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)
- (transitive) To cut into pieces with short, vigorous cutting motions.
- chop wood
- chop an onion
- (transitive) To sever with an axe or similar implement.
- Chop off his head.
- A cut of meat, often containing a section of a rib.
- I only like lamb chops with mint jelly.
- 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.