These are the unique words resonate well with every motoring enthusiast in Singapore – especially when we already have uniquely Singaporean terms like COE, ARF and ERP.
We have provided explanation to these terms, so our non-Singlish readers will have a better understanding of our culture and lifestyle.
This term is loosely used to describe an fierce, fearsome or aggressive look of a vehicle. “Tiong Tsiah” (Often written as Tiong Chia), a.k.a “Sports Car” is an alternative term for a sporty vehicle which car enthusiasts in Singapore desire to own.
Example: “A body kit with GT wing, confirm make your car look very tiong.”
A very commonly used term that was derived from the Chinese word, 切 “qie”, which means “to cut”. “Chiet” can also be used in the sense of “to cut off”, as often seen in impatient drivers who want to “chiet” you just to be ahead.
Example: “You can save some time on Sepang Turn 14 if you chiet this corner a bit more. ”
“Walao eh why you allow that driver to chiet you? Chiet him/her back la!”
3) Tsiah Fang (a.k.a “Chia Bung”)
A unique combination that is often mispronounced as “Chia Bung”. “Tsiah”, is “车” (che), but spoken in the Teochew dialect – while 房 refers to room. What the heck is a “car room” then? It simply means car workshop. Now go visit your favourite Tsiah Fang and show them some love!
Example: “I had my car towed to the Chia Bung because it broke down”
Whew, finally an English word! However the origin of dekit might surprise you. “Dekitting” is a military term which is the process of returning your issued “kit” to the unit.
In Singapore? When enthusiasts say “dekit”, it means removing all aftermarket parts and going back to stock – usually because the car will be deregistered, or sold to a dealer.
5) Gantung (a.k.a “Kantong”)
What do you call a “shock absorber and spring assembly” in one sweet word? “Gantung” is the answer. Originally used widely as a reference of a “hanging/suspension” – the act of stopping something from happening, the lines have blurred and it has become an important car part. Don’t ask us why, is it because we Chinese?
“I kenna caught speeding, license confirm gantung liao.”
“Your car very bouncy, confirm need to change new gantung.”
6) Gostun (a.k.a “Gostan”)
A superb original mashup of English words in Malay style. Originally from the nautical term “Go Astern” which means “go backwards”, Malaysians and Singaporeans widely use it to mean “reverse”.
Example: “Behind still got space, gostan some more lah.”
7) Kiao. (a.k.a “Keow”, “Kiow”)
We tried but we still don’t know what this really means or were it came from. Kiao can mean “bent”, or the act of opening/removing something. Alternatively, just use “bengkok”, “senget” for the same effect.
Example: “Mechanic say my chassis a bit kiao, need to pull.”
“Bro, your parking sux, park until so kiao.”
There is no right way of describing “rounding”. It’s a term loosely describing an activity by a bunch of people who love driving together with their friends. It can also mean hitting all the various 24 hour food spots around Singapore in one night There is one thing for sure, all the expressways in Singapore form a loop around the island – which is why we still love going round it.
Example: “Oi, tonight go rounding ai mai? Wanna see your new car.”
9) Tumpang (A.k.a Tompang)
With the Malay word meaning “overlapping”, this is used as an expression to requesting a favour to carry stuff by friends who are heading to a certain location. It can also mean “to hitch a ride.”
Example: “Bro, you visiting Ah Ben Chia Bung? Can help me tompang my ECU for him to have a look?”
“Bro you going car meet? My car not ready, can tompang annot?”
A perfect Singlish term which means to modify/beautify/upgrade something. Basically, not to leave it stock!
Example: “Zhng my car. Zhng my bicycle. Zhng my escooter. Zhng my computer. Zhng My Life la.”