In this week’s flashback Friday, we look back at some once-popular Singlish idioms that have somehow fallen off the radar in recent years.

Our daily speech used to be peppered with these Singlish phrases. Here are 20 of our favorite ones. 

1. Ponteng
What it means:
 To play truant.
How it’s used: Want to pon school today?

2. Sabo
What it means: To sabotage
How it’s used: I don’t want to go for that meeting. You don’t sabo me ah.

3. Yaya Papaya
What it means: Show off or arrogant
How it’s used: He is damn yaya papaya.

4. Steady 
What it means: Yes, let's do it. Or it could also mean asking someone to be your boyfriend/girlfriend.
How it’s used: 1.  A: Let’s go eat chili crab. B: Steady. 2. Boy: Want to go steady? 

5. Abothen
What it means: What else? Often used sarcastically.  
How it’s used: A: Do chickens lay eggs? B: Abothen.

6. Kan Cheong Spider
What it means:
 Someone who is always nervous or uptight.
How it’s used: You still have one month, why you worrying now? So kan cheong spider.

7. Blur Sotong
What it means: A clueless person.
How it’s used: You're such a blur sotong! Show you so many times already still don't know. 

8. Obiang
What it means: Really outdated, especially fashion
How it’s used: Why you go and buy this bag? So obiang.

9. Lobang
What it means: 
It’s a Malay word and directly translates to gap or hole. In Singlish, it means tips or clues or contacts.
How it’s used: I’m looking for a good property agent. You got lobang?

10. Kayu
What it means: 
Silly or unintelligent
How it’s used: Why is he so kayu? Show him so many times already, he still do it wrong.

11. Bao Toh
What it means: 
To tell on someone
How it’s used: I saw A stealing B’s food. Should I bao toh him?

12. Alamak
What it means: Oh no or Oh my god
How it’s used: Alamak, I forgot to buy food for my mom.

13. Goondu
What it means: 
How it’s used: Why you so goondu?

14. Tai Ko
What it means: 
Lucky; a fluke
How it’s used: Ali gets a lucky shot when playing soccer. His team mates would describe that lucky shot as tai ko.

15. Cheem
What it means:
 Very profound, hard to understand
How it’s used:  I don’t understand what you’re taking about, very cheem.

16. Orbi
What it means: 
Serves you right
How it’s used: A: Ouch, the parrot bit me. B: Orbi, who ask you to poke him?

17. Sekali
What it means: 
What if
How it’s used: Let’s bring an umbrella with us. Sekali rain then how?

18. Tom Ba Lek
What it means: 
Upside down or inside out
How it’s used: How come his shirt is tom ba lek?

19. Stylo Milo
What it means: 
A very stylish person
How it’s used: Wah, she very stylo milo ah.

20. Action
What it means: 
Show Off
How it’s used: Don’t so action can?