When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (95)

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
目中無人 bak tiong bo lang no person in his eyes a person who looks down on others
輕聲細說 k’in snia swe sê light sound, small speaking describing a soft-spoken, refined person
萬代久 ban tai ku ten thousand generation long a long time
空頭分 k’ang t’ao hun empty share share of an industrial partner
不三不四 put sam put si neither three nor four dubious, shady character
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