When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (99)

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
放狗屁 pang kao p’ui dog fart talking nonsense
含含糊糊 ham ham ho ho very vague not doing things properly or in order
序大人 si tua lang sequence people parents/elders
下消貨 ha siao heh down the drain stuff inferior quality or cheap goods
赤查某 tsiâ tsa bo rude lady describe a rough/boorish/
crude female