Singaporean is a unique dialect. It’s not exactly a formal language, but the product of a multi-cultural and diverse population. A blend of English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil and other local dialects, it’s both a badge of pride for the city and a source of grammatical frustration. I’ve put together a short list of words and phrases that might help you as you journey around the city. Remember, if all else fails, just give my team a call and they’ll be happy to help you out!
Dey: To call someone in a friendly informal way. Same as "Hey!"
Orh: Shortened from okay, meaning “yes, understood”.
Amacam: Contraction of the Malay word "Apamacam", which is used as a greeting, similar to “What's up?”
Boleh: Can; possible
Abuden: Obviously; of course
Chope: Slang for reserving a seat.
Chop Chop: Do it fast!
Kopitiam: Coffee shop in Singapore
Makan: To eat
Shiok: “Great!”; an expression of satisfaction
Pai Seh: To be embarrassed. You might hear this used as an apology.