In today’s society, it pays to stand out from the crowd. Just scroll through social media, and you will find celebrities choosing to up the ante by giving their children ridiculous monikers.
Frighteningly, this trend has also started to catch on locally. Some even take it as far as making these self-christened names permanent by registering them with ICA and etched forever on their ICs.
Make no mistake, an unusual name can, and will, leave a lasting impression. In the same way, these peculiar street names add flavour to otherwise bland-sounding ones (eg. Ang Mo Kio Ave 2, or anything else with an “Ave” or “Street” followed by a number) and capture the attention of the common pedestrian or motorist.
1. Rotan Lane
The stuff of nightmares for naughty children, and possibly Michael Fay! Rotan is the Malay word for rattan. It also refers to rattan canes, the instrument of choice for instilling discipline.
An imaginative few might think that this was where the notorious practice of caning was frequently carried out but in actual fact, the lane was so named because there used to be a cane-producing factory along Chander Road adjacent to it.
Rotan Lane is situated along the historic Serangoon Road area, which means it sees a fair share of tourists and Nasi Briyani restaurants around it.
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2. Jalan Malu-Malu
Those living along this secondary road must have been at the receiving end of a number of jokes from their friends and family. Malu in Bahasa Melayu means “to be ashamed or shy”, which would inadvertently suggest that residents staying in the properties surrounding it are, to some degree, in a perpetual state of embarrassment.
There is no need for them to be red-faced though, given the number of developments happening in the area.
Being situated next to Sembawang Shopping Centre, as well as being close to Canberra MRT and Canberra Plaza, are plus points for upgraders with families.
3. Kay Poh Road
If you think a road named Jalan Malu-Malu is mildly amusing, then you would probably think living on Kay Poh Road is downright hilarious.
Singlish for “being a busybody”, you would think that no secrets can be kept hidden from the prying eyes of residents in this area.
In reality, the road was named after Wee Kay Poh, a Hokkien businessman, who amongst other things, was a managing partner of the Singapore Opium and Liquors Farm from 1907 to 1909. How apt given that it’s situated just a few roads away from the old Zouk at Jiak Kim Street.
Kay Poh Road is near Orchard Road and Robertson Quay, making it an excellent place for expats to stay or rent. Kasturina Lodge and The Aston are two condos located along it which can potentially offer good options to choose from.
4. Opera Estate
Tucked away in the Siglap area is an enclave called Opera Estate, characterised by numerous landed homes (many of which are up for rent and sale) and hipster cafes offering over-priced gourmet coffee.
While the name of the estate doesn’t immediately pop out as something out of the ordinary, driving along the smaller streets lining it reveals a dramatic twist. That is because these streets are named after several notable western and Malay operas. Streets that were inspired by western operas include Carmen Street, Tosca Street, Aida Street, Dido Street, Figaro Street, Fidelio Street, Ernani Street – and one famous ballet (Swan Lake Ave). Those that were inspired by Malay operas, or bangsawan, include Jalan Bintang Tiga, Jalan Terang Bulan and Jalan Khairuddin.
5. Cheow Keng Road
National Servicemen will chuckle at the mere mention of this road name. Cheow Keng sounds similar to chow keng, a Hokkien term used to describe feigning an illness or injury to escape one’s duties. It is most frequently used in the army for that one particular bunkmate who, without fail, will have the flu/diarrhoea/some mysterious ailment right before a major field exercise.
The road is actually named after Wee Cheow Keng, a prominent leader amongst the Hainanese community and director of the Sze Hai Tong Bank (which became a subsidiary of OCBC) back when Singapore was still under British rule.
Today, the road continues to witness bustling human traffic because of its proximity to East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road, a popular haunt for food-lovers and bar-hoppers. In turn, this has led to the market for condos around the area, such as The Modules, Studios@Tembeling and Tembeling Residence, to flourish.
Which funny road names did we miss out? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends 6 unique SG condos with gorgeously conserved buildings and 4 nostalgia-inducing en bloc exercises.
About Adam R.
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