Idioms...Hokkien style

When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (25)

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
熱毒天dua tak ti nhot daysummer day
馬馬虎虎ma ma ho hohorse and tigercareless, so-so
無見笑bo (bue) kian siaodon’t see a smilenot ashamed
大蛇tua tsuabig snakeone who charges an exorbitant fee
不管三七二十一bo kuan sa n tsit di tsap itdoesn’t mind 3 x 7 = 21will do it no matter what happens

First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 29, no. 5 (August 9-22, 2016): 13.