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|
|弄阿溶故故||long ah eun ko ko||smashed to smithereens||totally destroyed|
|無深無淺||bo tsim bo tsian||no deep no shallow||not considering how serious the situation is|
|骯髒死鬼||am tsam si kui||dirty dead body||extremely dirty|
|無動無靜||bo tong bo tsing||no action no sound||not taking any action|
|天差到地||t’in tsa kao tu-e||difference between sky and earth||immense difference|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 29, no. 13 (December 06-19, 2016): 13.