Terms that every Singaporean should know

Singaporeans are an interesting lot.

Having a country as a melting pot of different types of race and cultures, would eventually create an interesting dish of a custom. Sometimes it’s so intertwined that it’s even hard to tell, which is an Indian, Chinese or a Malay custom.

The way we talk also is an amalgam of the different languages that we’ve come to call it affectionately – Singlish.

For example :

“Aiyo! Why lidat? Eber-itaim arrow and sabo me. Heng ah!”

Foreigners might scratch their heads trying to catch heads and tails of what a native would say here – but let me try to make it easier for you to understand :

Here is a list of phrases commonly said by a Singaporean

Lah:

Commonly used as an expression at the end of some sentences.

1.”Why are you so like that lah?”
2. “I dont know, lah!”

With “lah”, it gives a boost to a statement. Rather than just saying, “I don’t know”, adding a lah at the end will make an emphasis that the speaker really doesn’t know.

Wah lau:

An expression of “oh my goodness” or “wow” or “damn” depending on the tone of voice used.

1. “Wah lau. Simple like this also you cock up.”
2. “How can you do this to me? Wah lau”

Take note that in Singlish, semantics and grammar are not important and sentences are usually shortened as much as possible.

Abothen:

An equivalent of “of couse!” “duh!” A sarcastic response to an obvious statement or question

1.”Wah, see you got wear so swee-swee… confirm you tonight go pak tor, lor!”

Buat bodoh:

To feign ignorance or to play dumb

Buaya :

Malay for crocodile. Used to describe a wolf or a sleazy pick up artist.

Dao :

Arrogant and haughty

Gerek:

Malay, used to describe a situation that is cool or groovy.

1. “Did you see Ahmad’s new motorcycle? So gerek!

Jambu:

Used to describe a beautiful woman. Derived from a name of a local juicy fruit

1. “Check out that minah! Jambu!”

Kan Cheong:

A Cantonese and Hokkien term meaning nervous, harried or uptight.

1.”Your exam in June, now only March, you kan-cheong for what?”

The exam’s in June and now it’s only March. What are you getting so nervous about? Kan cheong can be further boosted by saying, “Kan Cheong Spider”

Kepo / Kaypoh:

A busybody or nosey parker. Can also be used as an adjective or verb.

1. 1A is so kepo! Everything also want to see.

Translated as : 1A is such a busybody! He wants to poke his nose into everything he sees!

Mafan:

Mandarin for “bother” or “bothersome”; used either as a verb or adjective.

Shack:

To be extremely tired

1. “After taking care of all the monkeys in the zoo today, I feel so shack man”

Shiok:

Originally a Malay exclamation, but now a universal Singaporean expression denoting extreme pleasure or the highest quality.

1. This Hor Fun is so delicious man! Eat the noodle until shiok!

Siam:

Hokkien term for “get out of the way”. You can use this word by itself to shoo people away, or in the sense of making oneself scarce or dodging a task.

Sian:

A wonderfully concise Hokkien adjective which conveys boredom, weariness, frustration and emptiness.

Siao:

Hokkien for “mad” or “crazy”

Some kids from 1A were reading my blog today. I’ve *no* idea how they chanced to my address. Its’ a good thing that I never put in anything really secretive!

By the way, to all the 1A students reading this, you’re ALL going to detention. I’ve got all your IP addresses!

I’m watching you!

A story of the princess (part 1)

Once upon a time, there was a princess. The princess was graceful and beautiful. She had fair, soft skin and long shiny black hair that flowed like the night sky. Everyone would smile at her whenever she passed them. She radiated a beautful soft aura around her. Everyday, she would play around in the kingdom – not a care in the world.

The as beautiful as the princess was, she was also very clever. She lapped up all of her studies with such ease that she was easily admired by her classmates.

Unfortunately, times were bad in the kingdom. A black magic surrounded the kingdom. People became poorer and suffered. The royal family was hit the most. The princess suddenly found out that she had to live like the common people. She could not do much of the things that she used to do. To earn some money to support herself, she decided to sell some of her wonderful cakes. The princess was a talented baker and walked around the kingdom to sell them.

“Buy my cakes! Come buy my delicious cakes!” She called out every now and then on the path. But there wasnt anyone to buy them … the forest was still and quiet.

The princess sat down on the pathway, looking dejected and longed for the old days when she would play all day, be with her friends in class…She remembered a conversation with her father a few days ago…

Father, I implore you! Please let me stay in school! I am so happy there, father, please! Father, please dont do this … Father … No …

Alas her pleads did not budge the king. The black magic was too strong.

No my child, you must take care of your mother and me. Be a good girl and do not disobey me.

Hot tears flowed down on the princess’s cheeks. How she longed for past! With her eyes blurred with her tears, she slowly walked down the path

Whatever May Come, Whatever May Go

Its been said that the best way to cure ones sadness, is to listen to other people and not concentrate on oneself.

That makes sense since when one is sad, and always thinking about one’s personal grief isnt healthy. Because human nature would be when one think about sadness, sometimes or most, the same thoughts would manifest into another. And those thoughts would grow into another type of monster altogether.

Our problems sometimes seem insurmountable and the solutions cannot be found. We allow the problem to become so close to us, that life seems pointless. We disregard and neglect the things which can still give us joy and meaning.

Last friday was one of the most depressive days I’ve had in a long while so much so that I’ve almost lost my light completely. Close friends would know what happened exactly. But in a nutshell, I felt completely useless because of alot of factors happening in my life.

I was in deep depression

I feel better now, but I’m worried if when my next depression would strike. Its strange really. I’ve never imagined that I’d ever feel like that before.

But I’m still breathing. I still have to go on. And a short tenet to go by when loss and disaster darkens our heart :

“Make the most of all that comes, and the least of all that goes.”

Handwriting throughout the years

I’ve always found graphology interesting although I’ve never learnt about the intricacies of the writing. I do remember about the alignment of the handwriting tells abit of the person’s personality. How accurate that would be is subjective though. For example, if the person’s handwriting goes up instead of on the line, the person is supposed to be a dreamer, if the handwriting is on the line, the person is supposed to be a stable, solid person.

How the person curve their handwriting, the dot of the letter i, the spacing also reveals the person’s orientation. I think its pretty facinating stuff and had used to always want someone to interpret my handwriting. I probably couldnt care less now though, because it seems that my handwriting always changes every so often. Moreoever, I dont write with a physical pen and paper anymore since I use the compy more 😛

But I’ve always enjoyed writing alot since I was a young girl. I didnt know what prompted me or inspired me – perhaps it was upbringing,once a week my mother would bring me to the library since I was 6 or so, and I enjoyed being lost in the world of imagination from a book and wanted to share my thoughts the best way that I could think of. Through writing.

I started a diary when I was about 10 or so. I enjoyed penning my thoughts in and sketching drawings in at the end of the diary to sum if all up. (Not very impressive drawing .. but I enjoyed it 😛 )

7 July 1990. 11 years old. I had chicken pox then. It was memorable because I didnt have to go to school for 2 weeks and had to wear black all those days for reason which I have NO idea. Mother would burn incense and let the smoke go over my body to dry the skin and heal the itchiness. It was kind of cool since I felt like I was being voodoo’ed. Wasnt nice though when I came back to school and the first thing my teacher said to me was “you should go back home” Maybe she was worried that she might catch the chicken pox herself … *chuckles*

10 December 1995. I was about 17 then. And just ended my O levels. I was working on the weekends as a waitress then and chanced about one of my numerous crushes while I was working. He was walking with another girl, and thats when I decided that I didnt like him anymore. *laughs* I dont know whatever happened to Yusri, I dont think I could even recognize him if we were in the same room. Its funny reading back that page as the way that I think then and now is so different. I think I’m more open minded as compared to before.

7 August 1998. Take note of the handwriting and the curve of the letters g and y. It was said that when someone has a hook like that, they are very frustrated. I didnt feel frustration then, but I remember that I was extremely stressed out back in Jurong Institute. Pressurised by the extremely tough subjects which I shouldnt have taken having been in arts stream all my secondary life to be facing with the science stream abruptly.

I didnt do well in Jurong Institute, however, I never regretted it though, since there were many beautiful memories there which I could never trade for anything in this world.

15 Jan 2005. Well, I dont really keep a diary anymore, but this is just a brief idea of what my handwriting looks like now. I tend to write in all capital letters because it looked neater to me. No more hooks, like what I used to have and my lines are thicker.

Hmmm … wonder what that means