Singapore Slang: Do People say Cool Anymore?

In my last post I mentioned that my friends and I used to refer to Orchard Road as Town. A young blogger, Pleasure Monger, commented that she did too. It made me wonder if people in Singapore use these words, phrases or possibly slang, anymore. It would be so cool if they did.

I tend to use cool a lot, like Jennifer Aniston – but hey, it was cool back then. When I think cool, I think the Fonz from Happy Days. If you don’t know any of these references, then be happy that you’re really young.

Town: Orchard Road Shopping District

St Michael’s: Marks and Spencer (I find it hard to lose the old name from my vocabulary because it has a much nicer ring to it)

Far East: The most hip area in the 80’s was Far East Plaza which had the first McDonald’s and Metro was considered an exclusive department store then.

Cut Class: When we skipped lessons in Junior College, to go hang out somewhere and listen to our Walkmans. The music was often recorded from the radio and had bits of the DJ’s commentary within. Relating it here, it all sounds so ancient.

Don’t skive or Stop skiving: Jokingly chiding our colleagues if we caught them in the pantry or chatting during office hours. There was no internet in the office back then, so you can imagine we needed to find other ways to take a break. Another way to skive, was to go straight home after attending a training session even if it ended early and you should technically go back to the office. I was surprised to learn some years ago that skive is a British slang. It always sounded so local to me.

Don’t sabo me: If a colleague volunteers your name for a project in front of the boss, you can scold them for sabo-ing you. I’m figuring it comes from the word sabotage? Colleagues also used to say don’t arrow me, meaning don’t direct work their way.

It interesting to me how language evolves. I believe there’s no real right or wrong, as long as the language is functional. And that applies quite a bit to Singlish. Were there any words special to your generation that you still use?

This post made me think of how the new generation communicates and how I am just catching up. There was a time when I didn’t know text speak and even simple things like LOL eluded me. ROTFL was even more of a head scratcher. I am pleased that I know them now, although I must say teens are including quite a bit of vulgarity with these as in STFU. In the old days we couldn’t even say ‘shoot’ because it implied something else. I have to say I miss that more innocent age of the 70’s and 80s. TV shows from the era will seem strange now, because everyone was just so much more polite.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about my daily life in Singapore helps with my mid life crisis.
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