When words fail, use idioms… Hokkien style (2)

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
直腸直肚tit teng tit tostraight intestine and abdomendescribes someone who is straightforward and honest
變面變孔pian bin pian kangchange face change moodsomeone who gets angry when not in good mood
騙請害餓p’ian tsian hai yaofalse invitation causes hungerinsincere invitation with not enough food causes hunger
天落紅雨tin lo ang hored rain falls from the skyan impossible event
插嘴插舌tsa tsui tsa tsiinterfering mouth and tongueinterfering with other people’s conversation

First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 4 (July 21-August 3, 2015): 12.

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