Idioms...Hokkien style

When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (92)

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.

Idioms, expressions Hokkien pronunciation Literal translation Meaning
死坐活吃 si tse wâ tsiâ sitting dead,
eating alive
describing one who is too lazy to earn a living, yet survives through help of others
無腳無手 bo k’a bo tsiu no feet, no hands a helpless situation
薑還是老的辣 kniu ya si lao eh duâ ginger gets spicier as it ages the older one gets, the more experienced he is
tsit ting p’e pao tsit ting kut one layer skin covers one layer bone a thin person; skin and bones
給蚊仔腳踢著 ho bang-nga-k’a t’at tio kicked by the foot of a mosquito having a bad day when everything goes wrong