ISBN 978 981 216 497 1
Publication date September 2007
Retail Price RM20.40 / S$8.50 before GST Format 114mm x 180 mm / 112 pages/
Limp Category Language Territories & Rights Rights sold World /
All languages Indonesia
Imprint Marshall Cavendish Editions



Malaysian English at its wackiest!

About the Book

Manglish is a dictionary-style pocket book with proper English definitions for laid-back Malaysian-style “Manglish”. Manglish, is a Malaysian form of English which Malaysian locals use to express more effectively, or to make the other party feel more at ease.

This book teaches the non-local or tourist how to understand – or better yet, astound local Malaysians with their ability to comprehend – or even speak Manglish. Granted, most Malaysians are capable of speaking in proper English, but when one wishes to throw grammatical rules to the wind and have fun with new vocabulary, Manglish is the thing for you.



Excerpts from the Book:

From “Of Lembus, Buayas and Ah Pias”

Names a la Manglish abound. Some of the names are given out of sheer exasperation, some out of derision or disgust and some out of affection. Whatever their origin may be, they are very much part of the Manglish vocabulary.

Ah Beng – A square; someone who looks and behaves a bit like a nerd, usually with very short hair and a not-quite-with-it look. Very good in Maths and Chinese chess but extremely lacking in the social graces department. May sometimes blurt out rather original opinions. More recent version of the Ah Pia (see this page). While Ah Pia was used in the ’70s and ’80s, Ah Beng is more commonly used now. The Ah Beng has improved a little from his predecessor, the Ah Pia. Not so Ah Pia-looking but nevertheless still sticks out with his Ah Beng pants, Ah Beng mannerisms and Ah Beng-looking girlfriends known as Ah Lians.

Ah Kwa – A male with very effeminate manners. Tends to be rather talented in the feminine arts such as beauty, hairdressing and fashion. Friend: “Who’s doing your make-up for your wedding?” Bride-to-Be: “My Ah Kwa friend. She … er … I mean … he’s very good. He’s doing my hair too.”

Ah Pia – During my campus days in the mid-’70s, Engineering students were popularly known as Engine Ah Pias. Whenever they came around to the other faculties to chat up the girls, they would get teased, “Eh, Ah Pia, smelling-ah?” ‘Smelling’ was the campus lingo for sniffing around, trying to ‘tackle’ members of the opposite sex. Ah Pia is also used to describe appearance or dressing, as in: “Her boyfriend – real Ah Pia type-lah!” or “Eh, why your dressing so Ah Pia today?”

Ah Ter – No, not someone related to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table fame, but an even more extreme version of the Ah Pia. Not just very Ah Pia-looking but terribly swaku in speech and mannerisms. A real horror if one’s blind date turns out to be an Ah Ter.

Auntie – Used by younger Malaysians for women, whether blood relative or not, who look ‘oldish’, and therefore require, as custom dictates, the honorific of ‘Auntie’! Sales Assistant: “Excuse me, Auntie, here’s your change.” Lady: “Don’t call me Auntie-lah! Cheh! Make me feel so old only!”

Barsket – A swear word; an uncouth interjection, spat out in anger or annoyance. Probably used to substitute ruder words such as ‘bastard’. Angry, stressed Malaysian driver cursing another driver on the road: “Barsket! Your grandfather’s road-ah!! Simply cut into my lane! Dunno how to drive, don’t drive-lah!”

Big shot – A very important person. Also used sarcastically for small shots who think they’re big. “Ei, police outrider signalling to you-lah. Better go to the side, some big shot coming.” or “Take your legs off my table, will you? Big shot-ah?”

Bladibarsket – An even more extreme version of barsket. Bladi is the Manglish version of the English bloody.
An even more angry, stressed Malaysian driver: “Bladibarsket! *%&#!! Want to die-ah?!”


Read more in "Manglish"





“This is a book to tickle your funny bones and for expatriates or visitors to our shores this makes for a n invaluable commentary This is a delightful offering that proves that size doesn’t matter. Served appetizer sized, Manglish explains words and phrases that we Malaysians use in what is now dubbed Manglish (Malaysian English though some would no doubt term as mangled English). My favourites are Norchet..and Gostan."

Reading Malaysia by Zarina Abu Bakar,
THE QUILL , Aug sept 2007.

“This book on Manglish is a must have, if you ask me. Just as the language is exclusive to Malaysia, the book is exclusively Malaysian. It is entertaining to say the least.”

The Sun, june 12 1998

“This a great book to have It is really is about us. “

Interview with Prasana Chandran
The Sun, june 12 1998

Welcome to Manglish – the unique blend of vernacular and English words that spices the way we speak and helps us connect. Lee Su Kim’s Manglish provides a good sampling of these succinct concoctions.

Interview with Tan Gim Ean
The New Straits times, 1998

Captures the colourful mixture of English, Malay, Tamil, Hokkien and Cantonese in Malaysia

Interview with Susan Long.
The Straits Times, Singapore.

Manglish: Malaysian English at its Wackiest was born to compile Manglish words and expression in an easily digestible way.

Interview with Hisham Zulkifli in The Star.

Copyright © 2010 LEE SU KIM. All Rights Reserved. Text, and Media may not be reproduced without written permission.