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|
|鼠牛虎兔||chi gu ho t’oh||rat, cow, tiger, rabbit (first four animals of Chinese zodiac )||meaning various walks of life; used derogatively to describe a bunch of unscrupulous people|
|放狗屁||pang kao p’uì||dog excrement||talking nonsense|
|歹剃頭||p’ai t’i t’ao||hard to shave head||to describe people who are extremely hard to deal with|
|艱苦有日||kan-k’o wu dit||hardship has its day||expecting challenging times|
|成物不毀||sing-boot put hui||finished items not destroyed||all things must not be destroyed|