As Singapore is a multiracial nation, languages between each race start to combine and thus form a unique language of Singapore, Singlish. Singlish is a form of Singapore English which is frequently used in informal speeches. It a combination of English and common phrases in the Chinese dialects and Malay. Even though Singlish contains English, it may be difficult to understand by those who speak pure English. With this, we have come up with a list of common Singlish phrases, vocabulary and their meanings to help your through your journey in Singapore.


Term used to signify exasperation

eg Aiyah, why is he always late?!. 


Hokkien for "red-haired". Used to refer to Caucasians.

eg There are a lot of angmos over there.


Have the same meaning as Profound

eg The things he is talking about is too chim for me! 


Chop in Singlish refers to reserve something.

eg Can you help me chop a seat?  


Use as a short form for "I beg your pardon"

eg hah? What did you say? Can you please repeat?

Hor  Used to enquire the listener's attention and consent/support 

eg Then hor another person came out of the house.

Use to refer to someone who fears losing out

eg He is a very kiasu person. 

Lah, Loh, Meh 

For punctuating sentences.

eg Don't be like that lah. -- I'm like that lor. Cannot meh? 


A malay word that means "wrong"

eg Sala aready!


Used to describe things or incidents that make you happy

eg After eating that plate of chicken chop, i feel shiok! haha 


to be afflicted with, to suffer (from) 

eg I kena scolded by my mom


To take without permission

eg lets go and kope some money


Another meaning for bored

eg Can i don't go to that place? it's so sian over there


Another meaning for unlucky

eg I am so suay today, lost my wallet

Ah gua 

Another meaning for gay

eg i think he is an ah gua

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