6 cheem English phrases from the Parliament sitting on Oxley Road to up your essay game
Watch politics, learn England
The drama on 38 Oxley Road is turning out to be more tedious than that 224-episode Taiwanese series (爱). Thankfully, the saga has unveiled gems in the form of new words you can use to up your English composition game – like ‘dogsbody‘.
Here are more words we learned from the Parliamentary sessions on July 3–4:
Not to be confused with: Sophie – the girl who dumped you in Secondary 3.
What it means: The use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.
Use it this way: “Trying to argue that she dumped me because of my sub-par laksa cooking skills was pure sophistry.”
2. Fig Leaf (used by Goh Chok Tong)
Not to be confused with: Fickle – what your boyfriend calls you when you can’t decide between Japanese and Korean for dinner.
What it means: A reference to the defacing of nude Ancient Greek art in the 16th century by covering up their naughty bits with plaster fig leaves. This expression is used to imply a cover up.
Use it this way: “Your frustration with my indecisiveness is only a fig leaf for the unresolved anger you harbour just because I didn’t jio you out for supper last week.”
3. Golden Thread (used by Lee Hsien Loong)
Not to be confused with: Golden showers.
What it means: Possibly a reference to a character in A Tale of Two Cities who links the destinies of different characters. Usually used to imply a common theme running through several disparate stories.
Use it this way: “At the end of the day, the golden thread running through this debacle is that Facebook is not the place for airing dirty laundry. It is, however, the perfect place for a soap opera to play out.”
4. Probity (used by Pritam Singh)
Not to be confused with: Probate – another word in the Oxley Road saga that you’ll never use in your composition, so don’t bother.
What it means: The quality of having strong moral principles that are above reproach.
Use it this way: “All your character assassination efforts are like firing blanks because he is renown for his probity.”
5. Triangulate (used by Pritam Singh)
Not to be confuse with: Triangles.
What it means: While originally taken from a land-surveying method (using 2 separate points to determine the distance to a third point), triangulation in this instance means to cross-reference facts to proof their validity.
Use it this way: “Based on all the facts available, we triangulated that Ah Seng is a first class goondu.”
6. Laxity (used by Halimah Yacob)
Not to be confused with: Laxatives – that stuff you eat to un-constipate yourself.
What it means: Lack of strictness.
Use it this way: “Just because I show you laxity doesn’t mean you can anyhow climb over my head, and call me ‘dishonourable’ on Facebook, OK.”
BONUS HOKKIEN PHRASE OF THE WEEK: Terng Kor
What it means: Literally to lose one’s pants. Metaphorically, to lose your possessions.
Use it this way: We cannot sue our own siblings, after all, blood is thicker than water. But political opponents and critics – we can sue until they terng kor.
*Use Hokkien phrases in your composition with discretion.
As usual, keep up with the Lees here:
Top photo adapted from YouTube.