When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (40)

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.

糊里糊塗

ho di ho toh carelessness

carelessness, unorganized, confused

臭鷄

tsao kue smelly chicken

to describe someone lousy, inferior skills, new hand

無明無朗

bo bing bo lang not clear

topsy-turvy, thoughtless

有空無榫 woo k’ang bo soon  mortise without tenon (dowel), or slot without tab to describe futile effort because it won’t achieve any results

豬哥做馬騎

ti ko tsue beh k’ia riding a boar to substitute for a horse

meaning to save, salvage in time of desperation

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