Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Ah-bin
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Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:13 pm

Sometimes there are things that are just impossible to find in a dictionary....that's why I'm making one myself!

1) There is a word "hiú" I can't track down anywhere:

Bhante Dhammvudho uses it, "bô hiú" seems kind of like "ignore"

Tapi chiàⁿ-chiàⁿ i ê ang thàn tōa-lui ê-sî a, bô hiú i liáu, khì chhōe khah-hāu-se•ⁿ ê chá-bó•

What he is saying is:

"But when her husband actually earns a lot of money, he doesn't "hiu" her any more, and goes to find a younger woman" I don't think it is the "hiu" that means "fling away"

Somewhere else he said "lang mai hiu i" meaning "let's ignore him"

2) Another word he uses is "pong-phiò" for "kidnap" which I haven't been able to find.

Then there are several words in Tan Choon Hoe's first book that have eluded me. I'll put them in his original spelling from the Malay Edition to avoid unnecessary confusion, and include the Malay definitions for reference:

3) Phauk = chubby (montel)
4) Gau keh la = calculative (pandai kira) - kira
5) Kor i = caring, considerate (ambil) is that 顧伊?
6) Lun cun = clumsy (cemerkap) Sim had an idea this was Cantonese, I think I've heard it before too
7) Huan-suan = fussy (cerewet)
8) Gau suan = sarcastic (pandai menyindir)
9) Gau keng = creative - to me this looked like "good at choosing" 𠢕揀 (the first character probably won't come out on the forum)
10) Pek theoh = white spots (panau)
11) Ji la what = pimples

I know some of these are prefixed with gau "good at" but I can't find the second syllables.

UPDATE checking through one last time before asking (I don't like to make work for people when I can do things myself) I found and worked out a few answers for myself, some of which were Malay.

4) Gau keh la obviously is gau "kira" from Malay.

7) Douglas has "Hân-soan"

"soan [R. sour, = col. sng]. hân-soan-khì, over- cautious manner of man, afraid to say yes or no, esp.from fear of expense; mean or niggardly. han-soan, id." Maybe this is a corruption of 寒酸? My Mandarin dictionary says "poverty-stricken condition (especially referring to face-loving individuals)" so the meaning

8) is soan "to make sarcastic remarks" which the Chiu Tiang-chip gives the character 訕, it could conceivably be 酸 like "acid remarks" in English

10) this must be 白something (actually I found it on my last check in the Chiang-chiu dictionary, it is pé•h-tiō 白癜 (the second character turns up in the ROC MOE input system) and "panau" means "white spots on the skin caused by ringworm". Is that the exact meaning of this word?"

11) this last one I see is from Malay "jerawat" I finally worked that out after seeing the title of the new KLPAC Hokkien play "Wa m si wa e Jilawat" but this has made me confused about the meaning as they have translated this into Mandarin as "我不是我的疮" 瘡 I always thought of as meaning an abscess rather than a pimple.

1,2,3,5,6, and 9 are still a mystery to me though.

I'd be very grateful just for the proper pronunciation and tones of the words, and to find out whether the definitions are correct.
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:20 pm

Funny how 8 and ) end up as the man in sunglasses...
niuc
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by niuc » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:56 am

1) My Singaporean friends often say this too.
2) 綁票. Interestingly although it's pángphiò in my variant & also in 台文線頂辭典, 當代泉州音字彙 list 綁 as póng.
3) In Taiwanese tv programs, I often heard "pèh-phau-phau iù-mi-mi", may be phau here is the same word.
5) Not sure, but "ambil" in Malay means to take.
amhoanna
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by amhoanna » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:37 am

Hiu3 is used in TW too. I bet TW Mand suai3 TO HEED SOMEONE comes from hiu3. Hiu3 also means TO FLICK AND SCATTER, like hiu3 cui2 after washing your hands. Technically these are too different hiu3's and two different 甩s.

5 - Could this be kou2 i3 古意?
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:54 am

Thank you both of you for the answers so far.
5) Not sure, but "ambil" in Malay means to take.
I should have written "ambil berat"! Winstedt has this "to take seriously"
5 - Could this be kou2 i3 古意?
That must be it!

Douglas has:
Kó•-ì of excellent character; good, kind, and upright.

廈門方言詞典 has:
1) 樸實厚道,憨厚 2)指熱情摯待人,好客
So it seems that the meaning is actually a bit more than just "considerate"
SimL
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by SimL » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Hi Ah-bin,

I checked this list with my parents. 10 & 11 we had spoken about previously, and I had already checked that with them too, just not got around to getting back to you about them yet.

>> 1) There is a word "hiú" I can't track down anywhere:

Not known to my parents. They know "miEn2-chai2" for ignore, as in "miEn chai i1" (= "ignore him"), with "miEn" being "don't, don't need to". This "chai2" occurs only in combination with "miEn2" - i.e. there is no such thing as *"i chai i" for "he pays attention to him".

I seem to recall that this "chai2" has been discussed previously on the Forum. "m-chai" and "mai chai" are also known, with similar meaning.

>> 2) Another word he uses is "pong-phiò" for "kidnap" which I haven't been able to find.

Both my parents know "pang3-phio3" for "demand a ransom". For kidnap, they suggest just "liah8". Perhaps "They kidnapped him for ransom" could be "i-lang liah i lai pang-phio". When said in this compound, they pronounce "pang" as (sandhi-tone) "pang1", so perhaps it is (citation tone) "pang3" (= "release")?

[I noticed later that niuc gives it as "pang2" which would also sandhi to "pang1" in Penang Hokkien, so his citation tone is probably better.]

>> 3) Phauk = chubby (montel)

Both my parents know "phauh4" for "chubby" (i.e. "-h" not "-k").

>> 4) Gau keh la = calculative (pandai kira) - kira

Both my parents agree that this is it. They say that (the pure Hokkien) "gau5-suiN3" is also very common, with the same meaning you give: "calculating"; as in "a person who is on the look out for his own personal gain, who is only willing to do something if he gets something in return". This in contrast to "kek4-suiN3", which means "someone who is uncooperative, unwilling to help others, much against doing things for other people". [The "kek4" is probably "tense", as in "kek-sai2" (= "constipation") or "kek-jio" (= "the feeling of a need to pee").] My parents pronounce it "gau5-ki3-la2", and think of it as just a rendering / complete equivalent of "gau5-suiN3".

>> 5) Kor i = caring, considerate (ambil) is that 顧伊?

Known to my father as "kO i", same tones as given by Douglas.

>> 6) Lun cun = clumsy (cemerkap) Sim had an idea this was Cantonese, I think I've heard it before too.

Both my parents confirm that this is very common PgHk. My mother continues to think that it's from Cantonese, as the two terms "lun cun phO3" and "lun cun kung2" are known to her. (I write "kung" to show that this is the "closed-o", which normally doesn't occur in front of "-ng" in Hokkien, where it is always an "O".)

>> 7) Huan-suan = fussy (cerewet)

Not known to both parents, nor is the variant with "han-".

>> Gau suan = sarcastic (pandai menyindir)

Not known to both parents.

>> 9) Gau keng = creative - to me this looked like "good at choosing" 𠢕揀 (the first character probably won't come out on the forum)

Not known to both parents in this usage. For them, "gau5-keng2" would be "good at choosing" (e.g. sweet melons from the fruit shop, nice shirts from the clothes shop).

>> 10) Pek theoh = white spots (panau)

My parents both know this, from real life as well. It's some disease which manifests itself as "white spots on the body". When I asked them, they both spontaneously showed "white spots on the cheeks", by making pointing/jabbing motions with their index fingers to their cheeks, but when I said "ah, white spots on the cheeks", they said "no, anywhere on the body". So, my interpretation of that course of events is that perhaps they are "architypically" on the face, but can be anywhere on the body. Apparently when they were young it was a common condition (for people of all ages), not seen nowadays. We speculated that it might be related to vitamin deficiency.

BTW, "pEh", not "pek", for "white" (but probably just a typo on your part, as I'm sure you know this), and they say it's "tio3/7", so no aspiration at the start, and no glottal stop at the end.

>> 11) Ji la what = pimples

When I explicitly asked them about the difference between "ji-la-wat" and "peh-tio", they said that the former were "blackheads", and the latter "white spots".
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:50 pm

Thank you Sim, that has cleared up most of them!

The Cantonese is 論盡, I finally found that in my Cantonese dictionary which has a silly Pinyin-based system. I am sure the characters have nothing to do with the meaning of the word.

I suppose the tones would be lūn-chùn since the tones of both syllables in Cantonese are 22. If this is the case then the tones fit perfectly in Penang Hokkien.
BTW, "pEh", not "pek", for "white" (but probably just a typo on your part, as I'm sure you know this), and they say it's "tio3/7", so no aspiration at the start, and no glottal stop at the end.
Actually I was just writing what Tan Choon Hoe wrote....so the -k's and -h's correspond to -h and - in POJ. He usually makes a distinction between "pek" and "paik" (pek and pé•h in pure POJ) and I thought it was odd that he didn't do it this time. His or and oh are o• and o respectively in POJ.
Mark Yong
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Mark Yong » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:19 am

Ah-bin wrote:
1) There is a word "hiú" I can't track down anywhere:

Bhante Dhammvudho uses it, "bô hiú" seems kind of like "ignore"
Hi, Ah-bin,

I have been thinking about this one for quite a while, too. There is a corresponding word in Cantonese hâu that carries the same usage and meaning, but with an additional definition "to watch someone/something closely". As to whether it shares the same character as hiú, I am not sure, but would be tempted to say that it is.

I am postulating that it is this character: (on the primary basis of the radical that it shares with , another word with a similar definition).

Here's a link to the character:
http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE7Zdic9DZdicBA.htm

In Cantonese, it is often used in the phrase "睺實佢" ("keep a close watch on him/her").

The 反切 seems to match the Cantonese, but not quite so in Minnan, though. Comments welcome.
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:21 pm

Thanks Mark, now that IS interesting.

戸鉤切 I thought 州 收 授 手 might be the same rhyme group as 鉤.

In Hakka I see it is "heu" which is a little closer in sound. I'll have to check MacKenzie/MacIver when I get back to my office.

I may just go ahead and use that character for the time-being.
Mark Yong
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Mark Yong » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:45 am

𠢕揀 are probably the correct characters for gǎu-kêng, in my opinion. I have also heard older Penang Hokkien speakers use 𠢕【?】選 gǎu-hǒan-sōan in similar contexts. Not sure if there is a subtle difference in meaning.

It's funny - although my Hokkien is primarily of the Penang variety, the first time I heard the word hiu was not from a Penangite, but from a Singaporean. And the way he used it was rather crude: 無睺卵 bǒ-hîu-lǎn! :lol:
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:56 pm

I think there actually might be a mistake in the book, as I have found 𠢕揀 as a Taiwanese equivalent of "fussy" - not of "creative" and it would make sense as "discerning" rather than "fussy" I think, which has a negative connotation.

At least now we are down to two!

I think the hoan-soan could be either 番選 or 翻選, but I still can't find them anywhere.

I found another odd one that I can't find - it's "na na" for boils..... actually I have got it now, it should be "nah-nah" but my green Chiang-chiu dictionary says this is "goosebumps" rather than boils.
niuc
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by niuc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:29 am

Ah-bin wrote: I found another odd one that I can't find - it's "na na" for boils..... actually I have got it now, it should be "nah-nah" but my green Chiang-chiu dictionary says this is "goosebumps" rather than boils.
May be this "na na" is related to "nanah" which in Indonesian means pus instead of boils?
Goosebumps in my variant is called mng5-kau5 (毛猴 according to 台華線頂辭典), to have them is called chiu*5-mng5-kau5.
Ah-bin
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by Ah-bin » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:56 am

Thank you Niuc for that.

Now I am almost 100% sure that gâu-kéng for "creative" is just a mistake. I've heard Bhante Dhammavudho and the PGHK podcast use it now, in the sense of "discerning"
SimL
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by SimL » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:46 am

niuc wrote:May be this "na na" is related to "nanah" which in Indonesian means pus instead of boils?
As far as I know, in Penang Hokkien, "boils" is "mi7-sue2" and "pus" is "na7-na2".
niuc wrote:Goosebumps in my variant is called mng5-kau5 (毛猴 according to 台華線頂辭典), to have them is called chiu*5-mng5-kau5.
We say "mO5-kui2 chang3", which I've always thought of as "hair devil stick-up". Perhaps - strictly speaking - this should mean "when the hair at the back of your neck rises, from fear", but I use it for any form of goosebumps, even when caused by cold, without any association with fear necessarily.
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Re: Penang Hokkien Vocabulary Questions

Post by SimL » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:48 pm

SimL wrote:As far as I know, in Penang Hokkien, "boils" is "mi7-sue2" and "pus" is "na7-na2".
I checked with my parents, and they both confirm this, for Penang Hokkien usage.
niuc wrote:May be this "na na" is related to "nanah" which in Indonesian means pus instead of boils?
Indeed. My parents seemed to think that "mi-sue" is also from Malay, although they don't know the corresponding Malay word. One of the reasons my mother thinks this is that she didn't use it in her original Amoy variant.

What is the Malay word for "boil", and what is the word for "boil" in your variant, niuc?
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