Singaporean Mandarin Database
This database contains a collection of Mandarin terms which have cultural, historical or sentimental value unique to Singapore. These terms may be used by Singaporeans in the past or at present. Some of the terms are read in print while others are used in our everyday conversations.
A person who is highly skilled or capable.
- 源自于福建话（闽南语）thau tshiu，类似师傅的意思，一般指某个行业的技术能手，也可指管理某一个行业的工头或头目。
- 在新加坡丰富的饮食文化里，也会常听到“头手”这一称呼。此外，也有“二手”这一称号，源自于闽南话（福建话）ji tshiu，类似“副手”的意思，一般二手的经验或职位次于头手。
- The term originated from the Hokkien (Minnan) dialect term thau tshiu, which means master. It typically refers to a technical expert in a particular industry, or the foreman or supervisor managing a certain industry.
- The term “头手” is commonly used in Singapore’s vibrant food and beverage industry. There is also a term known as “二手”, which originated from Hokkien term ji tshiu tshiu, which has the meaning of “assistant”. Typically, this term is used for someone who is less experienced or is holding a position below that of the foreman.
The fishball noodle stall owner complained that an uncle, who worked as a “foreman” for two months, disappeared after borrowing $3,000 investment. The owner has lodged a police report. (Shin Min Daily News, 19/3/2019)