Idioms...Hokkien style

When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (33)

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
弄阿溶故故long ah eun ko kosmashed to smithereenstotally destroyed
無深無淺bo tsim bo tsianno deep no shallownot considering how serious the situation is
骯髒死鬼am tsam si kuidirty dead bodyextremely dirty
無動無靜bo tong bo tsingno action no soundnot taking any action
天差到地t’in tsa kao tu-edifference between sky and earthimmense difference

First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 29, no. 13 (December 06-19, 2016): 13.