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Short Singlish

Few are as expert at verbal shorthand as us Singaporeans. And here's how we typically condense our sentences.

At five minutes to quitting time ...

Instead of "I'm sorry, Sir, but we don't seem to have the sweater you want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other outlets for you."

Simply shrug & say "No stock!

When returning a call ...

Instead of "Hello, this is John Tan. Did anyone page for me?"

Simply call up & demand "Hello, who page?"

When someone's in your way ...

Instead of "Excuse me, I'd like to get by. Would you please move?"

Simply lower your head/sidestep & say "Skius!"

When someone offers to pay ...

Instead of "Hey, put your wallet away, this drink is on me."

Simply smile & say "No need (pronounced nonid)"

When asking permission ...

Instead of "Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to enter through this door?"

Simply point to the door & say "Can or not?"

When entertaining ...

Instead of "Please make yourself right at home."

Simply steer people toward the food & say "Don't shy, leh!"

When doubting someone ...

Instead of "I really don't recall you giving me the money."

Simply spread your hands out & say "Where got?"

When declining an offer ...

Instead of "I'd prefer not to do that, if you don't mind."

Simply look pained & say "Don't want (pronounced doe waaan)".

When deciding on a plan of action ...

Instead of "What do you propose we do now that the movie's sold out and all the restaurants are closed?"

Simply look blur & say "So how?"

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