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© Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Last updated on 14 November 2015 (56 headwords). No reproduction without permission.

la mian /lar meeiarn, lɑr miɛn/ n. [Eng. (Hanyu Pinyin) translit. of Mand. 拉面 lāmiàn noodles made by pulling the dough instead of cutting it by knife: pull, drag, draw, tug + miàn noodle (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A type of Chinese handmade noodle made by repeatedly stretching a lump of dough rather than by slicing it with a knife or extruding it; a dish of cooked la mian.
2006 Wong Ah Yoke The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 15 October. La mian with spicy minced pork sauce: The noodles are good at both – smooth and al dente. But at Crystal Jade.., the sauce is gummy and we can’t manage more than a few mouthfuls. Imperial Treasure’s version.. has a rich and hearty flavour from the hot bean sauce. It isn’t too starchy or sweet and the cucumber strips on top provide much-needed texture. 
2009 Mak Mun San The Sunday Times, 19 April, 29 On any given day, she would opt for a kick-ass Sichuan steamboat over a Peranakan meal, la mian (hand-pulled noodles) over bak chor mee, jiao zi (boiled dumplings) over rojak.  2013 Foong Woei Wan The Sunday Times (SundayLife!), 12 May, 27 .. [A]fter he moved to Singapore 18 years ago, he had trouble finding good lamian (pulled noodles), much less a healthy version of the dish. .. Their lamian might not have the bounce of yellow alkaline noodles, but they have a clean bite. .. They are good in soup, with braised beef ($4) which is lean yet tender, for example.

lagi /lah-gee, ˈlɑgi/ a. [Mal., more, still, still more (Winstedt); yet more (Wilkinson)]  More, even more.
Wong Kim Hoh (quoting Mark Lee) The Sunday Times, 22 February, 42 [I]t’s very difficult to make someone laugh. You must tell a joke and you must tell it differently. If not, no effect. If that person is sad, lagi jialat (Singlish for more difficult).

lah /lah, / int. [Mal., a particle suffixed to the emphatic word in a sentence (Winstedt)]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 638–639 lah. .. A suffix emphasising the word after it sometimes giving it the force of a preterite.., sometimes an imperative, sometimes a quasi-demonstrative. .. It may be used also as a sort of interjection, «there you are»!] 

Used at the ends of words or phrases for emphasis.  Compare Leh, Lor.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong (quoting Ang Lek Moh) Youth in the Army 75 Don’t know lah.. this is very hard to say.  1978 Leong Choon Cheong (quoting Tan Geok Song) Youth in the Army 142 Ya lah.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 57 ‘Stamina lah, Joe,’ lectured the PTI, ‘you got no stamina!’  1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 lah – a suffix that gives emphasis to any sentence; has given rise to the variations of lor and meh1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 58 Oh well, it was xiong, but overall OK, lah.  88 This exercise too rush, lah.  2000 Dennis Wee with Sylvia Fong Making Luck with Your Hands 72 Steady lah2000 Suzanne Sng The Straits Times (Life!), 15 February, 8 ‘You see lah!’  2000 Suzanne Sng The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 20 February, 9 [H]e admits sheepishly that ‘a few times lah’, women clubbers have bought him drinks. 2000 Tee Hun Ching The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 2 April, 14 ‘No, lah!’ he says with a wave of his hand. .. ‘No need, lah!’ People in the industry know me. ..’ 2000 Yeow Kai Chai (quoting David Gan) The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 2 July, 5 Zoe asked her husband whether he could delay the trip.., but cannot change lah2000 Cheong Suk-Wai The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 28 September, 7 Sorry lah, uncle.  2000 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Dasmond Koh) The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 3 December, P26 I don’t want to talk about her lah2001 Susan Long (quoting Khoo Swee Chiow) The Straits Times, 23 February, H12 His says his attitude then, as it still is, was: ‘Try lah, won’t go wrong one lah.’  2003 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Francis Tan), The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 19 October, L34 Okay lah, let him say he learned lah.  2011 Teo Xuanwei (quoting Wong Chin Chin) Today on Sunday, 11 September, 3 Kiasu a bit never mind, lah..

laksa /lahk-sah, ˈlɑksɑ/ n. [Mal., a mixture of vermicelli and fish-paste (Winstedt; Wilkinson says the term is < Hind. & Pers. lakhshah a kind of vermicelli (NMS suggests Pers. laksha vermicelli), but the word has not been found in McGregor or Palmer); poss. < Skt. लकशस् lakshas, लकशम् laksham a lac, one hundred thousand (Monier-Williams), f. its numerous ingredients (see September 2006 quot.) (> Hind. लख lakh (chiefly a prefix) one hundred thousand; fig. a vast number; लकश lakṣ one hundred thousand (McGregor)); or perh. < Pers. لخشه lakhsha, لخشك lakhshak a type of frumenty (a dish made of hulled wheat boiled in milk, and seasoned with cinnamon, sugar, etc.), a certain sweetmeat (Johnson)]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 640–641 laksa. .. [Pers[ian] and Hind[i] lakhshah] A kind of vermicelli.  1963 Richard Winstedt An Unabridged MalayEnglish Dictionary 196 laksa, .. Pers[ian], vermicelli; P[enang], a mixture of vermicelli and fish-paste.]

A Malay dish consisting of thick rice noodles with beansprouts, cockles, Fishballs or pieces of Fishcake, Taupok (dried beancurd), prawns, etc., in a spicy yellow or reddish coconut-milk soup flavoured with ingredients such as Belacan, candlenuts, chilli, galangal, garlic, lemongrass and shallots.
¶ According to the NMS, the dish possibly originates from 17th century Melaka (Malacca) in Malaysia where there were significant numbers of Persian traders and Chinese immigrants. There is a similar dish in Macao called lacassa, which may have been brought there from Melaka by the Portuguese.
1894 N.B. Dennys A Descriptive Dictionary of British Malaya 231 Laksa, Chinese ... [per catty] ... 14 [cents] 
2000 Magdalene Lum (quoting Elaine Cheah) The Straits Times (Life!), 12 September, 14 The hawker food, like laksa, is not too bad.  2006 Lydia Lim The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 3 March. It seems to me that there is really only one way to become a Singaporean, and it has little to do with being born here. It is not about having a pink identity card. .. It is not about liking laksa. It is about saying I am here for the long haul, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, the way two people do when they decide to take the plunge and get married. Being a Singaporean is not a matter of fate. It is an act of faith. It is about actively choosing this country – with all its shortcomings and imperfections – above all others.  2006 Wong Ah Yoke The Straits Times (Life!) (from Straits Times Interactive), 20 March. .. Sarawak laksa.. is my favourite.. Garnished with beansprouts, prawns and strips of chicken and omelette, it comes in a very tasty gravy flavoured with shrimp paste, tamarind and just a hint of coconut milk. It’s kind of a cross between normal Singapore laksa and the sour Penang laksa.. Peranakan laksa.. is based on the coconut milk-heavy recipe of Katong laksa.  2006 Anthony Bourdain New York Times Magazine (from, 24 September. Once you’ve had laksa – a spicy Peranakan (Chinese/Malaysian) noodle soup – for breakfast, bacon and eggs become completely inadequate. It usually consists of seafood, rice noodles, fried bean curd, coconut milk and lots of chilies. The word “laksa” is said to have come from the Sanskrit word for “many,” referring to its many ingredients, but it might as well have referred to its many versions. The one at Sungei Road, though less fiery than the Borneo variety, is still a spicy hellbroth of fresh cockles, slices of fish cake and beehoon noodles in coconut milk, seasoned with garlic, red chilies, belacan (dried shrimp paste), lemongrass, galangal root and turmeric. It’s a classic “hurt so good” experience, requiring only a spoon – and a towel to mop the sweat from your face. For some time, I sat alone enjoying the sweet, relative coolness of the coconut milk against the sting of the chilies, with hearty bass notes of seafood and shrimp paste, while happily watching the morning commuters and fellow devotees slurping their breakfasts around me.


laksa leaf n. [Eng. leaf]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 1, 583 kěsom. Daun kěsom: herb, Polygonium minus, with a fragrant, edible leaf; = (Pen. [Penang]) daun chěnohom.]

The fragrant, edible leaf of a herb, Polygonium minus, a variety of knotweed that is used to flavour laksa.
¶ Known in Mal. as daun kesom [Mal. daun leaf].
2007 Chris Tan
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 19 August, L25 Laksa leaves.. or daun kesom (polygonum minus) are often confused or lumped together with other fragrant and edible members of the same family such as Vietnamese mint, rau ram (polygonum odoratum). Their flavour combines elements of citrus, coriander, pine and a faint sharpness reminiscent of white pepper or Japanese sansho. Daun kesum is one of the many herbs that make up a Malay ulam (fresh herbs and greens) platter. In many Malay and Peranakan dishes, for example Penang laksa, nasi ulam and udang masak nenas, it is used to complement seafood. Its refreshing, citrusy lilt blends well with fruity tamarind and helps to make rich, coconut-laden dishes less jelak (heavy). In fact, traditional Malay herbal medicine uses daun kesum to treat indigestion. Add shredded laksa leaves to otak paste before griling, or substitute them for basil in seafood pasta dishes.

Penang Laksa

lan /lun, lʌn/ n. [Hk. [尸+粦] lān (MacGowan); Mand. lìn (literary language) genital organ, reproductive organs (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  The penis.


lan cheow /chiow, tʃɪaʊ/ int. [Hk. [尸+粦] lān tsiáu penis (MacGowan); Mand. liáo man’s external genital organs, penis (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]

[1883 J. MacGowan English and Chinese Dictionary of the Amoy Dialect 373 Penis, .. [尸+粦] lān-tsiáu.]

vulg.  An exclamation expr. disbelief, surprise, derision, etc.
1993 Justice Punch Coomaraswamy (quoting Tok Lai Seng) Public Prosecutor v. Tan Chai Cheng, 19 March, Criminal Case No. 57 of 1990, [1993] SGHC 65, High Court (Singapore). At some time or other, Tok began teasing the accused about his failure to react when he was assaulted at the bar. He also called him “lan chiau nang” (penis man).

lan-lan int.  Used to expr. indifference or resignation.
[2009 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 18 October, 12 A few months ago, after years of renting, the Wife and I began looking to buy a place of our own in New York City. “If we don’t buy now, then when the economy picks up, we’ll be LL all over again,” she said, employing the transliterated initials for a graphic Hokkien term that implies deep regret.]

wa lan see entry under Wa.

langgar /lung-guh, ˈlʌŋgʌ/ n. & v. [Mal., to run up against (Wilkinson); Johor & Penang Mal. berlanggar collide; melanggar ram (a ship) (Winstedt)]  A n. A collision, esp. one between motor vehicles: a traffic accident.  B v. Run up against, collide into, esp. collide into a motor vehicle; crash one’s motor vehicle into something.
B 2004 Yvonne Kwok Streats, 9 June, 32 Do you sing like Barry Manilow but believe that you’ll be disqualified for possessing a face most politely described as ‘kena langgar’ lorry? (In Queen’s English, you would be described as an accident of nature, old chap.)  2006 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 2 July. If so many of you are writing in to me to comment on a topic, I guess it must either be one that’s important to you, or you’re sadists who just want to see me langgar official policy again.

langsat /lung-sut, ˈlʌŋsʌt/ n. [Mal.]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 653 The «langsat», a variety of Lansium domesticum .. The langsat fruit is globular; the duku (another variety of Lansium domesticum) is more elliptical. Malays recognize sub-varieties: l. [langsat] Ambon, l. Minangkabau; and of their own l. they give the palm for tastiness to that grown at Palembang (l. Pělembang)..]

The plant Lansium domesticum; the edible fruit of this plant which is small with tan-coloured skin and segmented translucent flesh. The langsat is related to the Duku, but the flesh is somewhat more tart, with larger pips and a thinner peel, and the fruit is rounder in shape.
1865 John Cameron Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India 397 Appendix I. LIST OF THE FRUITS TO BE FOUND IN THE BAZAARS OF THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS [compiled by Dr. Ward].  400 Langsat .. Langsii domestici var. .. A very pleasant, subacid, and favourite fruit of the Malays and others. In appearance it is like the dookoo already described. The seeds of it are said to possess antihelmintic properties.  1894 N.B. Dennys A Descriptive Dictionary of British Malaya 137 Fruits. – A total list of some 63 “fruits” has been compiled as indigenous to the Malay Peninsula. Some of these, however, are repugnant to Europeans and seldom touched by Malays. The following catalogue will be found to include all which are likely to come under the notice of the ordinary resident or visitor:– .. Langsat.. 
2001 David Kraal The Straits Times (Life!), 20 February, L6 Granddaughter Carol had brought choice fruits – langsat, duku, chempedak.

Lantern Festival n. [in sense 1, Eng. transl. of Mand. 灯节 Dēngjié the Lantern Festival (15th of the first lunar month): dēng lamp, lantern, light + jié festival, red-letter day, holiday (Chi.–Eng. Dict.); in sense 2, f. the fact that one of the traditions associated with the festival is the carrying of lanterns by children] 1 Chap Go Mei2 The Mid-Autumn Festival.
The Straits Times (Home), 1 September, B10 [T]he Mid-Autumn Festival.. also known as the Lantern Festival, marks the end of the harvest season and celebrates the reunion of the family.

lao jiao see lau jiao.

lau jiao /low jiow, laʊ dʒɪaʊ/ n. [Hk. lau old, veteran + jiao bird; Mand. lǎoniǎo] Also lao jiao.  An experienced person, an old hand at something; spec. (mil. slang) an experienced soldier, a soldier who has been stationed in a unit for some time.  Also transl. into Eng. as old bird.
¶ Opp. of Sin Jiao.
1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 115 Well said, man! Speak like a lao jiao!  138 lao jiao. Old bird. Refers to people with time-tested experience.

lau kwee /low kuuee, laʊ kʊi/ a. [Hk.; acc. to Gwee, Mand. luò fall, drop; lower; decline, come down, sink + gas; air; spirit, morale (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  Embarrassing, shameful.
1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 lau kwee – Hokkien for embarrassed (eg So lau kwee).  [2006 William Gwee Thian Hock A Baba Malay Dictionary 121 lau kui [落氣] embarrassing]

lau peng see entry under Peng.

leceh /lay-chay, ˈleɪtʃeɪ/ a. [Penang Mal., troublesome (of persons, things); irritating (Winstedt); compare melechehkah of a person: troublesome] Also formerly lecheh.  Difficult, inconvenient, troublesome.
1978 Mohamed Shariff
The Straits Times, 4 October, 7 Some of the hawkers are not very cooperative. When it comes to paying the salary, they find it ‘leceh’ (troublesome).  1987 Tan Sai Siong The Straits Times, 28 February, 21 A friend.. was puzzled as to why the [Central Provident Fund] Board with its marvellous computerised accounting facilities couldn’t design a less lecheh (convoluted, troublesome) way of dealing with savers who already have enough to take care of rainy flat-on-their-back days.  1987 The Straits Times, 25 June, 18 When told they had to make their way around the maze, some retorted, “Ah, lecheh lah!”  2000 Leong Liew Geok “Forever Singlish” in Women without Men 130 Proper English? So lecheh, / So correct, so actsy for what?  2003 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 21 December, L18 That’s pointless, not to mention leceh2004 Tan Shzr Ee (quoting ‘L Poh’) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 4 April, L8 The process is very leceh (Malay for troublesome). You must go down eight times. There are also lots of blood tests but I think it’s better to be safe.  2008 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 30 November, 14 [R]eally good romances make you want to stay single, because it’s so much less “leceh”.

lecheh var. of Leceh.

leh /lay, leɪ/ int. [poss. < Cant. or (Eitel); Mand. (dial.) li an auxiliary word used in questions where no doubt is expressed (Chi.–Eng. Dict.) or ]  An exclamation used at the ends of sentences for emphasis.  Compare Lah, Lor.
1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 29 Sing us a song, leh.  2002 Niamh O’Leary et al The Straits Times (Life!), 14 May, L2 OK, this one, leh?  2004 Wendy Cheng (quoting Andrew Seow) Today, 26 May, 34 Hey, must take photo ah? I look very ugly in photos leh2005Mr Brown’ (Lee Kin Mun) Today, 22 April, 30 Thirty-five thousand jobs, leh. Not something to sneeze at.  2005 Cornelius Kan Wai-Chung Today, 18 November, 40 Perhaps next time I’ll teach them how to construct advanced Singlish sentences such as, “not say I say you, but hor, you very like that one leh!”  2010 Fiona Chan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 22 August, 13 You got send [e-mail] meh? I never receive leh.

lei cha fan /lay chah fun, leɪ tʃɑ fʌn/ n. [Mand. léi pestle, pound + chá tea + fàn cooked rice (Chi.–Eng. Dict.); Hak. lûi tshâ tea and parched rice together (lûi to grind into powder; to pound; to rub + tshâ tea) + fân cooked rice; food, a meal (MacIver)]  A Chinese dish of Hakka origin consisting of a pounded mixture of tea leaves or green tea powder, peanuts, sesame seeds, Green Beans, etc., mixed with cooked rice: see quot. 2004.  Often erron. transl. into Eng. as Thunder Tea Rice.
2004 Tan Hsueh Yun The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 16 May, L14 [A]n unassuming stall in a Sims Avenue coffee shop.. serves a hard-to-find Hakka dish called lei cha fan, which is essentially rice topped with different kinds of vegetables, anchovies, peanuts and dried shrimp. Accompanying it is a bowl of moss green soup, fragrant with mint, basil, dill, green tea powder, sesame seeds, peanuts and other ingredients. The soup has so many intriguing flavours, you keep trying to find out what else is in it. Every mouthful of rice comes with a different combination of veggies. Bored? Never.  2010 Rebecca Lynne Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 25 July, 20 .. lei cha fan or thunder tea rice, a rice dish topped with vegetables served with peanuts..

lelong /lay-long, ˈleɪlɒŋ/ n. [Johor & Penang Mal., sale by auction; to auction (Winstedt) < Port. leilão auction, public sale; outcry (Michaelis)]  1 A sale by auction.  2 A sale at a discount, a cheap sale.
1 1985 Violet Oon Singapore Monitor, 19 May, 5 The crabs are sold “lelong” style near the check out counters on the left of the supermarket.  2
1983 The Straits Times, 2 October, 13 The last ‘lelong’ [title] .. Many hawkers interviewed showed they had confidence that the Environment Ministry will not frown on them for their last “lelong” (cheap sale).  1988 Tan Ee Sze (quoting Michelle Thoo) The Straits Times, 9 April, 12 It won’t be a lelong lelong (cheap sale) kind of pasar malam, and we don’t want it to be too touristy, selling T-shirts with ‘Singapore’ printed all over.  2004 Felix Cheong Today, 5 May, 30 This is the entertainment world’s equivalent of a fire sale: A last-ditch, lelong effort to pull in the crowds when the chips are down and ideas have run dry.  2008 Jermyn Chow The Straits Times (Home), 28 October, B1 [T]he familiar yells of “Lelong, lelong!”, meaning “Sale, sale!” in Malay, are fading out. These are bad times to be a pasar malam or night market vendor.

lemak /lə-mahk, ləˈmɑk/ a. [Mal. lemak fat, grease, rich oiliness (Wilkinson); Johor & Penang Mal., fat (of meat), grease; greasy, oily; rich, savoury (Winstedt)]  Of food: rich in coconut milk.
2006 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Annie Ling)
The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 24 June. .. Singaporeans are eating more healthily than before, ‘but they still really like their salty and lemak food’.  2006 Eveline Gan Weekend Today, 22–23 July, 24 I found the bubor cha cha.. a little too lemak (rich in coconut).

lemang /lə-mung, ləˈmʌŋ/ n. [Johor & Penang Mal., glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk in a green bamboo lined with banana leaf (Winstedt); also melemang]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 674 lěmang.. Cooking in a vessel of green bamboo lined inside with palm-leaf, cf. di-l. [lemang] dalam buloh muda; Kit. Muj. [Kitāb Mujarrabāt] 64. Nasi. l.: rice so boiled. A primitive method of cooking still in regular use among the aborigines and practised by the Malays for certain dishes and occasions.. Cf. also (Min. [Minangkabau] lamang) glutinous rice and coconut-milk cooked in a bamboo vessel.]

See quot. 2003.
2003 Sheena Chan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 11 January, L40 Lemang is Malay for glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and salt in long bamboo tubes. It looks like a cylindrical ketupat, and is to Hari Raya what yu sheng is to Chinese New Year. Eaten with rendang, curry or peanut sauce, this festive food can now be found here all year round.  2005 Zul Othman Today (from, 15 October. These Hari Raya treats which include traditional Malay cakes such as.. lemang (glutinous rice) .. are usually available during the fasting month of Ramadan.

lembek /lem-bek, ˈlɛmbɛk/ a. [Mal., soft and moist, pulpy (Wilkinson); too soft (Winstedt)]  Soft, weak.
2000 Yeow Kai Chai (quoting Liu Zirou) The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 2 July, 5 It’s a bit lembek2006 Reme Ahmad Straits Times Interactive, 27 March. ‘Lembek’ PM or just a different style? [title] Politicians and ordinary people alike are calling Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi [of Malaysia] ‘lembek’ or a weak administrator. .. PM Abdullah is well aware of the way people see him.. But he said right from the start that he wanted to run Malaysia in a different way from his predecessor.

lengkuas /leng-kooahs, ˈlɛŋkʊɑs/ n. [Mal.]

[1955 R.J. Wilkinson A Malay–English Dictionary, vol. 2, 681 lěngkuas. A ginger, Alpinia galanga. Varieties: l. [lengkuas] merah (red, used medicinally), Kit. Muj. [Kitāb Mujarrabāt] 51; l. puteh (used to spice curry). .. L. ranting, l. kěchil, l. padang, lěngkanan: a small wild ginger, A. conchigera. L. china: A. offinarum.  1963 Richard Winstedt An Unabridged MalayEnglish Dictionary 210 lěngkuas, Greater Galangal, Languas galanga, whose rhizome provides a popular flavouring.]

An especially pungent ginger (Languas galanga or Alpinia galanga), a variety of the galangal or galingale (which are of the genera Alpinia and Kæmpferia); greater galangal.
¶ Known in Cant. as 高良姜 Kò léung kèung ginger from 高良府 Kò léung fú [Cant. a library, a treasury, the name of different offices (treasurers); a department under the Tang Dynasty, a prefecture (Eitel); Mand. seat of government; government office (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)], the old name of 高州府 Kò chau fú [Cant. chau an island; a continent; the nine divisions of the Empire (under Yu); the 12 divisions (under Shan), a name for China; a political division (five tong = 2,500 ); Mand. zhōu (autonomous) prefecture; (arch.) an administrative division (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)] in Guangdong Province in China (Eitel); Mand. gāo liáng jiāng: gāo tall, high; of a high level or degree, above the average + liáng good, fine; very, very much + jiāng ginger; compare OED which states that the Eng. word galingale is said to be derived from Cant. Ko-liang-kiang, literally ‘mild ginger from Ko,’ a prefecture in the province of Canton. It is also known in Hk. as lam kieu: lam blue + kieu ginger [Mand. 蓝姜 lánjiāng] (see quot. 1991).
1991 Kok Poh Tin et. al. A Guide to Common Vegetables 150 Languas galanga (L.) Stuntz. (Zingiberaceae) (Alpinia galanga Sw.) Greater galangal.. lengkuas.. The rhizomes are about 10–12 cm long and 3–4 cm thick. They have a spicy aroma and pungent taste. .. The immature lateral shoots and unopened flower buds are steamed and eaten. Slices of the young rhizome are added to side dishes and curries; the rhizome is too ‘hot’ to be eaten raw.

lepak /-puk, ˈləpʌk/ v. & a. [Mal. lepak, melepak to whiten; to fall with a thud (Wilkinson); white; thudding (the noise) (Winstedt)]  A 1 v.t. Laze, relax, be slothful.  2 v.i. Be (too) complacent, laid back, relaxed.  B a. (Excessively) complacent, laid back, relaxed.
A 1 2003 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 21 December, L18 I think we locals are especially talented at lepak-ing.  B [2008 Zul Othman Today, 26 August, 10 .. Arif Shah .. has been described by some Malaysian journalists as lepak (Malay for laidback).]

level a. [Eng.] football betting  No advantage given to either football team.
2006 Chan Yi Shen
The Sunday Times, 20 August, 34 Singapore’s EPL [English Premier League] lingo [title].. Level: no advantage given to either team

liak bo kiu /liuk boh kioo, liɑk bɔ kiʊ/ a. phr. [Hk. liak catch + bo no + kiu ball; Mand. zhuā wú qíu]   Fail to understand, miss the point.  Also transl. into Eng. as catch no ball.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 309 liat bo kiu. Catch no ball: Hokkien. It means ‘I don’t catch the meaning’, ‘I don’t know what you mean, what you are getting at’. Usually uttered by soldiers during lectures. Evidence either of low intelligence or poor instruction method. See ‘thia bo’.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 45 Liak bo kiu (Hokkien) catch no ball. Nothing has been understood at all..  1991 Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 liak bo kiew – literally, catch no ball. Really did not understand.  2000 Kelvin Tong The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 9 April, 7 I liak bo kew (do not understand).

liam keng /lium keng, liʌm kɛŋ/ v. phr. [Hk. liam chant, recite + keng scriptures; Mand. niànjīng] mil. slang  Repeat instructions, esp. unnecessarily.
1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 309 liam keng. To recite prayers: Hokkien. Reference to officers who keep repeating instructions.  1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 45 Liam Keng (Hokkien). To recite prayers. Describes officers and NCOs who repeat and repeat their instructions to their men.

lian, Lian var. of Ah Lian.

like nobody’s business a. phr. [Eng.]  With abandon, without caring what others think.
1982Paik-Choo’ (Toh Paik Choo) Eh, Goondu! 8 Like Nobody’s Business Once between the aisles of an NTUC Welcome supermarket a mother and her daughter were filling up their trolley with extra packets of a popular snack food because “You know how daddy can eat this like nobody’s business.” To mean “like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”  1991
Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 like nobody’s business – like nothing you have every seen before (eg Eat like nobody’s business).

like that v. or a. phr. [Eng.]  In phrases like don’t like that; why you so like that?: (be) that way, esp. annoying, infuriating, perverse.  Compare One Kind.
1991 Siva Choy Why U So Like Dat?, track 1 [sound recording] I give you all my chocolate, / I give you my tic tac, / But when I wan a kit kat, / You never gimme back! / Oui, why u so like dat ah? / Hey why u so like dat? / Why u so like dat ah? / Hey why u so like dat?  1991
Valerie Tan The Straits Times (Section 3), 9 August, 19 don’t like that one – don’t be so annoying/frustrating/hard to deal with.  1992 Ravi Veloo The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 15 March, 2 When English honours graduate Siva Choy writes Why U So Like Dat? in his song of the same title, it is a pretty safe bet that he is using Singlish.  2005 Cornelius Kan Wai-Chung Today, 18 November, 40 Perhaps next time I’ll teach them how to construct advanced Singlish sentences such as, “not say I say you, but hor, you very like that one leh!”

lin yoong /leen yohng, liːn jɔŋ/ n. [Cant. lin yoong; Mand. lián lotus + 芙)蓉 )róng lotus (Comp. Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A sweet, greenish-grey paste made from lotus seeds that is used as a filling for pastries such as lin yoong Pau, Mooncakes, etc2011 Thng Lay Teen The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 26 June, 23 I also like the lian yong (lotus seed paste) pau (50 cents) and tau sar (red bean paste) pau (50 cents) as the filling is not too sweet.

little red dot n. phr. [Eng., f. the manner in which the island of Singapore is marked on many world maps; the phrase gained currency after the former Indonesian President B.J. (Bacharuddin Jusuf) Habibie (born 1936; held office 1998–1999) was regarded as having criticized Singapore in an interview published in the Asian Wall Street Journal of 4 August 1998 by saying it was a “red dot”: see 2003, 2006 quots. below]

[2003 Utusan Online, 4 May. Habibie in his now famous interview with the Asian Wall Street Journal on Aug 4, 1998, .. did not have the feeling that Singapore was a friend, and pointed to a map, saying: “It’s O.K. with me, but there are 211 million people (in Indonesia). All the green (area) is Indonesia. And that red dot is Singapore.” Lee [Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong] said: “This was a vivid and valuable reminder that we are indeed very small and very vulnerable. The little red dot has entered the psyche of every Singaporean, and become a permanent part of our vocabulary, for which we are grateful.[”]  2006 The Straits Times, 20 September. Habibie: What I meant by little ‘red dot’ [title] Former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie yesterday gave a fresh take on his famous 1998 reference to Singapore as a little ‘red dot’. .. He told reporters that far from dismissing tiny Singapore, he had meant to highlight Singapore’s achievements despite its small size. He said that he had made the remark while speaking off-the-cuff with members of an Indonesian youth group and trying to ‘give them spirit’. He said he told them: ‘If you look at the map of South-east Asia, you (Indonesia) are so big, and Singapore is just a dot. But if you come to Singapore, you see people with vision.’ Although he meant for the youngsters to learn from Singapore, his remarks did not go down well here. ‘But of course at that time people didn’t like me...and I have corrected many times, but they have never put it,’ he said with a laugh. ‘And I could not prove it in writing because I was talking freely.’ Dr Habibie’s ‘red dot’ remark caused an outcry when it was first published as part of an interview with the Asian Wall Street Journal in August 1998. It was seen as a dismissal of Singapore. It has since become a point of pride and amusement with Singaporeans. Among other things, Little Red Dot is now the title of a Straits Times publication for primary school pupils.]

Also Little Red Dot.  The nation of Singapore: often used with pride and a sense of the nation’s success despite its physical limitations.
1998 Goh Chok Tong Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech 1998, 23 August. Singapore will help Indonesia within the limits of our ability. We are a small economy. .. After all we are only three million people. Just a little red dot on the map. Where is the capacity to help 211 million people?  2006 Clarence Chang (quoting Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew) The New Paper, 17 September. Habibie called us a little red dot surrounded by green... But after being intimidated... we make it a special red dot.  2007 Wong Kim Hoh
The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 21 April. If you want Singaporeans living in New York to think of home, what do you do? .. Dazzle them with slick videos and exhibitions charting the little red dot’s development and progress.  2007 Lionel Seah Weekend Today (from, 28 April. Obviously, this Little Red Dot has a long way to go in developing the soul and spirit to match London or New York. And until we do so, our definition of hip and cool can only be confined to one-dimensional physical structures. 2007 Syu Ying Kwok The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 1 May. [M]ost Singaporeans know how to cherish, protect and grow our little red dot, the dot we call home.

lo hei /loh hay, ləʊ heɪ/ n., v. & int. [Cant., to haul up; to grapple for: to fish up, to dredge + hí able to rise, to rise; to raise, to erect; to prosper; to proceed; to issue (Eitel); Mand. lāo dredge, scoop + up (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A n. An act of partaking in Yusheng, particularly during the Chinese New Year season.  B v. Mix or toss a dish of Yusheng during a Chinese meal.  C int. An exclamation traditionally uttered when one is mixing or tossing a dish of Yusheng.
A 2002 Karen Cho The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 4 February, P15 Shang Palace at the Shangri-La Hotel offers a chicken and herb salad as an alternative in its line-up of lo hei offerings.  2003 Solomon Lim The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 18 January, L37 Closer to home, Indonesian Chinese businessmen have adopted the lo hei as part of their CNY [Chinese New Year] celebrations.  2006 Leong Phei Phei (quoting Angelene Dorai) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 8 January, L23 “Because my mother loves yu sheng, we lo hei almost every day of the Chinese New Year!” .. Lo hei is the act of tossing yu shengB 2001 Krist Boo & Samantha Ng (quoting Dawn Ranji David) The Straits Times, 8 February, H2 Yesterday was also yuanxiao jie, the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year, which is typically marked with family reunions, lanterns and the eating of tangyuen (sweet rice-flour balls). .. ‘I suppose it’s their last chance to lo hei?’ she said, referring to the custom of tossing raw-fish salad for good luck.  2008 Huang Lijie The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 28 December, 23 Family and friends gather to toss the salad, or lo hei, for good fortune and success.  C 2001 Raelene Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 14 January, P12 The seventh day of the first lunar month is celebrated as “Everybody’s Birthday”, or ren ri. This is when the ritual of tossing and eating yu sheng, or raw fish, is carried out with much fun and gusto among Teochews and the Cantonese. “Yu”, the Cantonese word for fish, sounds similar to the word abundance. “Sheng” sounds similar to “life”. .. To the happy cries of “lo hei!”, meaning to “raise up wealth” in Cantonese, the ingredients are tossed and mixed.

lo shee fun /loh shee fun, ləʊ tʃi fʌn/ n. [Cant. 老鼠 lò shü a rat ( a prefix used before the names of certain animals + shü animals which live in holes; a rat, a mouse; a bat) + fun rice flour, crumbs (of rice) (Eitel); Mand. lǎoshǔ mouse; rat (lǎo a prefix used before the names of certain animals + shǔ mouse; rat)  + fěn noodles (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  Chinese spindle-shaped rice-flour noodles said to resemble the tails of mice or rats.  Also known as Mee Tai Bak.
2006 Christopher Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 6 August, L26 Bee tai mak are stubby, thick white noodles made of rice flour (typically mixed with other starches too, such as tapioca flour), whose tapered ends make them look like giant headless beansprouts. In Malaysia, they are known as lo shee fun, or “rat noodles” – an apt description.  2008 Tan Hsueh Yun
The Straits Times (Urban), 8 February, H2 Of the four mains I tried, the XO Sauce Lo Shi Fun ($16.50) is the most satisfying. Rice noodles shaped like mice tails are topped with a generous helping of minced pork spiked with just-spicy-enough XO sauce.

lobang /loh-bung, ˈləʊbʌŋ/ n. [Mal., hole, hollow; business opportunity]  An opportunity, an opening.
2003 Mafoot Simon (quoting David Liow) The Sunday Times, 19 October, 32 People came to me and said they had a ‘lobang’ (Malay for opportunity) for business and I would dump some money in. The ‘lobang’ was in fact my own ‘grave’ that I was digging ever so slowly.  2004 Chua Hian Hou (quoting Lim Hong Koon) The Straits Times (Computer Times), 19 May, 20 Sim said he had met Sleeping Beauty on IRC, who had offered this lobang (Hokkien for a good deal)..  2004Mr Brown’ (Lee Kin Mun) Today, 28 May, 35 You know you have sunk to a new low when you have to ask your friends in the media industry if they have any lobang or kangtow to get tickets to the sold-out live show, Barney’s Big Surprise2010 Francis Chan (quoting Ronnie Lim) The Straits Times, 7 August, A14 Usually, such lobang (slang for “opportunity”) is only for the richer, high net-worth customers, right?  2012 William Cheong The Sunday Times, 5 November, 43 [V]iewers are treated to the usual stereotypes – .. the business-minded “lobang” king..

lobo /loh-boh, ˈləʊbəʊ/ n. [Poss. acronym for l(eft o(ut of b(attle + -o or l(eft o(ut of b(attle o(rder, but see quot. 1978] mil. slang  1 A soldier who has not been assigned a posting to a military unit; a soldier temporarily without a fixed vocation or duties.  2 A lazy person.
1 1985 Michael Chiang Army Daze 46 Lobo.. the guy who is the odd one out and gets to miss training. Properly, LOB – left out of battle.  1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 66 For the first month, we were classified ‘lobos’ .. As lobos, we had to get acquainted with more than the usual share of area cleaning tasks.. Lobo time was actually an unorthodox orientation tour of the place.  136 lobos. People with no fixed vocation, or people with transient duties.  2 1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 309 lobo. Lazy acronym for ‘lazy old bastard’. 

loh kai yik /loh kı yik, ləʊ kʌɪ jɪk/ n. [Cant. loh rock salt + kai the fowl + yik wings; to serve as wings (Eitel); Mand. stew (whole chickens or ducks, large cuts of meat, etc.) in soy sauce; thick gravy used as a sauce for noodles, etc. + chicken + wings (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  See quot. 2003.
2003 Magdalene Lum The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 11 January, L42 One of the recipes which have [sic] disappeared over the years, is loh kai yik, a pink Cantonese stew of braised chicken wings in fermented bean sauce, which used to be sold by hawkers on tricycles.

lok lok /lohk lohk, lɔk lɔk/ n. [origin uncertain; poss. Teo. lou2 thick juice; food made using thick juice (Chaozhou Dict.); Mand. stew (whole chickens or ducks, large cuts of meat, etc.) in soy sauce; thick gravy used as a sauce for noodles, etc. (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A Teochew dish consisting of raw meat and vegetables cooked in a Steamboat, then dipped in Satay Sauce for eating.
2006 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Clara Lee)
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 13 August, L27 My father used to take my family to eat Teochew lok lok (steamboat with satay gravy) every Sunday. I found it fascinating because you’d cook meat, mushrooms and clams in the steamboat, then dip it in satay sauce.

long bean n. [Eng., f. its appearance]  The long, thin, cylindrical edible pod of an annual climbing plant, Vigna sesquipedalis (or Vigna unguiculata subspecies sesquipedalis), a variety of the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), which bears large violet-blue flowers; asparagus bean, Peru bean, snake bean, yard-long bean.
¶ Known in Cant. as 豆 角 tau kok string-beans, peas in the pod [tau legumes + kok the horn of an animal (Eitel); Mand. dòujiǎo: dòu legumes, pulses, peas, beans + jiǎo horn; something in the shape of a horn (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]
2007 Wong Ah Yoke
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle) (from Straits Times Interactive), 11 November. Another dish I tried from the recommendations was steamed scallop and radish knotted with string bean.. [S]tring bean – or long bean as it is more commonly known..

long chiam pas /long (ləng) chium pus, lɒŋ (ləŋ) tʃɪʌm pʌs/ n. & v. [Hk. (?)]  A n. A children’s game in which the players form various ‘signs’ or gestures (scissors, paper, stone) with their hands, the winner being the person whose sign is considered superior to the other player’s sign (scissors cuts paper, paper covers stone, stone breaks scissors).  B v. Select a person by playing long chiam pas.  Compare Owa Peya Som.
2000 Dennis Wee with Sylvia Fong Making Luck with Your Hands 70 As a kid, my friends and I would settle this loong chiam pas.

longan /long-ahn, lɒŋˈɑn/ n. [Cant. 龙眼 lung ngán the Lungan (Euphoria longana or Nephelium longana): lung the dragon + ngán the eye (Eitel); Mand. lóngyăn: lóng dragon + yăn eye (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  The small round edible fruit of an evergreen tree Nephelium longanum which has a thin brown skin and translucent flesh through which its hard black seed is visible; the tree itself.
1732 Samuel Baron A Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen in A Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. 3, 4 The fruit called Jean or Lungung (that is, Dragon’s eggs [sic]) by the Chinese.  1846 John Lindley The Vegetable Kingdom 383 Thus the Longan, the Litchi, and the Rambutan, fruits among the more delicious of the Indian archipelago, are the produce of different species of Nephelium.  1874 Samuel Wells Williams A Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language 567 Lung-yen, the longan fruit (Nephelium Longan).  1986 Magdalene Lum
The Straits Times, 7 August, 3 The longan has a firm texture and a pleasantly sweet flavour. The fruit is characterised by a speckled reddish-brown shell with a tiny stone.  2007 Thng Lay Teen The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 8 April. I was at a dessert stall in VivoCity a couple of months ago when a lovely photo of a sweet potato with longan dessert caught my eye.

longkang /long-kung, ˈlɒŋkʌŋ/ n. [Mal., cesspool, rubbish-pit, dump; Singapore Mal., street-drain (properly not a running drain but a stagnant pool) (Wilkinson); Johor & Penang Mal., drain, ditch, cesspool (Winstedt)]  A ditch, a drain.
2001 Matthew Pan (quoting Nasir bin Kiram) The Straits Times (National Day Special 2001), 9 August, 9 Houses very near one another, very cramped, very dirty. Near the longkang (drains), worse.  2001 Matthew Pan (quoting Normah Sam) The Straits Times (National Day Special 2001), 9 August, 9 We had lots of fun!  We played in the longkang; we also went swimming in the nearby Chinese farm which had a waist-deep pond.  2006 Neil Humphreys Final Notes from a Great Island 63 “Oh, follow longkang, go by longkang, longkang. You want longkang, longkang.” .. I was left wondering whether he was repeating himself or calling me a longkang, or drain.  2008 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 5 October, 13 The places I raved about weren’t the posh, fine-dining restaurants, but the declasse zhi cha joints, preferably with seating in an alleyway next to a longkang.

lontong /lon-tong, ˈlɒntɒŋ/ n. [Johor Mal., cooked rice in a leaf (Winstedt); a kind of food made of rice and vegetable suap [soup?] (Ridhwan)]  A Malay dish consisting of rice pressed into square pieces and vegetables served with a coconut gravy.
2000 Arlina Arshad The Straits Times, 27 December, H8 Ketupat, or rice cakes, satay, lontong, rendang (meat), sambal goreng (mixed vegetables) and serunding (spiced grated coconut) are typical dishes served on this day [Hari Raya Puasa].  2012 Rebecca Lynne Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 18 March, 23 When I get home about five minutes later, the lontong, a dish of rice cakes in a coconut gravy with vegetables, is still hot.  2015 Rebecca Lynne Tan The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 1 November, C20 The lontong ($3) here is delicious too. Each serving is a generous portion of savoury stewed vegetables in coconut gravy with rice cakes, topped with dry-fried shredded coconut and sambal.

lor /lo, / int. [poss. < Mand. lo a final particle, used for le (which is used at the ends of sentences or at pauses to expr. affirmation, the emergence of a new set of circumstances, or to hasten or dissuade); compare Mand. 是咯 shì lo it is so, that will do; 完咯 wán lo done, finished (Chi.–Eng. Dict., Giles)]  An exclamation used at the ends of sentences for emphasis.  Compare Lah, Leh.
1994 C.S. Chong NS: An Air-Level Story 70 What to do? Army woman like that, lor!  2000 Patricia Mok The Straits Times (Life!), 14 February, 5 My past relationships have been horrible lor.  2000 Yeow Kai Chai (quoting David Gan) The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 2 July, 5 Europe was too far. So, Tokyo was the next choice lor. .. Just not so extravagant lor, don’t buy Versace teacups and pillows.  2001 Michelle Ho (quoting Louis Tan) The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 14 January, P7 When the music is good, it’s fun to action a bit on the dance floor. If not, then just slow motion lor2002 Sonny Yap The Straits Times, 4 May, H10 [title] Save our uniquely Singaporean colloquialisms, lor.  2003 Suzanne Sng The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 16 November, L9 [B]y then, it was too late, and I just told myself, ‘Ya lor. He’s right.’  2006 Benjamin Nadarajan (quoting Ling How Doong) The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 24 April. Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Ling How Doong appears to be in two minds on the question of an apology to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew over alleged defamatory comments published in the party’s newsletter. During a visit to Bukit Panjang constituency, which he intends to contest, he told residents who asked about the possible lawsuit: ‘What to do? Apologise lor.’ But speaking to The Straits Times later, he said he did not think the party would apologise.  2006 Neil Humphreys Final Notes from a Great Island 26 “If the fish do come, how will you catch them?” I enquired. “With my hands, loh.” His contemptuous look suggested I had just asked the stupidest question he had ever heard.  2011 May Seah (quoting Chen Hanwei) Today, 23 June, T2 Yah lor, terrible!  2011 Rachel Chang The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 23 October, 15 See how lor. Who’s going ar?

lor mai gai var. of Nor Mai Gai.
2011 Thng Lay Teen
The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 26 June, 23 [L]or mai gai (steamed glutinous rice, $1.50). The soft morsels of rice glisten tantalisingly with the seasoning gravy but the grains remain distinct. Savour a spoonful of the rice with the well-marinated tender chicken pieces and you’ll be in lor mai kai heaven.

lor ark /lor ahrk, lɔ ɑːk˺/ n. [Hk. or Teo. lor + ark; Mand. stew (whole chickens or ducks, large cuts of meat, etc) in soy sauce + duck (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A Chinese dish consisting of duck braised in a thick brown gravy.
2012 Marc Lim & Tusdiq Din
The Sunday Times, 20 May, 51 He especially misses the “lor ark” (braised duck) at Hougang Central.

lor mee /lor mee, lɔ miː/ n. [Hk. or Teo. lor; Mand. thick gravy used as sauce for noodles (Chi.–Eng. Dict.) + Mee]  A Chinese dish consisting of noodles served with thick brown gravy.
2000 Kelvin Tong The Sunday Times (Sunday Plus), 9 January, 8 A steaming, gooey bowl of lor mee. .. Covering the flat, yellow noodles is a thick, pork-based gravy garnished with fish cake, slices of pork and crispy, fried flour bits.  2006 Teo Pau Lin (quoting Soh Gim Teik) The Sunday Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 12 March. In Marina Square’s foodcourt on the third floor is a lor mee stall that sells very good laksa.  2006 Theresa Tan The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) (from Straits Times Interactive), 17 May. If there is one reason to check out Hing Wa Eating Place in Beach Road, it must be its Hing Wa Lor Mee. The hand-made noodles covered with delicious gravy made from a special stock of clams and chicken bones are a hot favourite here. The noodles are soft – the type that slides down your throat – and the mix of seafood such as prawns, squid and clams adds to the richness of the dish. And the gravy, thickened with potato starch, is not overly thick which can be quite hard to stomach. On its own, the noodles can be a satisfying meal.

lose face v. phr. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 丢脸 dīuliǎn lose face, be disgraced: dīu lose, mislay; throw, cast, toss; put aside, lay aside + liǎn face, countenance (Chi.–Eng. Dict.): see Face; compare Eng. to save one’s face which, according to OED, was originally used by the English community in China, with reference to the continual devices among the Chinese to avoid incurring or inflicting disgrace]  Lose one’s reputation, be disgraced or humiliated.
[1978 Leong Choon Cheong Youth in the Army 47 PTE Tay Poh Hock serves his national service as a cook in Tengah Air Base. .. It is not a difficult job, but it has a bad name. Poh Hock does not like being known as a cook, but prefers to give people the impression that he is a fully-trained combat soldier, running up and down hills with his helmet and rifle. So it is always an embarrassing experience when a [sic] SAF girl walks into his kitchen to get one thing or another. To be seen scaling a fish – it’s face-losing!]  2006 Anthony Lee Mui Yu The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 8 September. I once requested a young couple to relocate themselves from insouciantly blocking a bus exit. The guy followed when I alighted to demand an apology for ‘losing face’ before his girlfriend. If they had not done wrong, they should not have complied with my request! Scarily, right or wrong, fair or unfair did not factor in their equation. All that mattered was never to lose to a stranger. And to hog rights to the limit.

lotus root n. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 莲藕 lián’ǒu (lián lotus + ǒu lotus root), or cognates in other Chi. dialects]  The edible rhizome of the nelumbo, also known as the Egyptian lotus, Indian lotus or sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), an aquatic plant bearing solitary pink or red flowers and large, circular, peltate leaves that are either above or floating on the surface of the water. Lotus roots are pale yellow, thick and cylindrical with constrictions at intervals, rather like strings of sausages; when sliced transversely for use in soups in Chinese cooking, it can be seen that each piece has many holes in it.
[1991 Kok Poh Tin et. al. A Guide to Common Vegetables 120
121 Nelumbo nucifera Gaetrn (Nymphaeaceae) (Nelumbium nelumbo Druce) Lotus.. An aquatic herb with peltate leaves borne above and floating on the water. Flowers are solitary, bisexual and regular. .. The edible rhizome is submerged in mud. .. The rhizome (莲藕) [has] been eaten as food for thousands of years. The young rhizome when harvested for eating, tastes like artichokes. The older ones are considered diuretic. Rhizomes are harvested all year round and contain an abundance of starch.]  2006 Wong Kim Hoh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 17 December, L16 While we’re not exactly separated by oceans, I can’t exactly hop into the car and drive to my mother’s each time I fancy a bowl of lotus root and spare ribs soup boiled for hours in a claypot over a charcoal stove.

lotus seed n. [Eng. transl. of Mand. 莲子 liánzǐ (lián lotus + seed), or cognates in other Chi. dialects]  The ‘seed’ or, more accurately, the fruit of the nelumbo (Nelumbo nucifera: see Lotus Root) which is in the form of a small yellow nut.
[1991 Kok Poh Tin et. al. A Guide to Common Vegetables 120
121 Nelumbo nucifera Gaetrn (Nymphaeaceae) (Nelumbium nelumbo Druce) Lotus.. An aquatic herb with peltate leaves borne above and floating on the water. Flowers are solitary, bisexual and regular. Fruit is a nut; many in a receptacle. .. The.. “seeds” (莲子) have.. been eaten as food for thousands of years. .. Ripe seeds are prepared by removing the seedcoat and the intensely bitter plumule and then boiled in syrup as “莲子羹” [Mand. gēng a thick soup]. Slightly unripe seeds are also eaten raw.]  2002 Leong Pik Yin The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 3 February, P13 Lotus seeds (lian zhi). Believed to represent: Fertility. In Asian folklore, lotus pods are fertility symbols. The word “zhi” means sons in Mandarin, So, these are believed to enhance fertility and speed up the arrival of grandchildren.

love letter n. [Eng., origin unkn., perh. f. the fact that the pattern on a love letter resembles writing. Known in Mand. as 春卷 chūnjuǎn spring roll]  A snack traditionally eaten at Chinese New Year consisting of a thin circular piece of sweetened dough embossed with a mould, then rolled into a cylinder and baked crisp; Kueh Kapit.
2000 Evelyn Tay The Straits Times (Life!), 11 February, 4 We miss.. the endless love-letters we could eat.

LPPL abbrev. of Lum Pa Pa Lan.

lum pa /lum pah, lʌm pɑ/ int. [Hk., testicles, balls] vulg.  An exclamation expr. contempt, derision, etc.

Phraselum pa pa lan /pah lun, pA lÃn/ [Hk. the balls hitting the penis: pa hit + lan penis] Also abbrev. to LPPL. vulg.  Used to expr. that an act, a plan, etc., has backfired.
2005 Colin Goh The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 30 January, L12 [M]y stinginess brought upon me that karmic phenomenon Singaporeans call “LPPL”, the definition of which cannot be provided in a family newspaper.

lupcheong /lup-cheeong, ˈlʌptʃiɔŋ/ n. [Cant. láp dried and salted meats + ch‘éung the bowels, the intestines (Eitel); Mand. làcháng: cured + cháng intestines (Chi.–Eng. Dict.)]  A thin, red, hard Chinese sausage made with fatty pork.
2007 Tessa Wong
The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 19 April. A recent innovation is low-fat lap cheong, or waxed sausages. Invented by Singapore Polytechnic students, this version has less than half the fat of the regular thing.  2009 Fiona Low (quoting Christophe Megel) The Sunday Times (LifeStyle), 10 May, 28 Saucisson, a dried French sausage. It’s something like a European lup cheong (Chinese cured sausage).  2015 Chris Tan The Sunday Times (SundayLife!), 15 February, 23 Chinese sausage/lup cheong: Ground and/or finely diced pork, and fat are marinated for a few hours with plain or rose-scented rice liquor, soya sauce, sugar, salt and sometimes spices, then stuffed into skins and dried. This is done traditionally in the winter sun, now more often with heated air. Dense, firm, and wrinkled, they are sweet, meaty and rich, and always eaten cooked.

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