Jordan MacVay sent me a link to Amir Muhammad’s wonderful project, The UMD (The Urban / Uncensored Malaysian Dictionary). As Jordan says, “Basically he’s listing out Malaysian words/terms that are excluded from the ‘official’ Malay dictionaries.” Official dictionaries have their uses, obviously, but when they exclude words and phrases known to most users of the language they purport to represent, they are not doing their job, and it’s important that they be supplemented by things like this. To pick an entry at random:
Yam seng. 饮 胜
A rowdy toast where people stand up and hold up their alcoholic drinks and try to prolong the phrase ‘yam seng’ as much as possible. From the Cantonese, ‘drink to victory.’ In 2003 Tourism Minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir complimented his deputy Ng Yen Yen who had just returned from a promotional trip to China, by saying, “She mixed around well and yam seng her way all over China. The Chinese just loved it because they did not know one could yam seng in an Islamic country.”
Yam seng, Amir!