Singaporean Mandarin Database

This database contains a collection of Mandarin terms which have cultural, historical or sentimental value unique to Singapore. Some of these terms are more commonly read in print while others are often used in our everyday conversations.

afraid of losing to others (colloquially known as kiasu)
怕输
pà shū
baba
峇峇
bā bā
caucasians / westerners (colloquially known as ang mo)
红毛
hóng māo
Chingay Parade
妆艺大游行
zhuāng yì dà yóu xíng
Deepavali
屠妖节
tú yāo jié
five-foot-way
五脚基
wŭ jiăo jī
getai
七月歌台
qī yuè gē tái
good brothers (supernatural spirits)
好兄弟
hăo xīong dì
Gurkha Contingent
辜加警察团
gū jiā jĭng chá tuán
Lion City
狮城
shī chéng
Merlion
鱼尾狮
yú wěi shī
nyonya / nonya
娘惹
niáng rě
police (colloquially known as mata, derived from mata-mata)
马打
mă dă
public holiday
公共假日
gōng gòng jià rì
Racial Harmony Day
种族和谐日
zhǒng zú hé xié rì
samsui women (red headscarf)
红头巾
hóng tóu jīn
Selat (old term to refer to Singapore)
石叻
shí lè
Straits Chinese
海峡华人
hăi xiá huá rén
Thaipusam
大宝森节
dà bǎo sēn jié
Total Defence Day
全面防卫日
quán miàn fáng wèi rì
BACK TO TOP