7 Early, 8 Early (七早八早)

7 Early, 8 Early Origin: Chinese – From the chinese phrase 七早八早, which means early in the morning. “7 Early, 8 Early” (七早八早) also common in its hokkien form is used to refer to the time frame between 7am – 8am (or earlier) when some could still be asleep. It is commonly used as a phrase […]


Satki Origin: Hokkien/Chinese – literally means someone has a fierce aura/look (杀气). Satki is used to describe someone that has a fierce aura/look. However, It is popularly used to describe someone that looks cool. It is as though if looks could kill.

Yam Seng

Yam Seng Origin: Cantonese – It means “Cheers” Yam Seng or Yum Seng means “cheers”. It is a form of congratulatory cheer and usually can be heard at Chinese Weddings. Usually the emcee will lead the way to perform this cheer and the rest of the guests will follow suit. The last cheer will usually […]


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 […]

7th Month

7th Month Origin: Chinese – The 7th month of the Lunar calendar is a month that celebrates Hungry Ghost Festival. This is a festival observed by Singaporean Chinese. The belief is that spirits will emerge when the gates of the netherworld are opened during this period. The Chinese in Singapore will partake in a series of […]

Xiao Ming

Xiao Ming (小明) Origin: Chinese – the most common Chinese name used in Singapore Chinese school text book Xiao Ming (小明) is a common Chinese name in Singapore and is widely used in Chinese School textbook as one of its main character/protagonist.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi Origin: Chinese, Tai Chi  is the abbreviation for the Chinese Martial Art 太极拳 (Tai Chi Quan) Tai Chi is known for its breathing techniques and “Push hand” which is an internal martial art to resist force with force. It is like training the body to take in the attack (force) and redirecting this […]


Aiyo/Aiya Origin: Chinese/Singlish – used as a form of exclamation before a full sentence Aiyo and aiya are often used as an exclamation remark before one put across his/her sentence to express displeasure, frustration or unhappiness. They are derived from the chinese words 哎唷 (aiyo) and 哎呀 (aiya) and are similar to “oh no” or “ouch” […]