minah

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Hindi मैना (mainā)/Urdu مینا (mainā), from Sanskrit मदन (madana).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

minah (plural minahs)

  1. Alternative spelling of myna

Etymology 2[edit]

Derived from Malay name Aminah.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Singapore) IPA(key): /mɪˈna/

Noun[edit]

minah (plural minahs)

  1. (Singapore, colloquial, derogatory) A Malay girl.
    • 1987, Ning Juita, “Culture shock for Yati, the kampung girl”, in The Straits Times, page 16:
      Yati feels she is lucky to get - and hold - a factory job, though it has earned her the title of "Minah Karan".
    • 2012, Neil Humphreys, “From Cool Dude to Sad Old Man”, in The New Paper, page 34:
      Among the ah bengs and ah lians, the mats and the minahs, the young expats and the backpackers, he stood out like a dozen guys on a male-only dance floor singing Dancing Queen (I'll never forgive Blur for ruining my 21st birthday).
    • 2015, Wong Kim Hoh, “At 17, she found herself with a broken home and nowhere to stay”, in The Straits Times, page B7:
      “People thought I was a minah and that I would not make it but I did,” she says, using the colloquial term to describe rowdy Malay girls without drive or ambition.
    • 2017, Audrey Leong, “YouTube duo makes curtain call”, in The New Paper, page 15:
      Hirzi said of their significance: “People watched the Minahs for entertainment, but there was also a lot (more) to the videos... When we were vulnerable, the characters, especially the Minahs, picked us up.”

Usage notes[edit]

This word is commonly used in spoken Singapore Colloquial English. It is not commonly used in formal speeches or discourse, though it is not uncommon in newspapers. The male equivalent of this word is mat.