Posted by: Michael | September 11, 2009

Can I have your company chop?

In the business world of Malaysia, you will find people asking for a “chop”. Foreign businesspeople would be totally bewildered hearing this, and would wonder what on earth these people are talking about.

They are referring to a stamp. The reason that “chop” is used to mean ‘stamp’ in Malaysia is that it is a corrupted version of the Hindi word छाप (chhaap), which means ‘seal’ or ‘stamp’.

The word ‘chop’ in English has the following meanings (from Wiktionary):

to chop (verb)

  1. (transitive) To cut into pieces with short, vigorous cutting motions.
    chop wood
    chop an onion
  2. (transitive) To sever with an axe or similar implement.
    Chop off his head.

chop (noun)

  1. A cut of meat, often containing a section of a rib.
    I only like lamb chops with mint jelly.
  2. A blow with an axe, cleaver, or similar utensil.
    It should take just one good chop to fell the sapling.

So next time you need to ask someone to stamp something, DO NOT ask them for a “chop” as that would mean that you’re asking them for a blow with an axe! Ask for a “stamp” – use the proper English word.



  1. Good work. Keep it up.

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