125 Singlish Phrases That Define Singapore (Singaporean English Guide)

singlish guide singlish phrases singlish words




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 However, there has never been a complete or updated list (Singlish Dictionary is obsolete) of all Singlish terms, Singlish phrases or Singlish words published anywhere on the net.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).

Let’s begin.

125 Singlish Words And Phrases That Define Singapore (Singlish Vocabulary)

1. Bojio

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.


2. Lepak

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!


4. Paiseh

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.


5. GG

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!

Singlish Terms

Source: Noel Vasquez


9. Kena

Explanation: Used when something bad happens to someone.

Example: Jerry kena scolded by teacher for failing his test.


Source: Sandid


10. Kenasai

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?


12. Walao/Wapiang

Explanation: Used to express dissatisfaction and discontent.

Example: Walao eh! The MRT aircon why so hot one?


13. Eeeeeeyer

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.

Related: Constipation Woes – Causes, Relief and Treatment (Sort of)

19. Chao turtle

Explanation: Used to express frustration and dissatisfaction.

Example: Chao turtle, that auntie didn’t even say excuse me.


20. Rojak

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.


Source: ieat&eat

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

Explanation: Cannot.

Example: This Friday I buay sai, need to study for Finals.


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