Probably a Kra-Dai substrate word (Li, 1990). Compare Zhuang ngamq (“just; exactly; only”), Hlai ngamx (“suitable”), Vietnamese ngám (“just right”).
Alternatively, some postulate that this is derived from 恰 (hap1, “just; coincidentally; suitable”) or 諳 (am1, “to know; familiar with”).
啱 (chiefly Cantonese, Hakka, Malaysia Min Nan, Hainanese)
- correct, right
- to fit; to be appropriate; to be suitable
/ 啱细路仔饮 [Cantonese]
― ngaam1 sai3 lou6 zai2 jam2 [Jyutping]
― suitable for consumption by children
- just now; a moment ago
― ngaam1 ngaam1 [Jyutping]
― just now; just
- by chance; coincidentally