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|
|在孝娶||tsai ha tsua||getting married during the period of mourning||Chinese 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’ee||come and go||meaning give and take|
|空空傀傀||k’ang k’ang k’ui k’ui||many troubles||giving many alibis to avoid doing a task|
|生意腳效||seng di k’a siao||business foot||a business-minded person|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 23 (May 10-23, 2016): 13.