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Common Singlish Terms You Need to Master Before Going to Singapore
08 Apr 2019IDEASBY SweetEscape

Singlish (Singaporean-English) is the local lingo of Singapore. It can be extremely confusing for foreigners since the lingo is made out of an amalgamation of the four languages of the ethnic groups of Singapore: Malay, Chinese/Hokkien, Tamil, and English. To help you navigate your way through the sea of Kopitiam Aunties and Taxi Uncles , here's our crash course of the most-used Singlish terms you definitely need to learn before going to Singapore for your long weekend!

Alamak (ah-lah-mak)

by Terrix for SweetEscape in Singapore

Alamak is an expression to display dismay, shock or alarm as one would with “Oh, no!” or "OMG!".

Example: “Alamak! I forgot to bring umbrella!”

Kiasu (kee-ah-soo)

by Matthew for SweetEscape in Singapore

You might have heard a few times that one of the common characteristics of Singaporeans is 'kiasu'. Although this is not entirely true, the word 'kiasu' is very oftenly used anyway in everyday conversations among Singaporeans. Kiasu is a popular Hokkien term that means “afraid of losing out” / FOMO, describing someone as selfish and trying to get ahead of others in a negative manner.

Example: “Those kiasu aunties pushed through the crowd for the free goodies.”

Tabao (dah-bao)

by Eric for SweetEscape in Singapore

When you order your food from a local hawker center or kopitiam, the Auntie (the lady serving the stall) might ask you 'Zhe Bien hai shi Ta Bao?' and more often than not you'd get confused. Don't worry, she's only asking if you want to eat the food in the establishment, or want to take it to go. To answer, simply say 'Zhe Bien', or–more oftenly–'Ta Bao', and all will be well.

Example: “Uncle, one chicken rice, tabao.”

Shiok (she-oak)

by James for SweetEscape in Singapore

In Singapore, you don't say 'delicious' or 'so good'. You say 'Shiok'. This can be used to describe either good food, tasty drinks, or even a great foot massage.

Example: “This burger is so juicy, so shiok!”


by Hisham for SweetEscape in Singapore

When you go to Singaporean kopitiams or hawker centers, you might find some tables without occupants but with a pack of tissues on top of it. If you do, do not approach that table, because the table has already been 'choped', or 'reserved' as the locals would say it. In Singapore a pack of tissues is the commonly-understood way to reserve a table while ordering your food from a food stall.

Example: “Let’s chope the table by leaving a pack of tissues there.”

Bo Jio (boh-chyoh) and Paiseh (Phai-Say)

by Hisham for SweetEscape in Singapore

When your friends or colleagues go for a dinner together without inviting you, you can make them paiseh (ashamed) by saying bojio. Basically bojio is used to describe disappointments that you are not invited.

Example: “You guys are having dinner together? Bo jio.” "Oh, sorry-sorry! Paiseh!"


by Sam for SweetEscape in Singapore

Singaporeans love to say 'can', not just to describe that something is able / permitted to be done, but also to give a sense of certainty. Of course, they add the famous Singaporeans suffixes at the end of the word.

Example: “Can you do this for me?” “Can lah, no worries.” “Can meh?” “Sure can.”

Lah, Lor, Leh, Meh

by Eric for SweetEscape in Singapore
by Matthew for SweetEscape in Singapore

These are all discourse particles that are mentioned at the end of sentences. Each one serves different purposes, and it all depends on tone, syntax and context. There isn't any scientific explanation to these popular suffixes, but once you've get used to them, they'd just flow out of your mouth at the end of your phrases and sentences like water. Just try it, lah...

Example: “Just do it like that, lah” (Here, “lah” has a sense of exasperation, but can also be used as a finality.) “I’ve got no choice, So I just did it, lor.” (Here, “lor” is used to express acceptance or resignation.) “I didn’t know you have to do it like that, leh.” (Here, “leh” is used to show uncertainty, a little more doubtful compared to “lah”.) “Really, meh? You have to do it like that?” (Here, “meh” is used with a rhetorical question to serve disbelief without actually being shocked or surprised.)

by Matthew for SweetEscape in Singapore
by Matthew for SweetEscape in Singapore
by Matthew for SweetEscape in Singapore

Whenever you want to go, make it memorable with SweetEscape! We connect you to 2000+ professional photographers in more than 400 cities around the world, so all you have to do is to create your memories, while we take great photos of your every moment! Use the code FIRSTESCAPE on your first SweetEscape booking to get USD50 off and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!


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Congratulations! Five Ideas For Your Graduation Photo Shoot
18 Jul 2019IDEASBY SweetEscape

Congratulations, Graduants! After years of grueling work and many sleepless nights studying, you're finally graduated! Taking photos to immortalize one of your biggest achievements in life is a necessity, but sometimes you might feel that taking the same old poses at the same old locations might be boring. Worry not, for we have compiled five ideas for your graduation shoots this year!

1. Campus Love

by Louis for SweetEscape in Melbourne
by Nicholaus for SweetEscape in San Francisco

You spent days, nights, months and years in this space studying and working, but (most-importantly) you made new friends in the campus that would last forever. What better way to make the memories last forever than to capture your graduation shots right there at the place where very corner holds a special memory of your journey together.

2. Go Downtown

by Haris for SweetEscape in New York

As much as you spent your days in the campus, there must be nights and days where you walk and explore the city where you study, especially if you're studying overseas or in a different city. Walk down memory lane through your favourite shopping streets or the city's famous restaurant alley and capture your graduation photos in those spots.

3. Famous Landmarks!

by Haris for SweetEscape in New York

Especially for you who go to school in world-famous or historic cities, you might want to take your graduation shots at the city's famous landmark. A picture speaks a thousand words and nothing tells a better university-life story than a picture (or lots of it) in London's Tower Bridge and Big Ben, NYC's Brooklyn Bridge and Liberty Island, or Tokyo Tower. Trust us, the picture will turn into a treasure to show your children in the future!

4. Single Fighter vs #SquadGoals

by William S. for SweetEscape in Jakarta
by Greta for SweetEscape in Los Angeles

Friends are always needed to help you go through the rougher times of your college life, and capturing your graduation together with great photos is always a great way to make your friendship more memorable. However, as much as you enjoyed your time with your squad, there are always times when you had to fight your way through classes and lectures on your own. Celebrating your success in going through that and coming out on top with a solo photoshoot is not a bad idea!

5. Because You Loved Me

by Michelle for SweetEscape in Toronto
by Nicholaus for SweetEscape in San Francisco

By the time we graduated, we must have realized that our journey through college would never be possible without the support and love of our loved ones, be it our parents back home, or our significant others that supported us day to day, near or far. Celebrate your graduation by taking great photos with these most important people in your lives!

by Andrew for SweetEscape in Melbourne

Wherever and whomever you want to take your graduation photos with, let SweetEscape capture the moment for you! We capture any occasion, any time, anywhere by connecting you to a growing network of photographers in 500+ cities around the world, and your photos will be ready for download in 48 hours after the session via the SweetEscape app and our website. Book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!