Idioms...Hokkien style

When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (63)

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.



tsin mm t’an,

ti ko tsue

be k’a

won’t earn money, prefer to ride a boar than a horse someone who refuse to compromise at all cost
一丸做二丸用 tsit en tsue

neng en ing

one peso used as two pesos to optimize resources to full use and make full use of things
允人卡慘欠人 un lang

k’a tsam

k’iam lang

to give one’s consent is more serious than owing someone a commitment is as good as a debt and needs to be honored and fulfilled
埠頭錢埠頭用 p’o t’ao tsin

p’o t’ao ing

money earned in a place is used in that place money earned in a place is spent there without comparing its cost to one’s place of origin
買賣算分, 相請沒論 bue buè seng hun, san tsian bo lun in buy and sale, every point counts, when treating each other there’s no issue doing business, every centavos counts but when treating friends, we don’t count costs