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Singapore social

condolence gift

DEFINITION The cash gift given to the deceased’s family at a funeral, as a sign of condolence. Also known in Mandarin as 白金 or 赙仪. ETYMOLOGY The exact definition of the term “赙仪” is a gift to the deceased’s family. In Singapore, as cash is usually given to the deceased’s family to express condolence, “帛金” or “白金” is used more often. The value of the condolence gift generally ranges from S$20 to S$100 and above, depending on the relationship or friendship…

television channel

DEFINITION Refers to the frequency used for television transmissions. ETYMOLOGY The Mandarin term “波道” was a paraphrase of the English term “television channel”. Previously used to refer to television channels in Singapore. The term “波道” (wavelength channel) has been replaced by the term “频道” (frequency channel). For example, Channel 8 which used to be known as “第八波道” is now called “八频道”. “波道” is derived from the word “波长” (wavelength) while “频道” is derived from “频率” (frequency). The two terms came…

post-it notes

DEFINITION Small pieces of paper with a non-drying strip of adhesive that can be stuck and re-stuck. ETYMOLOGY The Mandarin term “便利贴” is a paraphrase of the English term “post-it” or “removable self-stick notes”. post-it notes come in many different sizes and colours, and are usually sold in dozens of sheets per pad. Post-its were first manufactured by the American company 3M in 1981. In 2010, the Speak Good English Movement was launched with the tagline “Get it Right” to…

birth certificate

DEFINITION A document which records a person’s time and place of birth as well as their parents’ names. Also known in Mandain as 出生字 or 出生纸. ETYMOLOGY The term originated from the Hokkien (Minnan) dialect term po se tsua, which means birth certificate. In Singapore, all newborns must be registered at gazetted birth registration centres. The registration can be done by either one or both of the child’s parents or by a proxy on behalf of the parents (they must…

adjudication of bankruptcy

DEFINITION Verb The declaration of bankruptcy by a debtor or creditor in accordance with the law. ETYMOLOGY The Mandarin term “报穷” is a paraphrase of the English term “adjudication of bankruptcy”. The Mandarin term “穷籍” refers to the bankruptcy register, which is stored by the relevant government department. In Singapore, either a debtor himself or his creditor can file for bankruptcy. If a debtor cannot repay debts of at least S$15,000, the creditor can file a bankruptcy lawsuit against the…

revealing

DEFINITION Adjective Describes a person who dresses boldly, and reveals too much skin. ETYMOLOGY The Mandarin term “暴露” originally referred to exposing something that is hidden, defective, contradictory or problematic, and has a broad meaning. In Singapore, the term commonly refers to revealing a certain part of the body, such as wearing short or thin clothes. In Singapore, it is against the law to show nudity in public spaces or private places visible to outsiders. Those found in violation can…

MediSave

DEFINITION A national medical savings scheme where both employees and employers are legally required to make contributions, which can be used to pay for medical expenses. ETYMOLOGY In response to the government’s National Health Plan, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board implemented the MediSave scheme in 1984, making MediSave account one of the mandatory deposit accounts for CPF savings. According to the provisions of the CPF Board, employees and employers must contribute to the CPF savings on a regular (monthly)…

bungee jumping

DEFINITION A thrilling activity in which a person attached with a rope jumps from a high altitude, falls freely and rebound. ETYMOLOGY The term is the transliteration of the English term “bungee jump”. According to general belief, bungee jumping originated from the Bunlap people of Pentecost Island, who tied vines to their ankles to conduct “land diving”. In 1955, a report by National Geographic helped to spread bungee jumping to the rest of the world. “Bungee” in English is said…

article placement

DEFINITION The space and position occupied by articles, diagrams and advertisements in newspapers and magazines. ETYMOLOGY Placement differs from layout, which refers to the placement of articles on one page or each page of a book or magazine. In a layout, articles can be arranged and placed according to aspects, such as by function or time. Taking Lianhe Zaobao as an example, its layout consists of sections such as Local, International and Regional News, Finance, Forum, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Sports, and…

bermuda shorts

DEFINITION A type of shorts which is knee-length and usually narrow at the leg opening. ETYMOLOGY The term is the transliteration and paraphrase of the English term “bermuda shorts”. This type of knee-length shorts was popular in the early twentieth century. At that time when British officials were sent to tropical countries, they cut their khaki pants short. Some British staff stationed in Bermuda also asked the local tailors to shorten their trousers. The tailors in Bermuda sold these shorts…