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 long or broad Malay sword that is about one foot long, and comes with a wooden sheath.
The Mandarin term “巴冷刀” is a combination of Malay and Mandarin. The Mandarin term “巴冷” is a transliteration of the Malay term parang.
The term parang originated from Malaysia between the 18th and 19th centuries. It was originally a weapon used by villagers to defend themselves against wild beasts.
Parangs are also used by locals to build houses in the jungle, construct furniture and in farming.
In tropical Southeast Asia, residents use parangs as tools to clear away trees for paths.
In Borneo, the parang is a tool used by Dayak headhunters to decapitate their enemy. The Dayak people practiced headhunting to pray for a good rice harvest, to allow the spirits of slaves to see their masters, or to pay dowry for marriages.
One day, at 2 am in the morning, four gangsters broke into our house with parangs. I do not know how I found the courage, but I fought them with my bare hands. Although I was badly injured and needed to visit the hospital to get more than 40 stitches, I had kept my family safe. The gangsters had also been injured by me during the fight, and were arrested later. (Lianhe Wanbao，28/4/2018)
In Singapore and Malaysia, parangs were a common weapon used by robbers and secret societies during gang fights.
Click here to view references for parang
dān chéng chē zī kǎ