Hokkien, on the tongues of Tsinoys, has grown and evolved, taking 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|
|三足花跳||sa kha hue thiao||three feet hopping||describes someone walking and skipping as if dancing|
|輕聲小說||khin sia sueh se||speak softly||to talk softly with good manners|
|有頭無尾||wu tao bo be||have a head but no tail||to start doing things but does not complete the tasks|
|五腳出現||go kha chut hian||fifth foot revealed||secret or evil is revealed|
|姑生死||ko seng si||selfish||describes someone who is very selfish|
First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 3 (July 7-20, 2015): 13.