About the Dictionary

This dictionary will help Hong Kong people who are unable to find words like “shroff” in a dictionary but they are certain that they spelled it correctly. It will also help people new to Hong Kong understand what a “shroffing hours” are supposed to be.


This book is the first dictionary of Hong Kong English and one of the few non-native variety dictionaries of English. It includes only words and word senses that are particular to this variety or have a specific reference to Hong Kong, and thus contributes to legitimizing Hong Kong English as a variety in its own right. While the main focus is on contemporary language use, from all domains of Hong Kong life, historical terms and references are covered as well. Entries are designed according the state of the art in lexicography and show pronunciation, source language, frequency, authentic usage, and cultural conceptualizations. As additional features, the dictionary provides a brief history of Hong Kong English, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, historical place names and their current equivalents, words of Hong Kong origin now in international use, as well as further reference material.


Patrick J. Cummings has been teaching both English and science in Hong Kong for more than a decade. His current research interest is assessment vocabulary for second language learners of English.

Hans-Georg Wolf is chair professor for Development and Variation of the English Language at Potsdam University, Germany. His research interests include sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, and pragmatics. Currently, his main focus lies on the application of cognitive sociolinguistics to the study of varieties of English.


Adrian Petyt has been teaching English and doing educational illustrations in Hong Kong for more than a decade.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • English in Hong Kong
  • A Guide to Pronunciation
  • References and Suggested Further Readings
  • A Guide to Frequency
  • Common Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Hong Kong Dictionary
  • Appendices
    • Cultural Conceptualizations
    • Name Changes in Hong Kong and Neighboring Asia
    • Hong Kong English Words Now Used Internationally
    • Sources of the Text Examples
    • Maps


If you have questions: DictionaryofHongKongEnglish at Gmail dot com