Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

A Fun Lesson In Singlish By Singaporeans

on October 31, 2021

Singaporeans are a creative lot and the way we massacre English, will make the Queen of England roll her eyes!

All of us are schooled in proper English – the Queen’s standard of English as we were previously under the British Crown Colony. But in our course of daily living, this is how we use English.


“Is there any noodles left for dinner?”

Singlish Answer:

“Have! Have! Enough! Enough!”

Expressions Of Exasperation:

“Come on lah!”

Use your brain mah! [We love to add the intonations at the end of the sentence. Lahs, Mehs, Loh….so much so that one of our big four bank decided to name their payment app as PAYLAH.]

Instead of asking if something can be done, it is asked in Singlish as “CAN OR NOT?”

Asking someone if something has been paid?

Answer is “Paid liao!”

Asking how are you and the Singlish reply would be, “Ok LAH! So busy. No time to even take toilet break!”

OR another reply is, “OK LAH, still alive!”

I remember how a colleague wanted his staff to return to the office as he omitted to pass a document for the said staff to drop off to a client: Come back! Come back! Left out item!

Questioning how a staff did something wrong, “Why you do like that? Wrong leh! Jiat lat”

“Jiat lat” is defined as something terribly wrong and the consequences that will come with it.

Expressing something as tasting delicious or something is enjoyable to do, then the expression to use in Singlish is “Shiok.”

Singlish is fun but it does not mean that we as minions in jobs use it in written format.

Singlish is used as if like “letting down the hair”

Professionals alike, we will chat in Singlish to have a laugh or poke at ourselves.

So much so that the expatriate community also jumps in to use it and it is so fun hearing them using Singlish.

I hope Geoff Stamper will enjoy this as his comment prompted me to write this post. His wordpress site is and he writes a lot of fun posts that I always enjoy reading. Do pop by his site and have a good chuckle.

5 responses to “A Fun Lesson In Singlish By Singaporeans

  1. I liked this post a lot and was rewarded for reading to the end!😎

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: