Enter Singapore

Close this search box.

wa mai lai

wa mai lai Meaning

Wa mai lai, a Singlish phrase, loosely translates to why did you come? It is often used in a playful or curious manner to ask someone why they have arrived at a particular place or situation. Translated into Chinese: 为什么来了?(Wèishénme lái le?)

wa mai lai in a Sentence 

1. Wa mai lai, the queue for the famous chicken rice stall is crazily long leh! (pronounced: wah mai lie)
2. Eh, wa mai lai, you really win the lottery ah? So lucky sia! (pronounced: wah mai lie)
3. Walao, wa mai lai, the price of durians is so expensive now! (pronounced: wah mai lie)
4. Aiyo, wa mai lai, my boss ask me to work overtime again lah. (pronounced: wah mai lie)
5. Wah, wa mai lai, the weather suddenly became so hot! (pronounced: wah mai lie)

wa mai lai Origin in Singlish

Wa mai lai originated from the Hokkien dialect, commonly spoken in Singapore. It means why never come. We use it when someone is late or absent. It’s a fun and catchy phrase that reflects the blend of cultures and languages in Singapore’s unique Singlish.