When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (20)

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, expressionsHokkien pronunciationLiteral translationMeaning
在孝娶tsai ha tsuagetting married during the period of mourningChinese tradition of getting married within 100 days after the death of a parent or grandparent, otherwise, they must wait two years to get married.
來捯去lai to k’eecome and gomeaning give and take
空空傀傀k’ang k’ang k’ui k’uimany troublesgiving many alibis to avoid doing a task
生意腳效seng di k’a siaobusiness foota business-minded person

First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 23 (May 10-23, 2016): 13.

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