When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (38)

Hokkien, on the tongues of Tsinoys, has grown and evolved, taking on a life of its own. Sometimes words simply fail us. With some creativity, Tsinoys have strung together words to form colorful phrases that simply hit the bull’s eye. Here are some expressions unique to Hokkien as favored by Tsinoys.

圓頭短嘴

en t’ao te tsui round head short mouth

to describe an ugly boy or man

生銹面

sin san bin rusty face

referring to very unfamiliar faces, stranger

雙頭無一咬

sang t‘ao bo tsi ngao both head but not one is caught

doing two tasks or works at the same time but unable to achieve the goals or accomplish something

真濶氣

tsin k’ua k’i extravagant

very generous

吃飽巧好餓死

tsia pa k’a ho yao si better eat full than starve to death

better to have at least something than nothing at all

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