Original image

Speak no evil

Original image

As you've probably been following over the last years, there have been a lot of complaints in Singapore over the youngins' excessive use of Singlish.

Likewise, Manglish is now under attack in Malaysia, only the Malaysian government is a lot more serious about stamping out the colloquial wordshake: two parts local dialects, one part English.

According to an article last week in the International Herald Tribune, "Malaysia may levy fines on people who mangle the national language on signs and posters, and deploy monitors to ensure that speakers at official functions don't improperly mix Malay with English."

Look out! They're talking about 1,000-ringgit fines (that's $271 to you and me). In other words: they mean business. Just to give you an idea of what else is forbidden in Malaysia, I did a little poking around online and came up with this nifty list:

Sodomy, spitting, littering, blowing your nose in public and any kind of sports betting (except horse racing!): all illegal. It's also strictly forbidden to publish any materials that may incite religious anger. "Pure English," it should be noted, will continue to be permitted in Malaysia, although good luck to the monitors in defining such.

After the jump, you'll find some of my favorite Manglish words/expression -- those the government is trying to root out -- which I've edited together from a couple different sources, but mostly from Wiki:

kapster - a nosy or talkative person; can be also used as an adjective, e.g., "I hate them because they are so kapster." Contraction of the Malay verb "cakap", to speak, plus -ster (probably from analogy with English words such as "trickster").

maluation - embarrassment, from Malay "malu" + English "-ation"

outstation - out of town (e.g., going outstation).

terrer - (pronounced as the English "terror") Refers to someone or something being awesomely amazing or good (e.g., "Bloody hell, that guy is terrer!").

slumber - relaxed, laid-back; possibly a conflation of the Malay "selamba", meaning nonchalant, and the English "slumber".

on/off - to turn something on or off, respectively (e.g. "Don't forget to off the fan.")

tumpang-ing - riding in someone else's vehicle or lodging at someone else's house, from the Malay verb "tumpang" + "-ing"

(any Malay word) + "ing" - doing a certain action ("Tengah makan" or "I'm eating right now" is shortened to "Makan-ing")

best/syok - indicates the object as superlatively good.

die/finish/gone/habis/mampus/mampui/sei - generic exclamations to indicate "trouble", used like the English "damn it" or "to face the music" (e.g. Today he die because of that loan shark). "sei" is usually pronounced as its Cantonese equivalent, "die".

Original image
Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
Original image

While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at

Original image
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
Original image

Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.


More from mental floss studios