When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (73)

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.

請鬼醫病 tsnia kui ee pni requesting the
ghost to cure the
sickness
wrong approach to
remedy a problem
後生家仔衝高高 hao sni ke ah
tsing ko ko
young guy is
impulsive
young guy is impulsive and impudent
找鬼哭無爸 tse kui k’ao bo pe to look for ghost
and cry for losing
a father
a situation beyond
one’s means to
find a solution
相分吃有剩 sna pun tsia u tsun when food is
shared, there will
be surplus
there is always something for
everyone as long
as we are willing
to share
毋扛佛, 扛和尚 bo kang poot,
kang he-sniu
unable to
challenge the
Buddha, challengethe monk instead
picking on or
blaming the
weaker because
one is afraid
to touch the
stronger
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