When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (97)

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
良心出現 diong sim tsut hian kind heart appears refers to being conscience stricken
青梅竹馬 tsin mui tiok ma green plum and bamboo horse a boy and a girl who were very close since childhood
文不對題 boon put tui twe the writing doesn’t match the title talking or writing something out of the topic
清一色 tsing it siak tidy up in one color uniform or identical in thoughts and appearance
無深無淺 bo tsim bo tsian not deep not shallow things done in just right manners
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