When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (102)

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
pai-k’a ko ay t’at-kiu lame yet want to play football describing someone who tries to go beyond his capability
斯文人 si boon lang refined person cultured gentleman
千真萬確 tsian tsin ban k’ak thousands of truth, ten thousand accuracies to emphasize the truth of the matter
風龜短命 hong ku te mia arrogant turtle with short life warning an arrogant man that his days are numbered
新落山 sin lô snua newly down from the hill a newbie