A guide to all six Singlish expressions heard during Taylor Swift's 'The Eras Tour' concerts in Singapore

A guide to all six Singlish expressions heard during Taylor Swift's 'The Eras Tour' concerts in Singapore


Taylor Swift was not the only talk of the town at the recently concluded Singapore leg of her The Eras Tour.

While Swifties were enchanted by the GRAMMY-winning artist during her six concerts at the National Stadium, they were also left amused by Kameron Saunders, one of Swift's touring dancers.

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Saunders, who has appeared in the musical films The Colour Purple and Spirited and is also a choreographer, surprised fans by adding Singlish (a Singaporean variety of English) words and phrases to the bridge of 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'. More specifically, the additions came after the line, "Like, we are never getting back together, like, ever".


Much like opening act Sabrina Carpenter's localised 'Nonsense' outros for the country, the modified bridges from the Red (Taylor's Version) track gave the six different groups of Swifties exclusive treats to remember their concert experiences by.  

But since the crowds in Singapore also comprised regional fans who had flown into the country to catch Swift in the flesh, many were left baffled by the colourful expressions they heard.

If the Singlish additions by Saunders have left you scratching your head, fret not. Here is a guide to all six Singlish phrases and words from the Singapore leg of The Eras Tour.

Day 1 - "No lah"

"No lah" is pretty much the same as "no", except it is made more empathic thanks to the inclusion of "lah". Depending on the tone you have chosen to go with, the versatile phrase can be used when you are being dismissive or even when you are trying to get someone to reconsider something.

In the context of 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', the singer can use "no lah" to shatter an ex's hopes of getting back together with them. It can also be used by the desperate ex in question to tell the singer, "You don't really mean what you said, do you?"

Day 2 - "Siao ah"

@steffpanie SIAO AHHHH!!🤣🔥 #erastour #erastourtaylorswift #erastoursingapore #erastoursg #taylorswift #singapore ♬ original sound - 🥐

Meaning "crazy", this phrase comes from the Hokkien language. Sure, you can use "siao" on its own, but pairing the word with an "ah" gives it a bit more of a bite. When you say "siao ah" to someone, you are asking them a rhetorical question, which translates to "Are you crazy?" 

So the next time someone suggests an absolutely bonkers idea, such as getting back together with you when you have long moved on, you can respond by saying, "Siao ah."

Day 3 - "Walao eh"

@_lameer So cute 🤣🤣🤣 WALAO EH #tiktoksingapore #taylorswift #erastourtaylorswift #erastour #eras #tswift #tswifterastour #weareneverevergettingbacktogether ♬ original sound - oscar statue body

Also of Hokkien origin, "walao" means "my father" when translated directly to English, with the "eh" after it making the expression more emphatic. You can use this phrase when you are feeling surprised or really annoyed at something or someone. If you spent four hours in a virtual queue for concert tickets only to find out that there were no tickets left once it was your turn, you could say, "Walao eh! I wasted the last four hours of my life!" Or if an ex of yours kept coming back despite repeated warnings not to do so, you could say, "Walao eh! How many times do I have to tell you that we're never getting back together?"

Day 4 - "Alamak"

"Alamak" is a word from the Malay language that is used as a substitute for phrases like "oh shoot" or "oh dear". It is commonly used by Singaporeans when they realise that they have left something, misplaced an item, or forgotten to do something. For instance, if you lost your car keys, you could say, "Alamak. How am I supposed to get to that urgent meeting now when I can't drive?" 

When it comes to love, you can also use the word when you realise that you are going to have to explain to someone why the two of you cannot be together for the umpteenth time. An example would be "Alamak... Here we go again." The person being rejected can also respond by saying, "Alamak. What happened? I thought I was going to win them back."

Day 5 - "Wah piang eh"

As mentioned earlier, you can use "walao eh" to express annoyance or surprise. "Wah piang eh" is a phrase that conveys similar emotions, and you can use it if you have been feeling really annoyed at someone lately, for instance, and are starting to get tired of only using "walao eh".

When a toxic ex sends you another text, you can utter, "Wah piang eh, did they not hear me the last time round?" You can then text the person in question using the same phrase to let them know just how irritated you are by their persistence. If you are having a face-to-face conversation with that ex of yours, you can even emphasize the "piang" in the phrase to make your irritation more obvious.

Day 6 - "Hannor, abuden"

Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked a question with an extremely obvious answer? If you have, chances are you responded with a "duh" or the sarcastic question, "What do you think?" If you want to switch things up in the future, why not try saying "hannor, abuden"? It's condescending and will more likely than not make the person who has just asked you a silly question keep quiet out of embarrassment. 

Again, in the context of having to deal with a persistent ex, you can say "hannor, abuden" when the person in question asks if you really meant what you said when you told them it was over. If you are someone who wants to help your best friend get rid of their pesky ex, you can show them your support by using the same phrase to agree with them. And to inflict maximum damage, be sure to be as sassy as you can, as Saunders demonstrated during show six.

Relive the first Singapore show of The Eras Tour here:

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