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|
|花吧泥貓||hu-e pa ni niao||flowers not arranged||colorful but mixed up and uncoordinated|
|應嘴應舌||in tsui in tsi||answering with mouth and tongue||answering back impolitely|
|三心兩意||san sim neng ee||three hearts, two ideas||indecisive|
|誠心||sing sim||true heart||religious, devoted, sincere|
|理尾婆||di beh po||lady who incessantly butts in||annoying, intrusive, unladylike person|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 29, no. 11 (November 1-14, 2016): 13.