chao keng

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From Teochew (cao3, dirty, ill-reputed) + (gêng1, to evade; to pass the buck).


chao keng (third-person singular simple present chao keng or chao kengs, present participle chao keng or chao kenging, simple past chao keng or chao kenged, past participle chao keng)

  1. (Singlish) To malinger, to skive, to shirk one's duties (particularly military duties) by feigning illness.
    • 1997 April 10, Ng, “Open letter to all NS boys”, in soc.culture.singapore, Usenet[1]:
      I chao keng. I idle. What is pride?
    • 2015 October 19, “Guys, here are 10 foods that will make your skin glow and hopefully help you get some”, in Mothership:
      That said, going back for reservist training would without a doubt be a pain — digging up all your old gear, your uniform and your dusty field pack once a year is enough to make you wish you chao kenged during your NSF days.
    • 2017, Max West, How To Forge A Frogman, →ISBN:
      I couldn't actually bring myself to chao keng, but though it was only 4 km, that march was one of the tougher evolutions we've done.
    • 2017 April 26, “Are the new sentencing principles for NS defaulters fair?”, in The Online Citizen:
      I would argue that those who 'slack' or 'chao keng' are probably more a threat to our national security than a defaulter who has postponed his NS, but done well while in NS.
    • 2017 September 18, “If you're too sick for work, this startup lets you get your MC online”, in Asia One:
      I'm willing to bet all of us have tried to chao keng our way out of work sometime in the past, myself included.
    • 2018 May 3, “To Prevent More Deaths Like Pte Dave Lee’s, Chao Keng Culture Must End”, in Rice[2]:
      For the longest time, there’s existed the rampant problem of soldiers malingering, or more colloquially “chao keng”, to excuse themselves from training. This has led to the deep-seated mistrust of soldiers who report sick or declare themselves unfit.