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19 Singlish Words Added to Oxford English Dictionary

Earlier this year, the prominent Oxford English Dictionary added to its tome a host of new Singlish words, recognizing more of the Lion City's colloquial terminology.

Nineteen new terms will join previous Singlish entries such as "lah" and "sinseh", which date back as far as 2000, according to The Straits Times.

Poet and literary critic Gwee Li Sui describes the dialect as a "patchwork patois", drawing from the country’s four official languages – English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil – in addition to Hokkien and Bengali.

Singaporean writer Sylvia Toh, who has published two books on Singlish, expressed the importance of its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. 

"Speaking as a Singaporean, you've got to be happy and take a sense of pride as it counts as acknowledgement that Singlish is important to, and part of, our national identity," she told the newspaper. "Ironically, a former colonial master is recognizing this, while our own government campaigns fought to rid it."

The vernacular has even affected the speech of foreigners visiting the country. On a trip to the city-state in April, American actor Anthony Mackie dropped a few "lahs" when promoting Captain America: Civil War.

However, when it comes to academics, these terms may not be accepted by teachers. One anonymous teacher told The Straits Times: "Some of the inclusions are words from another language, not English. In my opinion, such terms should not be accepted in examinations, especially when they are used colloquially."

Here’s the full list of the new Singlish terms added to the Oxford English Dictionary:

[Photo via The Start]

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