“Maliarlum” is apparently the 1940s Singlish word for “Malayalam”. See Rage in Singapore, David George Kin, Wisdom House, 1942, p. 214 et altra. With this post I get Google ownership of the word.


Google found my post within a minute or so. They had already recognized “Maliarlum” as a misspelling of “Malayalam”, though.

I have sent an inquiry to A Dictionary of Singlish about the status of this word, which neither they nor Coxford lists. It might be obsolete, and perhaps it was only used by expat colonials.

My guess is that this particular misspelling  is that of someone speaking some rhotic dialect of British English that puts Rs where,  as far as I am concerned, they don’t really belong .


Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: