Idioms...Hokkien style

When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (72)

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.

出世無縛手 tsut-si bo pak tsiu hand not tied when born referring to a mischievous child
t’an tsni tiong yao, sni mia tio ko earning money is important, but one’s life has to be considered earning a living is important, but so is one’s health


siong ma bo knia, siong p’a bo li frequent scoldings results to no fear, frequent spanking becomes unreasonable a child becomes immune to frequent scolding and spanking
口字四角 kio di si kak the Chinese character mouth (口) has four corners describing someone who is capable of twisting facts for the sake of arguments
自己做先生,尻川爛一邊 kai ki tsue sian sni, ka tseng nua tsit ping a doctor himself but one side of his buttocks is rotten describing someone who likes to interfere with matters of others but unable to straighten his own problems.