Both Fanne's brother-in-law, who is now working in Singapore, and her sister, who unfortunately still lives in Taipei at the moment but frequently flies over to visit him, have spent some time acquainting themselves with Singlish. Among a wide selection of interesting (or amusing) examples is coffee on the Singaporean menu. According to their demonstration and explanation, as well as my own investigation, I found following terms and origins of those non-English words.
- Kopi: coffee with milk and sugar, or sweetened condensed milk
It's the Singaporean default configuration of coffee.
- Kopi-kosong: coffee without milk, without sugar
Kosong, a Malay word for 'empty', 'hollow'.
- Kopi-o (also kopi-oh): coffee with sugar, without milk
O, the word for 'black' (烏) in Hokkien.
- Kopi-kau: strong coffee, with condensed milk
Kau means (of liquid) 'stronger' or 'thickened' (厚) in Hokkien.
- Kopi-C: coffee with evaporated milk
C stands for Carnation, a proprietary name for a brand of evaporated milk).
- Kopi-ping: iced coffee
Ping, the word for 'ice' (冰) in Hokkien.