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© Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Last updated on 17 November 2015 (39 headwords). No reproduction without permission.

G n. [Eng., initial letter of g(ay]  A homosexual person, a gay person.  Compare A-Jay, PLU.

gabra /gah-brah, ˈɡɑːbrɑː/ v. [< Minangkabau Ind. gabas done in a hurry (as in the results of manual labour), menggabas hurry someone up in a job (Echols & Shadily); Jav. gegabah hasty, rash; kaja gabah di-interi in a state of confusion or chaos (Horne)]  Be confused, frightened or shocked; panic.
Leong Choon Cheong (quoting Larry Tan) Youth in the Army 168 They didn’t see us.. but we gabra.  172 ‘We’re damned scared of the NCOs’ shouting,’ he remarked. ‘Everything they said, you said “yes”. But their voice was extra loud. Shout only you gabra!’  307 gabra. This Indonesian word means ‘all in a mess’. When a soldier suddenly becomes confused with exposure to uncertain stimuli (like a contradictory order), or when he makes a mistake of disastrous and terrifying consequences (like losing a rifle part), he gabras or loses his cool.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 42 Gabra. Panic or be confused.  1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 gabra – do things in a haphazard way.

Comb.: gabra king  One who is frequently in a state of confusion or panic.  See King.
Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 307 gabra-king. a soldier who gabras frequently.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 42 Gabra king. A perpetual bundle of nerves.  1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 19 The ‘gabra kings’ were thrown in, to my surprise.  137 gabra kings. Nickname for people who blunder.

Phrase: gabra like zebra.

gado gado /gah-doh, ˈɡɑdəʊ/ n. [Ind., Jav.; compare Ind. gado, menggado to sample food (Echols & Shadily, Ind.–Eng.); Jav. nggado eat accompanying dishes without rice (Horne)]  An Indonesian salad consisting of beancurd, bean sprouts and other vegetables with a peanut dressing.
2005 Kwen Ow Today, 7 March, 33 The last kitchen.. beckons with popular local snacks – think gado gado and popiah..

gahmen /gah-mən, ˈgɑmən/ n. [repr. a pron. of Eng. government]  The (Singapore) Government; esp. in cynical or sarcastic usages implying that it is authoritarian or aloof.
2006 Neil Humphreys Final Notes from a Great Island 118 The gahmen don’t want burial. Cremation better. Where got space for so many burials? But if you know where to go, can still bury. No problem.  2006 Lynn Lee
The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 25 August. The ‘gahmen bloggers’ [title] They are an informal gathering of civil servants who blog or are interested in new media..  2006 Neil Humphreys Weekend Today, 2–3 December, 16 .. I wrote in the book that whatever redevelopment plans the Gahmen had for St John’s Island, they should be executed quickly.

gan shui /gahn suuee, ɡʌn ʃʊɪ / n. [Cant. [...] + 水 shui water (Eitel); Mand. jiǎnshuǐ water containing soda: jiǎn alkali + shuǐ water (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A solution of sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate, and occasionally sodium phosphate as well, that is used in preparing various Asian foods, including Kee Chang, Kueh Lopes, and noodles; alkaline water.
The Sunday Times (from Straits Times Interactive) 15 October. Alkaline water, also known as gan sui in Cantonese and air abu in Malay, is a clear solution of the salts sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate, and sometimes sodium phosphate. Because it is often called lye water, it is frequently confused with lye or caustic soda, which is sodium hydroxide, a much harsher chemical which has limited culinary applications in the West. In the Asian kitchen, alkaline water has few and specific uses. The characteristic springiness of Hong Kong-style mee is due to gan sui, which is added to noodle dough to firm up its texture, and give it a yellow tint. It does the same for glutinous rice in kee chang (yellow alkaline glutinous rice dumplings) and in their Malay cousin, kuih lopes. .. Dried cuttlefish or squid are sometimes briefly soaked in gan sui for the opposite effect – it makes them more tender when rehydrated.  2015 Chris Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 7 June, 23 Alkaline water: A solution of sodium carbonate and/or potassium carbonate. The product shown here is a modern mix of sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium phosphate, sodium citrate and sodium chloride. Called kansui in Cantonese and air abu in Malay, it is sometimes confused or conflated with lye.. Used in noodles and kueh to obtain firm, springy and slippery textures, kansui also gives kee chang.. its yellow hue and alkaline aroma, and is also added to baked mooncake skin dough for a softer texture and browning. Some foods, such as lotus seeds, dried cuttlefish and fresh olives, can be tenderised by soaking in kansui, though with a concomitant change in flavour.

gao ding /gow ding, ɡaʊ dɪŋ/ a. [Cant. gao do, carry on, be engaged in + ting to fix, to settle (Eitel); Mand. găo do, carry on, be engaged in + dìng fixed, settled, established (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  Achieved, completed, finished.

garang /gah-rahng, ˈɡɑːrɑːŋ/ a. [Mal., fierce, ferocious, hot-tempered, bold (of soldiers) (Winstedt)]  1 Bold, daring, fearless.  2 Of appearance: imposing, impressive; esp. manly, rugged.
1 1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 34 If one could do it.. with all the appearance of a gung-ho character, then everyone called him garang 50 So many garang kings here, no problem with ghosts!  2001 Fiona Chan (quoting Charmaine Chua) The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 1 March, 8 I think the stereotype of girls in the army tending to be more tomboyish is not true. .. We can be very gu niang (ladylike). We can also be very garang (daredevil).  2004 Loh Keng Fatt The Straits Times (Life!), 21 April, L6 I wish they were a bit more garang, which would scare off any would-be bullies to go arm-twist elsewhere.  2005 Jeremy Au Yong (quoting Kevin Tan) The Sunday Times, 22 May, 9 [C]onstitutional law expert Kevin Tan agree[s] that general interest in this national affair is healthy. .. “I guess they want a president to act as a check and balance for the role of government. Never mind that we don’t have an election but let’s pick someone more garang,” he said, using the Malay word for gung-ho or fierce.  2006 Ben Nadarajan (quoting Daniel Tay) The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 19 June. ‘He was very garang in BMT, one of the fittest of us all, and always pushing himself,’ he said. Garang means gung-ho or fierce in Malay.  2 1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 47 It was his belief that my bespectacled friend should smoke so he could look more garang.  137 garang. To look professional and outstanding.  2001 Suhaila Sulaiman The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 4 January, 5 [This mobile telephone] Looks and feels the most ‘garang’ (fierce) of the four models tested, making it a personal fave.  2004 Lim Hock Lee The Straits Times, 12 August, H6 Change the Temasek green plain uniforms to camouflage patterned ones, which were ‘more popular, because more garang-looking (fierce-looking)’, recalled Mr Lim.

gasak /gah-sahk, ˈgɑːsɑːk/ v. [Mal., act with vigour (Winstedt); eat gluttonously; do something quickly; compare Jav., gasak v. charge, assault, attack (Horne)]  1 (Do a job, etc.) hurriedly, in a rush.  2 (Do a job, etc.) in a perfunctory manner or by guesswork.  3 Eat greedily or hurriedly.

geng var. of Keng.

gerek /ger-rerk, ˈɡɛrɛk̚/ n. [poss. < Mal. gerek, menggerek bore, drill a hole; or var. of gerang eagerness, keenness, zest (Wilkinson)] Mal. slang  Style.
1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 gerek – style.

getai /-tı, ˈɡətʌɪ/ n. [Mand. 歌台 gētái performance stage: sing + tái platform, stage]  An outdoor performance featuring dancing, singing, auctions of goods and other entertainments, held esp. during the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar and the Hungry Ghost Festival.
2005 Peh Shing Hui The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 2 September. Draw visitors here with getai and spooky tours [title] TV shows are not the only way to reel visitors in. Movies, songs and even books are useful vehicles. Singapore film-maker Kelvin Tong’s The Maid, which is about a maid who witnesses strange things during the Hungry Ghost Festival, could be a trailblazer in this aspect. .. Would viewers want to come here during the lunar seventh month to see getai shows, the burning of incense papers and listen to old wives’ tales about what not to do during the festival? Would the Singapore Tourism Board organise spooky tours for visitors during the festival? I sure hope so.  2005 Stella Kon The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 7 September. In the effort to preserve Chinese culture, what is the position on street opera or wayang? I understand that this art form belongs to popular culture rather than to mainstream Chinese literary tradition. During the Seventh Month, street operas are put on by sponsors for the benefit of the hungry ghosts rather than for human audiences. It is common to see an opera troupe valiantly performing before an audience of one or two elderly people. Recently, in my HDB estate, I was pleased to see a troupe performing before a fair-size audience, including a scattering of fascinated kids. However, the getai auction was going on close by and the actors could be heard only in the intervals between the auctioneering. It seemed as though the organisers had no idea at all of opera as an art form. I hope street opera can be preserved and respected as an art form, and its practitioners respected as artists.  2006 Richard Seah Siew Sai The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 16 June. Will the police kindly explain why one group of people in Singapore should be allowed to openly and consistently flout the law? This group is none other than the organisers of Chinese wayangs, getai and auctions. They have been blatantly defying the laws regarding noise pollution for years.  2006 Chong Chee Kin
The Sunday Times, 6 August, 6 Both Mr Loh and Mr Tan have engaged Zhong [Yaonan] to host getais over the next few weeks and both said they will stand by him. 2006 Hong Xinyi The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 6 August, L6 Every year when the seventh month rolls around, these raucous makeshift concerts called getai (Mandarin for “song stage”) pop up all over Singapore. Chinese folklore has it that on the first day of the lunar seventh month, the gates of hell open and spirits are released into the land of the living. In Singapore, it has become the custom to stage performances to entertain these visiting spirits. And these days, the entertainment of choice is the getai.

gila /gee-lah, ˈɡiːɑː/ a. [Mal. gila mad (Ridhwan)]  Crazy, mad.
2009 Boon Chan (quoting Donna Daniels)
The Straits Times (Life!), 16 February, C8 “I’m a bit gila (Malay for crazy),” she says, “You don’t have to say. It just exudes from the person.[”]

give face v. phr. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 给面 gěimiàn: gěi give, grant + miàn face; reputation, prestige (Chi.–Eng. Dict.): see Face]  Show due respect for one’s feelings.
2004 Janadas Devan The Straits Times (Very! Singapore), 9 August, 20 ‘give him face’.. a face-saving act.  2007 Carmen Teoh-Tang Today (from, 5 January. Don’t give them ‘face’ [title] When I’m standing obediently in line, it is frustrating to have someone skip past me to the cashier. .. I think Singaporeans need to be told off when caught in the act; since we all love to “save face” in public, this method works best.

glam a. [< Eng. glam(orous1 Glamorous.  2 High-profile, prominent.
1 2004 Chan Seet Fun (quoting Chris Lee) Weekend Today, 78 February, 26 I was a bit uncoordinated. It was not glam (glamorous).  2 2000 Seow Sher Yen The Straits Times (Life!), 12 September, 10 We’re not glam like the Singapore Symphony Orchestra or the Singapore Dance Theatre.

glass noodles n. [Eng,, f. their appearance]  Tang Hoon.

go fly kite see entry under Fly Kite.

goblock var. of Gorblock.

goli /goh-lee, ˈɡəʊliː/ n. [Mal. goli, guli playing marble (Wilkinson, Winstedt) < Hind. गोली golī a round lump, ball; a marble; a globule (McGregor) < Skt. गूळी gulī a pill, a bolus, any small globular substance (Monier-Williams); compare Hind. गोला golā a round lump, a ball (McGregor) < Skt. गोल gola, गोला golā a ball, a celestial or terrestrial globe, a circle, anything round or globular, a sphere; see also गोला golā a wooden ball with which children play; गुड guḍa a globe or ball, a ball for playing with (Monier-Williams)]  A playing marble.
2003 Tan Shzr Ee (quoting Anthony Teo) The Sunday Times, 5 October, L2 Last time, we used to fly kites on the rooftop and play goli (marbles) by the street.

gone case n. & a. [Eng. gone + caseA n. Someone or something which cannot be rectified or redeemed.  B a. Irredeemable, irreparable, not rectifiable, too far gone.  Compare Habis, Mati.
1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 gone case – something that cannot be saved (eg. he’s a gone case).  B 1982Paik-Choo’ (Toh Paik Choo) Eh, Goondu! 7 Gone Case “You haven’t a prayer left” succinctly put. Situation where there’s no hope left. Untenable position. ’Nuff said.

gong /gong, ɡɒŋ/ n. [Hk. gong (?); Mand. guàn jar, pot, tin (?)  (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A small evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk tin with a raffia string through its lid that is used to hold coffee or tea for taking away.
2012 Ashleigh Sim
The Straits Times (Home), 9 August, B30 If it is a takeaway, you can ask for the drink in a charming recycled condensed milk tin.. rather than in a plastic bag. Just add the word “gong”. For example, an order for iced tea with evaporated milk and extra sugar in a tin goes: “Teh-si peng, ka dai, gong!”

gong, gong-gong /gong, ɡɒŋ/ a. [Hk. gōng stupid, foolish, silly (Medhurst); Mand. gàng (dial.) rash, reckless, foolhardy (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  Dull, foolish, muddleheaded, silly, stupid.  gong-gong adv.
2001 Neil Humphreys Notes from an Even Smaller Island 168 [A]s I began to teach in Singaporean schools, it became apparent that students did not even realise that many of the words they spoke were not English. .. [W]ords like kiasu, kaypoh, meaning ‘nosy’, and gong-gong, meaning ‘silly’ or ‘stupid’, were still being uttered.  [2003 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 76 gong [戇] empty-headed; stupid  gong-gong [戇戇] stupidly]

gong-gong /gong gong, ɡɒŋ ɡɒŋ/ n. [Mal.]  The pearl conch (Strombus canarium), an edible mollusc which is usu. cooked with chilli or deep-fried as fritters.
[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 1, 374 gonggong.. Siput gongong: gen. for shells of the genus Strombus, cf. sa-ekur g. (a Strombus-shell, Ht. Koris [Hikayat Koris]). The name is applied also to a Voluta (g. Bugis) and to a Conus (g. mulut merah).  1963 Richard Winstedt An Unabridged Malay
English Dictionary 115 gonggong, .. edible univalve mollusc, Strombus isabella, g. bětina id., g. jantan S. urceus.]  2005 “Conch snails” Wild Shores, September.  Conch snails are edible and eaten everywhere they are found. In Singapore, Gong-gong were once plentiful. The Gong-gong is the most popularly eaten Conch, fried with chilli or as fritters. You can sometimes still see them served at hawker centres. .. Strombus canarium (Gong gong)  2006 Anthony Bourdain New York Times Magazine (from, 24 September. We began with some freshly steamed gong-gong (whelks) and prawns.  2009 Jessica Lim The Straits Times (Home), 11 April, C1 “Nowadays, supermarkets have everything. I can buy live shellfish and toilet paper,” said the housewife, who buys flower crab and gong-gongs (a type of shellfish) once a month from a Sheng Siong outlet that is just a five-minute bus ride from her home.

goondu /goon-doo, ˈɡuːnduː/ n. & a. [< Mal. gundu a hard nut (usu. the candle-nut f. the candleberry tree, Aleurites triloba) weighted for use as a marble (Wilkinson); or < Telugu గుండు guṇḍu a round stone; a cannon ball or bullet; a lump; a weight (or stone) for scales; round, globular, spherical (Brown); Tam. குண்டு kuṇṭu ball, anything globular and heavy (Burrow & Emeneau, Tam. Lex.)]  A n. An idiot, a moron.  B a. Idiotic, moronic, stupid.
A 1982Paik-Choo’ (Toh Paik Choo) Eh, Goondu! [title].  2012 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 19 February, 14 “Not Fei Fei, you goondu!” snarled the Wife, hurling a crumpled ball of wet tissue past my ear. “Fong Fei-fei! The singer!”  B 1986Paik-Choo’ (Toh Paik Choo) Lagi Goondu! [title].  2008 Today, 3 October, 30 Mr [Luca di] Montezemolo should remember that by characterising the Singapore F1 race and track a “circus”, it makes his drivers look like incompetent monkeys and his Ferrari team a bunch of goondu gorillas who cannot refuel a car properly.

gorblock /gor-blok, ˈɡɔːblɒk/ n. [< Ind. geblek stupid (Echols & Shadily, Ind.–Eng.); Jav. gebleg stupid, ignorant (Horne)] Also goblock.  A fool, an idiot.
1987 Toh Paik Choo On the Buses 68 You want to die, get up or not, you want to sleep some more, I said get up, now! Goblock you!

goreng /gor-reng, ˈɡɔːrɛŋ/ v. [Mal., fry; Penang Mal. slang, flatter, butter up (Winstedt), conciliate by flattery (Wilkinson); compare Jav. gorèng deep-fried (Horne) 1 Deceive, fool, hoodwink.  2 Deride, mock, ridicule, tease.  3 Give a stern or prolonged scolding to.
1 1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 307 goreng. To goreng is to fry: Malay. As a slang, it means to hoodwink, to fool someone.  1987 Toh Paik Choo On the Buses 67 I sure kena goreng.  2 2005 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 9 October. I have tremendous sympathy for the teachers who are getting goreng-ed on various blogs and message boards.

goreng pisang /gor-reng pee-sahng, ˈɡɔːrɛŋ ˈpiːsɑŋ/ n. [Mal. goreng fry in a pan; compare Jav. gorèng deep-fried + pisang banana]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 908 p. [pisang] goreng (banana roasted on a pan); .. p. rendang (banana fritter)..]

Also pisang goreng.  A Malay snack consisting of a banana which is dipped in batter and deep fried; a banana fritter.
2014 Melody Zaccheus & Pearl Lee
The Straits Times (Home), 2 August, B8 Goreng pisang hawker Abdullah Omar can rattle off the 15 types of bananas commonly imported from Malaysia into Singapore. Of the lot, the 66-year-old said Singaporeans are crazy for pisang raja – a sweet and creamy breed which complements the deep-fried fritter’s savoury shell.

gostan /goh-stahn, gəʊˈstɑːn/ v. [poss. < Eng. go astern: astern to the rear, backward, stern foremost]  Go or move backwards, reverse.
1982Paik-Choo’ (Toh Paik Choo) Eh, Goondu! 14 Go Stun From the word “astern” which was abridge [sic] to “stern” to “stun” by driving instructors. Another repeat phrase: “Go stun, go stun!” to mean “go backwards” usually cried in excitement. The current rejoinder is “Long dio uo sia” (You’ll hear the crash when you’ve gone too much astern). Not to be confused with the “stun” in Tarzan stories where our erstwhile hero swings from one vine to another, that very action is also called “stun” as in “Wah, look, look, Tarzan stun.” How this “stun” came about is a mystery (I don’t have ALL the answers). Could it be when he missed the vine and hit the tree trunk and was stunned? Or was it when he was caught with his pants down (bor cheng kor).  1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 go stun – to reverse, thought to be derived from astern, shortened to stern, then to stun.  2000 Samuel Lee The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 28 December, 7 Gostan (reverse) and go-slow mode is necessary in order for your car not to hit the wall.

grago /grah-goh, ˈɡrɑɡəʊ/ n. [Kristang gragoh shrimp (in general) (Baxter & de Silva) < Johor & Penang Mal. geragau small shrimps (Mysis sp.) f. which Belacan is made; also spelt geragus, gerogok (Winstedt), geraku (Wilkinson)]  A Eurasian person.  Compare Serani.
¶ The term is regarded as derog. by some.
1995 Joan Margaret Marbeck Ungua Adanza 2 Grago means shrimps. The Eurasians of Malacca are nicknamed the shrimp people because many were shrimp fishermen and had unusually large families. Some still feel ‘grago’ is a derogatory term and take offence when they are called ‘Grago’.  2004 Ong Soh Chin The Straits Times (Life!), 30 October, 4 ‘Grago’, a term used to describe Eurasians, is the name of a shrimp used in belacan. It originated in the early days when the Portuguese settlers were fishermen.  2005 Colin Chee The Electric New Paper, 12 July. We were comfortable calling each other names. Our Punjabi friends became ‘Ba-ees’. Our Indian pals were ‘Mamaks’, our Malay friends were ‘Oi-Ahmad’, and our Eurasian friends were ‘Gragos’. And they would all call us ‘Chinks’ or ‘Paleface’.

grandfather’s possessive form [Eng.] ironic  Used with a noun to criticize a person regarded as behaving in an arrogant or overbearing manner.
[2013 Elena Chong The Straits Times, 27 March, A2 He is said to have acted as a lookout while Lo spray-painted the words “My Grandfather Road” on Maxwell Road and Robinson Road, using a can of white spray paint and a metal stencil on the night of May 16 last year. .. Their next stop was Realty Centre in Enggor Street where she allegedly spray-painted “My Grandfather Building” on the wall.]

Phrase: grandfather’s army n. phr. [Eng.] mil. slang  Used as a term of abuse for a soldier who takes too many liberties in the army.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 307 grandfather’s army. A term thrown at a soldier who takes too much liberty in the Army.  A corporal may be heard shouting at a recruit who walks on the parade square in slippers: ‘What do you think this is?  Your grandfather’s army, ah?’

green bean n. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 绿豆 lǜdòu: green + dòu legume, pulse, bean, pea (Chi.–Eng. Dict.), or cognates in other Chi. dialects]  The green edible bean of the mung or green gram (Vigna radiata, also known as Phaseolus radiatus or Phaseolus aureus), a leguminous plant widely grown in tropical Asia, which is used in South Asia as a pulse or (esp. in China) for producing bean sprouts.  Compare Red Bean.

Comb.: green bean soup n. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 绿豆汤 lǜdòu tāng: tāng soup, broth]  A hot or cold Chinese dessert consisting of green beans boiled in a sugar syrup till soft.  Compare Red Bean Soup.
2007 Foong Woei Wan
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 18 November. .. I will be heading to a dessert joint for a fix of soothing Chinese pear soup or mellow green bean soup.

GSO /gee es oh, ɡiː ɛs əʊ/ n. [Eng., abbrev. of g(eneral s(taff o(fficer] mil. slang  A jocular abbreviation for Girls Supply Officer: a soldier who arranges for female company to be present at army parties.
1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 42 GSO. .. Girls Supply Officer at army parties.

gu niang /goo niahng, ɡuː nɪɑːŋ/ n. & a. [Mand. 姑娘 gūniáng girl, maiden: father’s sister, aunt; husband’s sister, sister-in-law; nun + niáng a young woman] Also koo niang.  A n. I When used to describe a man: an effeminate or excessively effete or sensitive man.  II When used to describe a woman. 1 A helpless or dependent woman.  2 A feminine or ladylike woman.  B a. I When used to describe a man: effeminate; excessively effete or sensitive.  II When used to describe a woman. 1 Dependent, helpless.  2 Feminine, ladylike.
A I 1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 34 When I was learning how to get up from a prone position, I thought I was OK, until I was told that I looked like a koo niang trying to use two hands to lift.  B I 1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 138 koo niang. Effeminate.  2009 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 11 January, 12 Shovelling hard-packed snow is no easy task. It’s a bit like trench-digging during NS, except in the cold and without some sergeant calling you a “gu niang” every few minutes.  II 2 2001 Fiona Chan (quoting Charmaine Chua) The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 1 March, 8 I think the stereotype of girls in the army tending to be more tomboyish is not true. .. We can be very gu niang (ladylike).

gula melaka /goo-lə mə-lah-kə, ˈɡuːlə məˈlɑːkə/ n. [Mal. gula sugar; sugary substances obtained from plants < Skt. गुल gula raw or unrefined sugar (Monier-Williams) + Melaka Malacca, name of a state as well as a city in West Malaysia]. Also gula Melaka.  Palm sugar, brown in colour, which is obtained from the nipa (Nypa fructicans), a trunkless palm.
¶ Gula melaka is correctly called gula nipah in Malay [Mal. nipah the trunkless palm Nypa fruticans].
1894 N.B. Dennys A Descriptive Dictionary of British Malaya 53–54 Bubur. – A mixture of sago, cocoa-nut milk and scrapings, and a coarse sugar known as gula Malacca. A favourite dish with most European children, and some of their older relatives also, at times. The Malays greatly esteem it.  2006 Thng Lay Teen
The Sunday Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 26 February. Malacca is one of my favourite places across the Causeway because I can indulge in two of life’s pleasures – shopping and eating. Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Street) beckons with its old-world charm and delightful Peranakan wares. There’s also Malacca’s famous pineapple tarts and fragrant gula melaka.  2006 Amy Van Today (from, 23 March. To sweeten the coconut cream, I used.. gula melaka (or palm sugar) which imparts a nice depth of flavour.  2008 The Straits Times (Saturday), 22 November, D11 The Nipah Palm.. is the only true mangrove palm in Singapore. .. The sugary sap from the inflorescence stalk can be.. boiled down to make palm sugar, known locally as gula melaka.

Comb.: Sago Gula Melaka.

guo tie /guo tie, ɡʊɒ tɪɛː/ n. [< Mand. 锅贴儿 guōtiēr: guō pot, pan, boiler, cauldron, etc. + tiē paste, stick, glue + -r, er a nominalizing suffix (Chi.–Eng. Dict., OED)]  A fried Jiao Zi, usu. eaten with dark vinegar and finely-shredded ginger; a potsticker.
2006 Theresa Tan
The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) (from Straits Times Interactive), 14 June. While the stall sells guo tie too (the same dumplings [as jiao zi] fried instead of steamed), bear in mind (and eventually your tummy) that fried dumplings contain 40 per cent more fat than steamed ones.  2009 Tan Hsueh Yun The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 8 November, 26 I decided to tackle the Basic Dumpling Dough and use that to make guotie, or potstickers.

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