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|
|長頭白日||teng t’ao pe dit||long head white day||a bright sunny day|
|財不落眼||tsai put lok gan||wealth cannot be seen||do not show off your wealth|
|過來人||ke lai lang||someone coming back||referring to an experienced person|
|吃便飯||tsia pian peng||eating ready rice||someone who does not need to work or earn a living|
|真臭骨||tsin tsao kut||smelly bone||a very lazy person|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 21 (April 5-18, 2016): 11.