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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!”

Chope

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!"

Can

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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Lexi Gancayco's Healthy Summer
20 May 2019STORIESBY SweetEscape

Fitness enthusiast and instructor Lexi Gancayco shared her healthy tips to prepare yourselves to welcome summer!

1. How Do You Get Your Summer Body Ready?

by Kristanto for SweetEscape in Bali

Honestly I don't think there's such a thing as a 'Summer Body'. You'd want to keep your body healthy and fit consistenly all year round. But I think how you keep your body consistently healthy and fit is really by having a good balance of consistent work out and a balanced diet; not depriving yourselves of anything but not indulging too much on good food as well.

2. When You Go On A Holiday Sometimes Your Diet and Fitness Regime Got Messed Up. How Do You Maintain Your Fitness During Trips?

by Kristanto for SweetEscape in Bali
by Kristanto for SweetEscape in Bali

Of course when you are on holidays or vacations, you really should maximize the whole experience of wherever you are, so you should not deprive yourselves of any experience–including food–, but as I mentioned before, you should also not indulge yourselves too much. It's all about balance. For example, if you know that you're going to have a big meal that night, do a lot of activities like walking or working out in the hotel for 30-45 mins in the next morning. You should not even do it everyday, doing some workout every other day is enough. Basically, watch what you eat; it's all about balance.

3. Any Must-Have Healthy Food / Drink For Your Travels?

by Kristanto for SweetEscape in Bali

Water! Wherever you go, bring water with you. I had to learn this the hard way because I was on vacation last year and I fainted out of dehydration. I didn't realize that I didn't have enough water. So wherever you go, fill up a water bottle with you, and keep yourself hydrated.

by Kristanto for SweetEscape in Bali

Make your summer in Bali 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! This summer, enjoy special promotions for your photoshoot by using the code MEMORABLESUMMER80 to get USD 80 off and 20 extra photos for your 2-Hours Session or MEMORABLESUMMER20 to get USD 20 off and 20 extra photos for your 1 hour session. Use the code now and let's #MakeSummerMemorable!

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