Gu niang, n. & adj.

Pronunciation: /goo niahng/
Etymology: < Mandarin lit. 'young lady' or 'young maiden'. Often associated with feminine qualities which were valued in traditional Chinese societies.

Gu niang can be used to describe both the sexes:

1. Describes (usually mockingly) a male who is soft-spoken and excessively feminine in mannerism.
"Tsk, look at how he barbecues as though he's afraid he might get burnt by the gauze! What a gu niang!"
11 January 2009. Colin Goh The Sunday Times, Lifestyle.
"Shovelling hard-packed snow is no easy task. It’s a bit like trench-digging during NS, except in the cold and without some sergeant calling you a gu niang every few minutes."

2. a. Describes a female who is very ladylike or
b. helpless and dependent on others.
"Laura, don't be so gu niang lah, just peel the prawns with your hands then go wash them!"
1 March 2001. Fiona Chan (quoting Charmaine Chua) The Straits Times, Life. "I think the stereotype of girls in the army tending to be more tomboyish is not true. We can be very gu niang."

Real examples taken from a Dictionary of Singlish and Singapore English,

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