Aiyoh, you hungry, ah? Do you wanna go grab some char kuey teow at the kopitiam?

The next time this sentence comes out of your mouth, just know that you’re indeed speaking proper English, as the words “aiyoh”, “char kuey teow”, and “kopitiam” has been officiated by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).


Those are not the only Manglish words added to the OED, as its September quarterly update has added “mamak”, “atas”, “pancit”, “aiyah”, “bodoh”, “ang pow”, “rendang”, and “Hainanese Chicken Rice” to its official list of words. Several commonly used Singlish terms such as “ah beng” and “hongbao” also made it to the cut.


The OED also paid tribute to British novelist Roald Dahl, as they added words like “Oompa Loompa” (short beings from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), “scrumdiddlyumptious” (extremely delicious), and “human bean” (mispronunciation of the word human being).

Source: Oxford English Dictionary
Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Current words such as “Moobs” (man boobs), “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), “gender fluid”, “squee” (great delight or excitement), and “clickbait” were also added to the dictionary.

The OED describes itself as an “unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over 829,000 words, senses, and compounds – past and present – from across the English-speaking world” and has regularly updated its database of words every year since 2000.

Sources: Oxford English Dictionary, The Star Online, The Guardian.

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