Quick Guide to Understanding Singaporean Expressions

Quick Guide to Understanding Singaporean Expressions

Beware when you hear Singaporean expressions. It doesn’t get any more serious than when you hear “SIBEH.”

Image credit: Russavia

1. Singaporeans don’t study, they MUG.

2. Singaporeans don’t reserve seats, they CHOPE SEATS LAH.

3. Singaporeans don’t escape their responsibilities, they CHAO KENG.

4. Singaporeans don’t say “oh no, another work day,” they say “SIAN LAH!”

5. When unable to eloquently articulate their frustration, Singaporeans utter “WALAU EH.”

6. When things are bad, Singaporeans say “DAMN JIALAT.”

7. Singaporeans love to loudly exclaim “BOJIO!” when their friends don’t invite them somewhere.

8. And when Singaporeans are ditched, they call it “Pangseh!”

9. In Singapore, all teachers are collectively and affectionately referred to as “Cher.”

10. While every older person is instantly family because they’re all “Uncle” or “Aunty.”

11. It’s hard to be around a Singaporean. Sometimes they are “bo liao,” sometimes they are just “siao.”

12. They complain way too much, but you can just tell them “DON’T KAO PEH KAO BU” (KPKB).

13. When you use big vocabulary, Singaporeans will tell you to stop being so “cheem.”

14. When you don’t know what’s going on, they will call you “blur.”

15. When you are being difficult, they will say you “terok.”

16. Don’t mess with a Singaporean. It doesn’t get any more serious than when you hear “SIBEH.”

17. When you hear “EH LAST WARNING AH,” be afraid. Be very afraid.

18. And when a Singaporean is truly livid, they won’t say “damn”, they say “KAN—”

Are there any other expressions that we missed out?

Also read: 34 Little Things That Piss Every Singaporean Off

About Author

Sara Koh
Sara Koh

A self-professed poet, Sara loves all things that have words stringed prettily together. Naturally inquisitive by nature, Sara thinks she’d make one hell of an interrogator (or shrink) as a professional career. But she’ll settle for just being curious and she definitely doesn’t identify as a (dead) cat. At least not yet.


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