Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abbreviations used in Singapore

When you first come to Singapore, you will be suprised and confused with the occasional use of abbreviations. There are in fact many abbreviations used in daily life and getting used to them is a cruicial part of getting used to Singapore.

Look at the road sign below. All abbreviations (except Tuas)!

PIE - Not a pie, this is Pan Island Expressway. Usually heard from taxi drivers in this question: "ECP or PIE?". ECP stands for East Coast Parkway. The taxi uncle here asks your preference of express way to your destination. Learn which is shorter and/or cheaper. This question was just asked to me 2 days ago for a ride from Dhoby Ghaut to Dakota. My answer was "Nichole Highway!". If you are a foreigner expect this question time to time for a couple of km more ride even if you do not need to take any to arrive to your destination.

KJE is for Kranji ExpresswayNTU is for Nanyang Technological University and NIENational Institute of Education.

Major cities of interest in Malaysia are also abbreviated. JB for example is not for the famouse Scotch whisky J&B and it is definitely not for Justin Bieber (who the fuck is Justin Bieber?!?). This is almost always used for Malaysian city, Johor Bahru. KL is also occasionaly used, which is for Kuala Lumpur. In fact you can hardly hear the names of these cities in daily life, they are almost always reffered as JB and KL.

There are also some which can make you look at the other person with empty eyes. Take Teh-O, tea with sugar only. When a vendor asks this he/she wants to know that you want tea without milk. Otherwise just Teh means tea with milk and sugar. Same goes for coffee, kopi-o means coffee only, coffee without milk but with sugar.

And there are funny/fixtious like SENTOSA - "So Expensive and Nothing TO See Actually!" Not an abbreviation used in Singapore but an abbreviation describes the thoughts of many people about overrated Sentosa :)

For a comprehensive list of abbreviations used in Singapore refer to this wikipedia article: List of Singapore abbreviations.

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