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|
|重頭輕||tang t’ao k’in||heavy head light end||off-balanced objects|
|輸阿脱褲||su-ah t’eng k’o||losing everything including the pants||utterly defeated|
|一元打十八結||tsit yin p’a tsap pue kat||one peso is tied with 18 knots||thriftiness|
|壞阿流汁||p’ai-ah lao tsap||rotting fruits with oozing juice||extremely bad|
|出土||tsut t’o||out of the earth||show ignorance|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 29, no. 6 (August 23-September 5, 2016): 15.