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|
|飯桶||pung t’ang||rice barrel||to hint that someone is worthless and unproductive|
|tsit dit tsian-t’ao sna-dit yan-tao||cut hair one day, handsome for three days||teasing someone who just had a new haircut|
|無頭神||bo t’ao sin||headless deity||absent-minded|
|tsit sin di-tsat-lak te kut-t’ao bo sna tsia tsing||a body with 206 bones not properly connected||describing someone who is not coordinated or agile|
|一舉兩得||it ki dion tiak||one action, two gains||killing two birds with one stone|