December 15, 2009


Penang Hokkien is a very unique dialect. It has this class of words that give off almost the opposite meaning when used in pairs, which a lot of non-Penang people don’t really know. In the spirit of Satu Malaysia, I’m gonna introduce you people to one of these wonderful words.

The word for today is : STIM [stim]

Can be used as an adjective, interjection or a verb. Basically, anything that gives you a sense of extreme satisfaction and excitement to the highest degree, you can use this word to describe your intense exhilaration. As a verb, it can be used as a more passionate and intense substitute for the word ‘like’ or ‘love’. Examples:

“Ofis eh air con kau giak stim!” – adjective
[translation: “The air con at the office is very ‘stim'”]

“Ho chiak boh?” “Stim!” – interjection
[translation: “Was it delicious?” “Stim!”]

“Claudia stim ee eh brother maa!” – verb
[translation: “That’s because Claudia ‘stim’ his brother!”]

But when ‘stim’ is used in pairs – ‘stim stim’, it becomes an adjective with a somewhat opposite meaning – ‘being uncharacteristically vapid, boring and almost expressionlessly lifeless’ (FYI, this is many times more wretched than being ‘stone’). Examples:

“Ee eh lau pek stim stim eh…”
[translation: “He has a stim stim father…”]

Emily: “That driver is very composed and calm behind the wheel, I didn’t see him react to your stupid air horn at all…”
Me: “That’s because he is ‘stim stim’, dear… not because he is calm or composed…”

Beautiful, isn’t it? So don’t get too happy when someone from Penang describes you as ‘stim stim’, for it is not meant to be in good faith., educating ‘stim stim’ individuals since 2003.

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | 

9 Comments to “stim”

  1. feizal says:

    Good post. I can use the phrases you given…

    Always eager to learn more hokkien.

  2. cLiu says:

    applause for the great teaching, Mr Ooi…

  3. doc says:

    The c9 tried very hard to stim her husband but all that she got was his stim stim look. >_<

  4. michaelooi says:

    feizal – You’re welcome bro, 1Malaysia maa…

    cLiu – Anytime, my friend…

    doc – Which see lai doc? The one that has been busting my balls in your MSN? LOL.

  5. life inspirations..... says:

    great!! i get to know how to use “stim” during my upcoming penang trip liao..hahha…thanks micheal..

  6. nicholas says:

    stim is everywhere…

    stim stim however…lol. 1st time im hearing it

  7. ShaolinTiger says:

    Haha I never knew about the stim stim also. It’s like too stim until stupid.

  8. U R one darn good ‘cub-ster’!

  9. Alza Club says:

    nice blog you sharing with us.keep it up man.. :)

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