Thursday, 15 May 2008

Shiok Tactics

So shiok!

What is this Malay term that reverberates around the metropolis? The best way to describe it is as a euphoric statement of delight, usually when something pleasurable has been experienced.

In Singapore this pleasure is often food-related; this will come as no surprise to anyone.

I am reminded how such colloquialisms creep into everyday language. In the late 1970's when I was living in Papua New Guinea the common language was Pidgin - a combination of Place Tok, Germanic terms and Aussie swear words.

Words such as "buggerup tru" peppered our conversation and referred to something that was completely broken. In PNG nearly everything broke down with monotonous regularity, from the power stations to much-used refrigerators.

It was a favourite phrase of a fellow expatriate New Zealander in the Eastern Highlands town of Goroka.

He worked as manager for a local motor company and could never instill into his boys that a diesel landcruiser should not be filled with a tank full of petrol nor vice versa.
Comprehension of such minor details was not a strong point of his employees much to his chagrin.

For those who would like to discover a wider range of Singlish terminology I suggest this site.

At the very least one should master the basics - and here I will conclude, lah.

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