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.
|t’o hui t’o to
|spitting blood and soil
|teen tsa teen he
|adding wood and fire
|adding something to one’s story; exaggerating
|tsui bo wue kun
|mouth not covered
|talking too much without thinking
|bo xian bo se
|no sound, no talk
|someone approaching stealthily
|ke si ke wua
|playing dead and playing alive
|an untruthful act
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 19 (March 1-14, 2016): 15.