Buay Tahan

Buay Tahan Origin: Hokkien/Malay – means unable to withstand/tolerate any longer. Buay (Hokkien) for “cannot” and tahan (malay) for “withstand” combines together to give the expression that one can no longer withstand or tolerate any longer. It has a similar meaning to the malay phrase “tak boleh tahan” where “tak boleh” means cannot.

Drop 20

Drop 20 Origin: Singlish/Army Lingo – a corporal punishment in army in the form of 20 push ups Drop 20 is an army lingo that is used by instructors to give recruits or trainees a corporal punishment of 20 push ups. This punishment is usually meted out if the soldiers failed to follow instructions or […]


Calefare Origin: Singlish- a name for someone who is working in a minor role on a film or show. They are commonly refer to as an “Extra” Calefare is someone that takes on a minor role in a film industry. They are usually an extra in a movie or show setting. They could be acting […]


Botak Origin: Malay – a word to describe someone that is bald Botak is used to describe someone that is bald and is also used to describe a balding person. It is also commonly used to describe someone who has just gotten a crew cut, especially new recruits to the Singapore Army. Commonly paired with […]

OTOT – Own Time, Own Target

OTOT – Own Time, Own Target Origin: English/Singlish/Army Lingo – Acronym for “Own Time, Own Target” OTOT which stands for “Own Time, Own Target” is a phrase first used in Army Camps when conducting shooting practice at a range for the soldiers. Instructions will be given to soldiers in this manner: “Firers watch the front, […]


Kena Origin: Malay – To be at the receiving¬†end/suffering of something unpleasant Kena is a malay word to describe someone that is on the receiving end of something unpleasant and it can also mean the person is suffering or afflicted from something. It is often paired with the hokkien term “sai” (shit). So, you will […]


Jiak Origin: Hokkien/Teochew – literal translation “to eat” Jiak is a commonly used word to ask people if they have already eaten or to invite them to eat. It can be used to greet one another at the dinner table urging them to start eating. Younger family members will also greet their seniors at the […]