Minah is a very common term used to identify a Malay woman in Singapore and Malaysia. However, over the years, it has been adapted to categorize specific Malay ladies with a particular set of skills in nuisance. The kind that you find loitering under your void decks playing loud music for attention.
You know who you are.
And while this may be common knowledge to us all, there is something that you might not know. Just like how Singaporeans have their Singlish, Minahs (and their male counterparts, the Mats) have their very own version of phrases as well!
Okay, maybe it’s not as shocking to those who know about it, but as someone who still sucks in Singlish, this new information is very thrilling and so very disappointing.
Honestly, I’ll applaud them first for making me laugh at some of the phrases. Like ‘onz x onz‘, which sounds like the title of an anime series or ‘no printer just fax‘, which is hilariously ridiculous in every way!
And although these phrases are indeed unique, I can’t help but feel like most of them are pretty excessive. For example, take Singlish; its purpose is to shorten long sentences into straightforward ones while being understandable.
Here’s an example:
So, where do you want to go for lunch?
Bro, later lunch where?
In most cases, the phrases and sentences are shorter than the original for Singlish.
However, when compared with the Minah dictionary, the opposite is true instead. Thus, doesn’t it defeat the point of using it to convey something? You might as well use the original words to get the very same points across, albeit quicker.
This, at last, brings me to my dilemma, so what’s the point? Is it to sound cooler? Or is it just easier to pronounce the words in Malay? Or is it like a detection system to distinguish other Minahs?
Perhaps, we’ll never know then again do we want to?