Humour plays an important role in making and mediating human relationships. While scholarship on workplace humour is voluminous, there is scarce literature on interactional humour in non-Western yet culturally diverse settings. This article looks at humour in multi-ethnic Singaporean workplaces employing both citizens and temporary migrants, with a particular focus on blue collar and service workers. We argue that Singlish forms a linguistic and aural humour template for workers to bridge significant language, racial and cultural differences through language play that is devoid of the aggressive disparagement humour that frequently characterizes shop-floor humour in the Anglosphere. What evolves is a humorous metrolingua franca (Pennycook, A., and E. Otsuji. 2015. Metrolingualism: Language in the City. London: Routledge.) that is specific to the way everyday multiculturalism operates in diverse Singaporean workplaces.
- Everyday multiculturalism
- interaction humour