When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (62)

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.

人吃米粉

你喊燒

lang tsia

bi-hoon

di huâ sio

you’re shouting it’s hot when someone else is eating the bihon to meddle in other people’s business
打折腳骨倒勇 p’a tsi k’a koot to yiong broke the foot but became stronger instead blessing in disguise
銀白,心肝黑 goon pê,

sim kuan oh

silver is white,

heart is black

people blinded by or become greedy because of wealth
有錢人,

乞丐命

oo tsin lang,

k’it tsia mian

wealthy person, beggar’s life wealthy person who lives miserably like a beggar due to misfortune in life
欲得錢,

毋得生命

bê tî tsin,

um tî si mian

wants money,

doesn’t want life

one who works too hard and overlooks his health
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