First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest | 19 January – 01 February 2016, vol. 28 nos. 15-16 |
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|
|苦死||k’o si||dislike||someone getting angry if being criticized.|
|腹斗夏草繩||pak to ha tsao se||tying a twine on the stomach||describing someone who is too hungry and has nothing to eat|
|吃自己||tsia kai ki||eating oneself||meaning you are on your own with no one to assist you|
|有二步七||wu di po tsit||has two steps or seven||describing someone who shows some talents unexpectedly|
|咬牙齒根||ka tsui k’i kun||biting one’s teeth||enduring suffering or misfortune|