OED added 19 Singapore English (Singlish) words last week (http://public.oed.com/the-oed-today/recent-updates-to-the-oed/march-2016-update/new-singapore-english-words/). Being selectively opinionated residents, there were side-eyes πŸ‘€ Like, boo, why the attention and those words really. Here's my take on better ones:
  1. β€’
    Affectation. Used at the end of a sentence to emphasize the subject of said sentence. For e.g., the curry is damn hot siah! It is said that Singlish is easy to learn but hard to emulate. What matters are context, tone and appropriateness. We would tend not to use this formally but it's nearly a must when you're in a hawker centre or wet market.
  2. β€’
    A rather informal and sometimes crude way to call someone, or 'hey'. Also used in the phrase 'wah lau eh'. For e.g., Eh, have you seen the new guy yet?
  3. β€’
    Wah lau eh
    "How/Why is it like that?" (Man, even that sounds Singlish; that's the closest I can translate it to) I love this term. I used all the time to lament the weather, my unhappiness or just plain bitchery. You can say it slowly, draw out or enunciate it word by word.
  4. β€’
    Affectation. Typically hangs about at sentences' ends (hmm, we have a fair bit of these end-of-sentence terms. I guess we like to verbalize the full stop 😁). Could be used in place of 'wah lau eh' to 'wah liau'.
  5. β€’
    Cha bor
    A crude way to call a girl. One doesn't mean well when you call a girl this.
  6. β€’
    Affectation. Used at the end of a remark. If one usually draws out the term, it signals stress or severity of the work. If it's spoken shortly, it's stating a fact or truth. For e.g., How was the test? Hard, leh. (Indicate stress level appropriately)
  7. β€’
    Similar to 'leh' but more like a grudgingly accepted fact/truth. Spoken shortly. For e.g., The test was hard? Yeah, lor.
  8. β€’
    No, none or don't. For e.g., Did you see a stack of papers in the room? Bo, leh. Also a part of another fav of mine 'bojio' which means 'the act of not inviting a friend to go out together'. For e.g., You went to Starbucks just now? Bojio!
  9. β€’
    Oh no! Along with facepalm. Usually used at the beginning of an oopsie cry.
  10. β€’
    Aber denn/Abudenn
    I find this to be 2 German words where they mean 'but then'. Can also refer to 'and then'. Usually used on its own, and as an exclamation after a stated fact. For e.g., And water is wet? Aber denn?!
  11. β€’
    Hit on/by or something that happens to you or someone/-thing. For e.g., You skipped the queue, sure kena. (Yes, grammar rules kinda fall apart in Singlish, correct tenses and verbs are optional!)
  12. β€’
    Bad luck. For e.g., He sped up, turned, and kena the traffic cop. Jialat.
  13. β€’
    Swee swee
    Just right, or almost there. You gotta say it twice too. For e.g., I park my car swee swee next to the bumper, lucky no kena if not jialat.
  14. β€’
    This is more like the verbal expression of a sentence pause. Rather than 'errrr', we'll go, "Then she say, hor, like that lor." Not to be confused with the local noodle dish 'Hor Fun'.
  15. β€’
    Siew dai
    Less sweet. For e.g., when you want tea with evaporated milk with less or little sugar, you'll say, Teh C Siew Dai.
  16. β€’
    Drinks cold or with ice. For e.g., Teh C Peng Siew Dai is the above drink with ice.
  17. β€’
    Packed or takeaway. Usually used in a food centre. For e.g., if you want your meal packed as a takeaway, you must mention 'tapau' or you'll have to eat it there.
  18. β€’
    Crazy. We don't use this lightly, and if we do, we do mean that someone or experience is insane. At times, it's akin to a curse word.
  19. β€’
    Thank goodness. For e.g., I faster put parking coupon before saman auntie (traffic inspector who are usually aunties) pass by, heng siah.
  20. β€’
    Eh, that siao cha bor, jialat. She kena caught by stall auntie. Order teh c siew dai, tapau, but actually want peng, liau. Alamak, she not happy siah, got wrong drink. Wah lau eh. Auntie then say, "Aber denn, you never say hor, denn bo leh." Heng auntie nice, she make new one.
    This is a bad and cracked example that encompasses all 19 words. Better spoken than written obviously πŸ˜‚ Also, it's hard to say when one should use one affectation over the other. You just get a feel for it depending on the situation. Eavesdrop on a convo, and you can see it. Well, kinda. We sometimes translate famous film quotes into Singlish; it sounds so wrong and pegs them down so much ☺️