Singaporean, Hong Kong terms added to Oxford Dictionary

May 13, 2016 11:00 IST

Several Singaporean and Hong Kong English terms, including wah, shiok and yum cha, are now officially recognised as acceptable English.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added 19 Singaporean terms and 13 Hong Kong terms in its March quarterly update.

OED

The dictionary included formations of English that are mostly used in Singapore or Hong Kong. The OED records the meaning and development of the English language.

Some words from Hong Kong and their meaning
Yum cha –  Type of Chinese brunch
Compensated dating - The practice of teenage students providing companionship or sex in exchange for money or gifts
Dai pai dong - It means an open-air food stall
Kai fong - Neighbourhood association, traditional mutual aid organisations
Guanxi - The system of social networks and influential relationships which facilitate business and other dealings
Lucky money - Red envelopes containing money typically handed out by elders and adults at Lunar New Year
Sandwich class - An informal term used to refer to the middle class
Milk tea - A drink made from black tea and milk, usually evaporated or condensed
Shroff - A cashier, especially at a car park
Sitting - out area - Small recreational spaces provided in urban areas
Siu mei - Generic name given to roasted meats
Yum cha - A type of Chinese-style brunch tea
Wet market - A market selling fresh meat and produce

Some words from Singapore and their meaning
HDB - it is used for a public housing estate
Chilli crab - It is a dish consisting of crab cooked in a sweet and spicy gravy containing red chillies and tomato
Killer - This is used for objects thrown or falling from high-rise buildings, endangering people
Lepak (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) – It means to loiter aimlessly or idly; to loaf, relax, hang out
Teh tarik (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) – It means sweet tea with milk, prepared by pouring the liquid back and forth repeatedly between two containers so as to produce a thick foam on top; a drink of this.
• Blur– It means confused or ignorant
Chinese helicopter – It is a derogatory term and refers to a Singaporean whose schooling was conducted in Mandarin Chinese and has limited knowledge of English.
Char siu (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) – It means roast pork marinated in a sweet and savoury sauce
Shiok (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) – It means cool, great, delicious, superb
Sabo (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) – It means to harm or play a prank on. The action of intentionally causing inconvenience, trouble, or harm to others, esp. to gain a personal advantage.
Wah (Indian English and Singaporean term) – It is a expression of delight or surprise
Sotong (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) - Squid or cuttlefish
Wet market (a South Asian term) - It is a market for the sale of fresh meat, fish, and produce
Ang moh (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) - It is used for a light-skinned person, especially of Western origin or descent; a Caucasian
Hawker centre (a Singaporean and Malaysian term) - It is used for a food market at which individual vendors sell cooked food from small stalls, with a shared seating area for customers

Oxford adds words into the English dictionary after it qualified certain criteria’s like several independent examples of use of the word, evidence the word has been in use for a reasonable amount of time and more.

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