You might just see her selfie-ing with the Eiffel Tower, or even consuming the aura of Swat Valley with other native Afghans.