Singapore Expats Forum

Peculiar usage of words in Singaporean vocabulary

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

therat
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu, 04 Sep 2008

Postby therat » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:15 am

the lynx wrote:Gostan = Go a stern

I've never thought that I will ever hear that word in Singapore. Not until I took a cab recently. The driver went to a dead-end road and he said, "Oh, wrong place. Must gostan!"


this gostan is not English
It is hock kien. mean reverse, go back, U-turn.

katbh
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu, 04 Oct 2007
Location: Singapore

Postby katbh » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:17 am

Bummer...thought ga'stern was cool

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5272
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Postby the lynx » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:24 am

therat wrote:
the lynx wrote:Gostan = Go a stern

I've never thought that I will ever hear that word in Singapore. Not until I took a cab recently. The driver went to a dead-end road and he said, "Oh, wrong place. Must gostan!"


this gostan is not English
It is hock kien. mean reverse, go back, U-turn.


Dude, "go a stern" is English. And "gostan" is one of those localised pronunciations, something like what katbh meant. And no, Hokkien uses different word altogether for reverse.

User avatar
Max Headroom
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 643
Joined: Wed, 08 May 2013
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby Max Headroom » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:19 am

One quaint local oddity I come across quite frequently is this verb tense reversal. For instance I hear things like "The exact time hasn't been confirm yet, but I will confirmed it soon".

How did that happen?

:?

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5272
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Postby the lynx » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:23 am

Max Headroom wrote:One quaint local oddity I come across quite frequently is this verb tense reversal. For instance I hear things like "The exact time hasn't been confirm yet, but I will confirmed it soon".

How did that happen?

:?


Just plain effed up grammar? :-|

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:28 am

PNGMK wrote:Just be grateful they don't call a 10c piece a shilling and the one cent pieces pennies.


They call them tensen and wansen respectively.

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 3:51 pm

"more better"
"very best"

morenangpinay
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 890
Joined: Mon, 02 Mar 2009

Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 4:36 pm

they use "Hello!" when they mean excuse me. "hello hello"

kookaburrah
Regular
Regular
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu, 21 Aug 2008
Location: SG

Postby kookaburrah » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 4:36 pm

The strange plurals, some of them already mentioned: Fats, furnitures, stuffs, luggages, staffs, etc.

The random use of 'borrow' and 'lend'.

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3936
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Postby Wd40 » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 4:53 pm

PNGMK wrote:
BedokAmerican wrote:Some people tend to use the word "dear." Such as "hello dear."
Also, sometimes junk mail is addressed to "dear owner" or "dear resident."


Another colonial hang over.... even in PNG as a kid we were taught to address everything that way - even in jest or malice; 'Dear Mr BedokAmerican - you may be an asswipe, but I'm a douche'.

Just be grateful they don't call a 10c piece a shilling and the one cent pieces pennies.


So the PNG in your nick, is Papua New Guinea is it? :)

User avatar
Addadude
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 716
Joined: Fri, 26 May 2006
Location: Darkest Telok Blangah
Contact:

Postby Addadude » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 6:03 pm

Singlish is all about efficiency.

Instead of saying something lengthy and cumbersome like:

"I beg your pardon. I didn't quite understand what you just said. Would you mind repeating it?"


Just say:

"Hah???"
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

BedokAmerican
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue, 15 Jan 2013

Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:39 am

"Opening hours" instead of "hours" or "hours of operation." I see this on lots of Sg business web sites.

Opening hours makes it sound like they're just listing when they're open and not when they close.

katbh
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu, 04 Oct 2007
Location: Singapore

Postby katbh » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:47 am

It is so interesting that just about every thing that is mentioned by posters with USA as country of origin (PC), is referring to British rather than Singaporean differences.

'Opening hours' is very normal in most of the world

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3936
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:57 am

What about floor levels, starting from 1 here instead of Ground Floor, in India?
So 1st Floor in India is actually Level 2 here.
I am not sure how it works in the UK or the US?

abbym
Regular
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu, 01 Aug 2013

Postby abbym » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 11:00 am

Strangely, that is american I think? In the UK you start at ground, then go up to 1,2,3...etc. In north america the ground floor is level 1 if I remember correctly? Someone tell me if I'm wrong please! :)


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests