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.
|好心被雷撞||ho sim t’o
|kind hearted but still got hit by thunderbolts||doing good to someone and yet is misunderstood or misinterpreted|
|monkey feet, slippery hands||describing person who moves with awkward agility|
|窮人無富親||kieng lang bo pu tsin||poor people without any wealthy relatives||poor people are avoided by wealthy relatives|
|千家富不能蔭得一家窮||tsuin ke pu bue eem tit tsit ke kieng||thousand wealthy families cannot share with one single poor family||wealthy families do not help the poor ones|
|急驚風遇著慢郎中||kip kieng hong bu tiô ban long tiong||acute illness meets slow doctor (long tiong, old way of addressing doctor)||describing someone who doesn’t quickly respond even in an emergency situation|