Shiok is a borrowing from Malay that has acquired multiple uses and meanings in everyday Singapore English. It is an exclamation expressing admiration or approval, just like ‘cool!’ and ‘great!’ It is also an adjective that describes delicious food or a superb meal, or anything that can be considered admirable, enjoyable, or excellent.
OED editors have been able to trace the exclamative use of shiok to 1977:
Fantas. Ooh-la-la. Phew-whew. Wowie. Shiok. Jazzy, man. Beaut.
1977 New Nation (Singapore), 26 May p. 19
The food use has been dated to 1978:
Help preserve the essence of ‘shiok’ cooking!
1978 Straits Times (Singapore) 8 July p. 16 (advertisement)
And the earliest evidence of shiok as a general term of approval is from 1980:
Singlish sounds them shiok at times, wouldn’t you agree?
1980 Sunday Times (Singapore) 5 October p. 10
We feel, however, that shiok may have been used in more informal contexts before it found its way into the pages of New Nation. Can you help us by finding examples of shiok earlier than 1977?
Posted by OED_Editor on 10 May 2016 17.26