When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (56)

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.

孩子愛年兜,

大人亂糟糟

gin-na ai ni-tao, tua-lang duan tsao tsao children like New Year, adults are in a mess describing children are worry-free while parents bears all the burden
送番薯回芋 sang han-tsi he oo give sweet potato, receive taro give something and receive something in return, proper behavior of reciprocity
新屎礐,

好放屎

sin sai-hak,

ho pang-sai

new toilet, comfortable pooping everything new is nice and good to use
雞蛋密密,

也有縫

kue-neng bat bat, ah u p’ang egg is sealed but has unseen slit nothing can be kept as absolute secret
人說毋聽,

鬼叫趕緊走

lang kong um t’ian, kui kio kuan kin tsao not listen when a person talks but quickly runs when a ghost calls tendency to listen to others rather than one’s own family
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