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© Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Last updated on 17 May 2013 (19 headwords). No reproduction without permission.

IC1 /ı see, aɪ siː/ n. [Eng., abbrev. of i(dentity c(ard: see quot. 1965 below]

[1965 National Registration Act 1965 (No. 11 of 1965), s. 2. “identity card” means an identity card issued under the provisions of this Act, and includes an identity card issued or deemed to be issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance 1955 [No. 32 of 1955].]

An identity card, spec. an identity card issued under the provisions of the National Registration Act 1965 (No. 11 of 1965) of Singapore, often known as a national registration identity card or NRIC.
Alfred Siew The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 14 September. Borrowing a library book in someone else’s name, signing up an army buddy for an Individual Physical Proficiency Test without his knowledge – in Singapore, all you need is a peek at an identity card (IC) and a little cunning.  2005 Hariharan Gangadharan The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 20 September. .. Singapore firms are obsessed with an ‘IC culture’. My family members and I have been asked to produce our ICs whenever we asked for a change in the scope of services, such as value-added service for fixed line/mobile telephone service, Internet service or cable service. Not only is the IC demanded, but these organisations also make a photocopy of it, even though a copy of the IC had been given when we registered for the service. .. Similarly, it is inexplicable why, on the first visit to a clinic, one must provide one’s IC or passport number. .. Except for security reasons, such as entry into public or commercial buildings, businesses and organisations should be prohibited from seeking, distributing or publishing IC numbers and personal information.  2006 The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 20 March. [T]o get a loan from a loan shark, a debtor must have his identity card, a guarantor, and the guarantor’s IC.  2011 Sandra Leong
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 12 June, 13 Wasn’t it a little presumptuous of him to assume that this mystery girl and I would get along like a house on fire just because we have the same pink IC and both live in London?

IC2 /ı see, aɪ siː/ n. [Eng., abbrev. of i(n c(harge or i(n c(ommand] orig. mil. slang  A person supervising or in charge of others.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong (quoting Tay Poh Hock) Youth in the Army 53 So if you ar with the IC.. you can chiah chua a bit.  243 Before his present appointment as OC runner, he was cook i/c at the cookhouse.  1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 65 I was to understudy the current, supposedly more zhai IC.

ice jelly n. [Eng.]  A dessert consisting of a soft jelly in a sweetened syrup and sometimes other ingredients such as fruit cocktail, which is served with shaved ice and lime.

ice kacang /kah-chahng, kɑˈtʃɑŋ/ n. [Eng.]  A dessert dish consisting of shaved ice sweetened with coloured sugar syrup and evaporated milk and piled on top of Agar-Agar or jelly, Attap Chee, red beans, sweet corn, etc.
2000 Lea Wee The Straits Times (Life!), 10 April, 4 The rainbow-coloured ice kacang.. probably started off as the humble iceball. According to humorist Sylvia Toh Piak Choo, who is in her 50s, the iceball was sold by street hawkers in the 1950s and 1960s as a sideline to their drinks business. .. It is called ice kacang, literally ice and nuts, because sellers [used] to sprinkle crushed nuts on it.  2002 Magdalene Lum (quoting Elisa Chew) The Straits Times (Life!), 2 April, L6 Along Penang Road [in Penang, Malaysia], you will also find delicious desserts like chendol and ice kacang2003 Teo Pau Lin The Sunday Times, 5 October, L39 Ice kacang.. here is dessert made with heart. Each ingredient – sweet potato, red and green beans, gingko nuts, agar-agar, coconut milk – is prepared by hand.

iceball n. [Eng.] Also ice ball. hist.  A sweet consisting of shaved ice compacted into a ball flavoured with coloured sugar syrup.
2000 Lea Wee The Straits Times (Life!), 10 April, 4 The rainbow-coloured ice kacang.. probably started off as the humble iceball. According to humorist Sylvia Toh Piak Choo, who is in her 50s, the iceball was sold by street hawkers in the 1950s and 1960s as a sideline to their drinks business.  2011 Eunice Quek (quoting Peter Goh) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 28 August, 28 It was such a joy to hold an ice ball with your bare hands and suck on the pink, yellow and green syrup with Carnation milk.

idiappam /i-di-ah-pahm, ɪˌdiːɑˈpɑm/ n. [Tam. இடியப்பம iṭiyappam: இடி iṭi  flour, esp. of rice or millet; light meal with flour as it chief ingredient + அப்பம் appam round cake of rice flour and sugar fried in ghee; thin cake; wafer; bread (Tam. Lex.); compare Malayalam ഇടിയപപം iṭiyappam: ഇടി iṭi, ഇടികകുക iṭikkuka to pound in a mortar, bray with a pestle; to press, crush as sugar-cane + അപപം appam children’s food; a kind of cake (Mlm. Lex.)]  Putu Mayam.

idle king n. [Eng.] mil. slang  A soldier who is extremely idle or lazy.  See King.
1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 43 Idle king. Lazy slob.

ikan bilis /i-kahn bi-lis, ˈɪkɑn ˈbɪlɪs/ n. [Mal., ikan fish]  1 A very small fish, the scaly hairfin anchovy (Setipinna taty). Ikan bilis are caught in large numbers, and salted and dried for use as a foodstuff.  2 Ikan bilis as they are prepared for cooking or for eating as a snack.
¶ The scientific name of the fish was suggested by the NMS. The common and scientific names of the fish are from “Setipinna taty”, (5 June 2009; accessed on 21 June 2009).
1 [1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 1, 140 bilis. .. Ikan bilis: anchovy, Macassar red-fish, – gen. for small fish, esp. Stolephorus spp., that come in huge shoals and are caught and salted for sale as budu or pěda..  2006 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 83 ikan bilis white bait; anchovy (Stolephorus in general)]  2 2006 Teo Pau Lin
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 4 June. The noodles, made fresh in-store daily, is [sic] cooked to a firm, springy consistency. It comes with a generous, lipsmacking batch of mushrooms, minced pork, ikan bilis, chilli flakes and a fried egg.  2006 Neil Humphreys Final Notes from a Great Island 25 Before it got too dark, I bought some ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and gladly left the Hub hordes to have a quick peek around Toa Payoh Town Park.  2006 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Corwin Leong) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 10 September. [T]here’s one dish my wife does that I can’t beat – Kuala Lumpur-style ban mian (thick, flat noodles). She makes the soup with ikan bilis (anchovies) and soya beans. Then, she adds toppings like black fungus with oyster sauce, minced pork, shallots, chilli, sweet potato leaves and an egg.  2009 Chris Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 28 June, 21 Recipes for the crispy kind of sambal ikan bilis usually first fry the dried fish until crisp, then toss them – with or without a bit of further cooking – in a sambal goreng made with dried chillies and other spices.

ikan kicap /i-kahn kee-chup, ˈɪkɑn ˈkiːtʃʌp˺/ n. [Mal. kicap soya sauce (Ridhwan)]  A Malay dish consisting of fish fried with soya sauce.
2012 Eunice Quek
(quoting Mohamed Noor Sarman) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 18 March, 21 She would love to cook for me ikan kicap (fried fish in soya sauce) and ikan bilis with peanut sambal.

ikan kuning /i-kahn kuu-ning, ˈɪkɑn ˈkʊnɪŋ/ n. [Mal. ikan fish + kuning yellow (Wilkinson)]  The yellow- or gold-banded scad (Selarios leptolepis), a small food fish often served fried in Nasi Lemak.
[2006 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 83 ikan kuning yellow/gold-banded scad]  2006 K.F. Seetoh The Electric New Paper, 14 August. [T]he char-grilled ikan kuning doused in chilli, onion and lime.

ikan merah /i-kahn me-rah, ˈɪkɑn ˈmɛrɑ/ n. [Mal. ikan fish + merah red (Wilkinson)]  The red sea-perch or red snapper (Lutianus roseus), which is used as a food fish.
[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 766 merah. .. «Red».. Ikan merah a (Sp. [Singapore Malay]) name for the red snapper, Lutianus roseus, = (Mal[ay]) jěněhak, jěnahar1963 Richard Winstedt An Unabridged Malay–English Dictionary 234 merah, .. red.. ikan m[erah] red sea-perch, a much-prized fish, Lutianus roseus: = jěnahar, jěněhak..   2006 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 83 ikan merah red snapper (Lutianus roseus)]

Inche /in-chay, ˈɪntʃɛ/ n. [Mal., Mr., Mrs. or Miss (Winstedt); a titular prefix to names of persons of good position not entitled to any other distinction (Wilkinson)] Also formerly spelled Encikmil.  An informal title prefixed to the name of, or used as a form of polite address to, a male warrant officer in the Singapore Armed Forces (in the latter case, in the way that Sir is used to address male commissioned officers); hence, a male warrant officer in the Singapore Armed Forces.
1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 34 ‘Want to apply for day off, see Encik’s face straight away balls drop.’ (Translated, I had intended to make an application for a day’s leave but lost my nerve when I caught sight of the Company Sergeant Major’s stern demeanour.)

Indian chief n. [Eng.] mil. slang  The leader of a section, platoon, etc.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 308 Indian chief. An appointed leader for a section, a platoon, etc: American origin.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 43 Indian chief. Guy appointed to head a section or a platoon.

Indian rojak n. [Eng. Indian + Rojak]  A dish invented in the 1950s or 1960s by Indian immigrants to Singapore consisting of a variety of deep-fried fritters and other boiled and steamed ingredients which are eaten with a reddish, sweet and spicy sauce made of sweet potatoes, peanuts and tamarind.
2003 Teo Pau Lin The Sunday Times, 5 October, L38 Indian rojak.. Invented by Indian immigrants to Singapore in the 1950s, the dish offers up to 15 varieties of fried, boiled and steamed ingredients to be dipped in a fabulous spicy, sweet potato sauce.  2006 Wong Ah Yoke The Straits Times (Life!) (from Straits Times Interactive), 6 March. The selection is largely Asian, including local dishes such as.. Indian rojak.  2006 Teo Pau Lin The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 30 July, L26 Indian rojak is a Singaporean invention, dreamt up at sarabat stalls in Waterloo Street in the 1960s. Mr Sabeek Mohamed Yusof, 35, the grandson of this stall’s founder, continues to whip up crispy fritters and a to-die-for chilli dip, which is made with sweet potato, tamarind and peanuts.  2013 Eunice Quek The Sunday Times (SundayLife!), 12 May, 23 The Indian rojak stall may be named after its current second-generation owner Habib Mohamed, but there was no pressure on him to take over the family business. .. Popular items include flour-battered egg, fish fillet, potato balls and crispy prawn fritters.

Ipoh hor fun /ee-poh haw fun, ˈiːpo hɔː fʌn/ n. [Mal. Ipoh the capital city of Perak state in Malaysia, poss. < Mal. ipoh the upas tree, pohon ipoh or pokok ipoh (Antiaris toxicaria), or a creeping shrub, Strychnos ignatii, both of which are native to South-East Asia and have a poisonous sap; also, the poison itself (OED): pohon, pokok stem or trunk of a tree (Wilkinson); or Ind. ipuh poison; vicious (of a person) (Echols & Shadily, Ind.–Eng.); compare Mal. upas poison, esp. dart-poison or blood-poison (Wilkinson); (dart) poison of the upas tree (Antiaris toxicaria) (Winstedt) < Ind. upas poison (on plants) (Echols & Shadily, Ind.–Eng.); Jav. upas poison; poisonous (Horne) + Hor Fun]

[1865 John Cameron Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India 403 Appendix II. LIST OF THE CHIEF FRUIT AND FOREST TREES INDIGENOUS TO THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS [From Colonel Low’s Dissertation]. (The Malay term Kayoo, wood, or Pokok, tree, should be prefixed to each name.) ..  407 Ipoh .. Is the long-dreaded poison tree of Java; with the inspissated juice the Samangs, or wild tribes in the interior, poison their arrows; but this juice, which is prepared over a fire, must be used soon after the process, or it loses much of its virulence.  1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 1, 428 ipoh. Blood-poison.. Not animal-venom (bisa) nor sepsis after wounds; but material used as blood poison, esp. tree sap (gětah i. [ipoh]) used for dart poison and obtained usually from the upas-tree (Antiaris toxicaria) = pohon i., (Jav. [Javanese]) pohon upas  1963 Richard Winstedt An Unabridged Malay–English Dictionary 131 ipoh, 1. upas-tree, Antiaris toxicaria. 2. gětah i. vegetable poison obtained (for Sakai darts) from that tree; běripoh poisoned (of darts, arrows).]

1 A dish of Chinese Malaysian origin consisting of hor fun served in a clear soup made with chicken and prawn stock with shredded chicken, prawns and chopped spring onions.  2 The thin, flat noodles made from rice flour used in the dish.
1 2006 Straits Times Interactive, 16 April. [A] dinner of Ipoh hor fun, siew mai and prawns..  2006 Teo Pau Lin
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 30 July, L26 Ipoh hor fun.. His [Tan Kim Chwee’s] noodles are wonderfully silky, and he adds chicken, prawns and half a crayfish to each plate. But the clincher here is the thick, fragrant sauce made from chicken bones and prawn shells.  2 2011 Huang Lijie The Straits Times (Home), 11 July, B5 She chose the macaroni dish she cooked at home for casual meals and offered customers the option of thin rice flour noodles known as Ipoh hor fun, and clear soup in addition to gravy.

iron rice bowl n. phr. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 铁饭碗 tiě fànwǎn a secure job: tiě iron + Eng. Rice Bowl]  A secure job: often used of employment with the civil service or government.
2005 Leong Chan Teik (quoting Chung Kwong Meng) The Straits Times (Saturday), 26 March, S2 Gone are the days of high economic growth and iron rice bowls. So, many of us have put the pursuit of the high life on the back burner.  2006 Chua Mui Hoong & Sim Chi Yin (quoting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 25 April. We have to protect, to take care of Singaporeans and make sure that they are able to find new jobs. But we’re not able to say, ‘I’ll protect you where you are in situ and, well, you’re be okay for the rest of your life’. Iron rice bowl. That’s not possible. So that’s a big and challenging requirement.  [2006 Ho Ai Li & Susan Long
The Straits Times (Saturday), 16 December, S4 Don’t knock us, our rice bowls are not iron [title]]  2007 Ong Toon Hui The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 9 March. The Civil Service is not an iron rice bowl. Civil servants, like employees in the private sector, are assessed regularly and subject to strict performance appraisals. Those who do not meet job expectations are counselled and given an opportunity to improve. If they fail to do so, they are asked to leave the service. 2007 Ong Seah Guan Straits Times Interactive, 17 March. The term ‘iron rice bowl’ generally refers to job security, rather than job rewards. .. [E]mployees in the private sector are more vulnerable to lose their jobs as profit-oriented companies cut costs, while civil servants take a pay cut but retain their jobs. This is the difference between an ‘iron rice bowl’ and a ‘clay rice bowl’. .. In economic terms, higher salaries in the private sector are to compensate employees for accepting higher risk and lower job security. The salary lag in public sector is the price for an ‘iron rice bowl’.

is it? interrog. [Eng.]  Used at the end of questions, often when a phrase such as don’t you?, isn’t he? or won’t she?, or no phrase at all, would be grammatically more appropriate.
2000 Kelvin Tong The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 28 December, 8 Where got join and then don’t join? Country club, is it?  2001 Koh Boon Pin The Straits Times, 3 March 2001, H5 What do you want?  Special treatment, is it?  [2010 Liam O’Brien The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 28 March, 34 [T]he Yoda-like ability of Singaporeans to turn what seem like statements into questions by ending them with “Is it?”]

itchy a. [Eng.]  Restless.
2003 Neil Humphreys Scribbles from the Same Island 31 Before you could say ‘itchy backside’, the audience was up and down more times than a convention for diarrhoea sufferers.  2003 Tor Ching Li (quoting Sim Wong Hoo) Today, 12 January, 1 I have an ‘itchy head’ and get bored with doing the same old thing twice.  2008 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 24 August, 10 .. that mix of ennui and restlessness that we Singaporeans have come to call “itchy backside” ..

itek tim /ee-tek teem, ˈiːtɛk tiːm/ n. [Baba Mal. < Mal. itek duck (Wilkinson) + Mal. tim cooking by steaming in a double-saucepan (petiman) or bain-marie (Wilkinson) < Hk. tīm to stew or boil by steam (Medhurst); Mand. xún to singe (feathers); to drop meat into boiling water to cook it (Lin)]  A Peranakan soup containing stewed duck, Kiam Chye and pork, and flavoured with brandy, chilli, sour plums, white pepper, etc.
[2006 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 86 itek tim [] steamed duck; Nyonya stewed duck]  2011 Shairah Thoufeekh Ahamed (quoting Norleena Salim)
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 22 May, 32 I am a fan of their itek tim, which is a salted vegetable soup with duck drumstick. I must have it every time and if it’s unavailable, I don’t eat anything.

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