The unique slang, Singlish has made its rounds all over the world in the last couple of years. Besides getting lots of Singlish words included in the Oxford English Dictionary, the Singlish slang is also discussed by linguists in at least 7 Universities from Italy to Japan. However, there has never been a complete or updated list (Singlish Dictionary is obsolete) of all Singlish terms, Singlish phrases or Singlish words published anywhere on the net. Not to mention Singlish examples to accurately illustrate the meaning of what we Singaporeans mean.
Today, we compile a list, not Singlish dictionary, of 125 colloquial and uniquely Singaporean terms for your research, reference or mere entertainment. Know any more Singlish words and phrases to add on to the list? Let us know, and we will update and maintain this Singlish list on a regular basis (confirm not so swee 125 only one).
125 Singlish Words And Phrases That Define Singapore (Singlish Vocabulary)
Explanation: When someone did not invite you to hang out together.
David – Yesterday, Jerry and I went to watch Wonderwoman.
Kenny – Wa Bojio! I had no plans yesterday.
Explanation: To spend time walking/loitering around aimlessly.
Example: My friends and I like to lepak at JEM after school.
3. Buay tahan
Explanation: Cannot stand it anymore.
Example: Wa the weather so hot really buay tahan!
Explanation 1: Embarrassed.
Example 1: Just now I fall down walking on flat ground, damn paiseh sia.
Explanation 2: To make an apology.
Example 2: Paiseh, just now bathing can’t reply your message.
Explanation: Used when something bad is going to happen.
Example: Wa GG, they say this year economy very bad, firing a lot of people.
6. Heck it
Explanation: Singlish phrase to show that you do not care anymore.
Example: Heck it la! I’m just going to confess to Sarah after our date tonight.
7. Tau pok
Explantion: The situation when guys lie on top of one another to crush a person, mostly for fun.
Example: Ivan – Today his birthday let’s tau pok him!
All – TAU POK!!!
8. Buay pai
Explantion: To describe something or someone who is exceptional.
Example: That girl at 9 o’clock buay pai sia!
Source: Noel Vasquez
Explanation: Used when something bad happens to someone.
Example: Jerry kena scolded by teacher for failing his test.
Explanation: More severe version of kena. Translate to get into deep sh*t. Also used to express frustration.
Example: He kenasai by boss for not meeting his KPI again.
11. Anything lor
Explanation: Singlish phrase used when you don’t really have an opinion.
Example: Jerry – Darling, what you want to eat?
Sarah – Anything lor
Jerry – *facepalm* Shit also can?
Explanation: Used to express dissatisfaction and discontent.
Example: Walao eh! The MRT aircon why so hot one?
Explanation: Used when you are disgusted by something. “Eeeeee” is a short form of eeeeyer.
Example: Eeeeeeyer, the table so dirty
14. Sia la
Explanation: Means Oh My God. (OMG)
Example: Sia la! His father just bought him a Lamborghini for his 21st birthday!
15. Come I clap for you
Explanation: Used sarcastically to act like you are impressed with something.
Example: Adam – Eh, yesterday I was the top scorer when I was playing football with Ahmad they all.
Alex – Wa! Come I clap for you…
16. Hong gan
Explanation: Used when you or someone is in deep trouble.
Example: Hong gan liao. I just got into a traffic accident.
17. Die already
Explanation: Another phrase to use when you or someone is in trouble.
Example: This time he confirm die already. He go tell his CO to go f*ck himself.
18. Simi sai
Explanation: Means What The Sh*t.
Example: Simi said, he passed his driving in less than two months.
19. Chao turtle
Explanation: Used to express frustration and dissatisfaction.
Example: Chao turtle, that auntie didn’t even say excuse me.
Explanation: A vegetable salad dish found mainly in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. More often used when everything is mixed or very messy.
Example: My workplace really like rojak. Got people from a lot of countries.
21. No link
Explanation: When something is unrelated to whatever you were saying.
Example: Jerry – Jordan just bought a PS4 yesterday!
Jenn – I like to eat steak!
Jerry – Huh? No link leh.
22. Buay sai
Example: This Friday I buay sai, need to study for Finals.