No idea what your kids are saying in Singlish now? You need to read this list!
Singlish can be fun (breaking the rules often is), but can also get confusing if you aren’t a seasoned Singlish afficionado. And slang is a naturally occurring phenomenon that’s equally confusing. We’ve taught you how Sure you might order local coffee like a pro but despite all its magical powers, coffee’s not going to keep you up to date with the kids. Don’t stay out of the loop or the next thing you know you’ll need a translator for dinner conversations, and teens are hard enough to decipher without adding a language barrier!
1. Because it’s liddat (Because it’s like that)
A popular alternative to ‘I don’t know’ as an answer to tough ‘why’ questions.
“Why can’t you do this question?”
“Because it’s liddat!”
No, we’re not talking about Cher, Goddess of pop, but a short form of tea‘cher’.
“‘Cher, can I go to the toilet?”
GG (Good Game)
Once a respectful acknowledgement of a worthy opponent in a match, now a sarcastic congratulation.
“My teacher just gave us extra homework this weekend, I can’t go for the outing.” “GG, man.”
To put something away, used (infuriatingly) in place of ‘tidy’.
“Class is over, time to keep up.”
To cheat or break the rules – heard a lot on the basketball court.
“‘Cher! He play cheat!”
To study very hard, the bane of every student’s existence.
“I spent the last few days mugging for this exam.”
To rush something that needs to be done urgently.
“The bell’s rung, we need to chiong back to class!”
A more polite way of saying ‘do this for me’.
“Can you help me pass this worksheet to her?”
Pon (short for Ponteng)
To cheat, run away or play hooky.
“Are you going to pon class?”
‘That sounds good’, e.g:
“Want to play video games at my house?”
It can also mean ‘to start dating’:
“I like you, want to go steady?”
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
Singapore stories: local children’s books for kids
Quintessential Singapore: cultural activities and days out with kids
30 must-try Asian dishes in Singapore, with kid-friendly faves
16 Singlish expressions for Singapore newbies