The basics
Singapore: Destination Guides

10 Singlish slangs you should know


Before you embark on your journey to study in Singapore, it’s best you learn some Singlish words so that you don’t feel left out during conversations.

#1 Ali Baba

It means to steal or cheat, based on the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves. You’d normally hear people say – ‘Don’t act blur ok. I know you Ali Baba my fries when I went to the toilet.’

#2 All fart and no shit

A description of someone who’s full of empty promises. For instance, ‘Everyday say you want to treat me go lunch, but you all fart and no shit only.’

#3 Amacam

A contraction of the Malay word ‘Apa macam.’

#4 Arbo

A derivative of the term ‘ah then.’

#5 Chikopeh

Meaning pervert.

#6 Confirm plus chop

This means that you’re extremely sure of something. ‘Guarantee got chop’ denotes that the paperwork will be approved.

#7 Gostan

Go backwards or reverse.

#8 Hosei lioa

This is in Hokkien, which means very good or excellent. It’s used mostly in a sarcastic manner. Eg ‘You didn’t study for exams? Ho sei liao.’

#9 Wah lao/ Wah she/ Wah kao

All in Hokkien, these are expressions of pure shock.

#10 Ya ya papaya

If someone refers to you as a ‘ya ya papaya’, it means you’re an arrogant person.

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An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.