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EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

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

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

minah (plural minahs)

  1. Alternative spelling of myna

Etymology 2Edit

Derived from Malay name Aminah.

PronunciationEdit

  • (Singapore) IPA(key): /mɪˈna/

NounEdit

minah (plural minahs)

  1. (Singapore, colloquial, derogatory) A Malay girl.
    • 1987 August 26, 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 April 15, 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 October 4, 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 December 19, 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 notesEdit

Common in spoken Singapore Colloquial English; uncommon in formal speech or discourse, though it is not uncommon in newspapers. The male equivalent is mat.