Idioms in Penang Hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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timothytye
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:26 am

Idioms in Penang Hokkien

Post by timothytye » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:08 am

I have started a page to compile the various idioms I have known or come across in Penang Hokkien:
http://www.penang-traveltips.com/hokkien/idioms.htm

To these I have just added two more:

Bong3 thni1 leng1-leng4
Literally: Touch the sky and feel that it is cool
Meaning: Having an unrealistic expectation of the present cost of value, particularly in reference to elderly people.
Example: Wah4-eh3 Ma4 sniau3 kong4 cit3-pnua2-eh3 char1 koay1 teow2 ba3lu1 goh3 puat1. Ee1 kokh1 si3 bong3 thni1 leng1-leng4.
(My grandmother thought a plate of char koay teow costs only fifty cents; she's has an unrealistic expectation of the present cost of living.)

Snar3 jit3 hong1, norh3 jit3 hor3
Literally: Three days of wind, two days of rain.
Meaning: A business that doesn't operate on a regular schedule.
Example: Wah1 ai1 ciak1 Tiong3 Lor3-eh3 Ke1ling3na1 Mee3, ta3pi1 heh1-leh1 thnua1 snar3 jit3 hong1, norh3 jit3 hor3.
(I like to eat the Macalister Road Mee Goreng, but the stall operates on an irregular schedule.)

Please take a look at the idioms compiled on the page and if you have any to add, please share here!
timothytye
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:26 am

Re: Idioms in Penang Hokkien

Post by timothytye » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:05 am

Idioms newly added

Bart3ciu1 tak1 stamp4.
Literally: Eyes pasted with stamps.
Meaning: Oblivious to something totally obvious.

Boh3 tua3 boh3 seh3
Literally: not big, not small
Meaning: disrespectful
Example: Kong1 wa3 ka1 paeh3bo3 be3sai1 boh3 tua3 boh3 seh3.
(Talking to parents one must not be disrespectful.)

Erh1kau4 hor3 phang1 teng3.
Literally: The mute is stung by a bee.
Meaning: To be in distress but unable to cry out.

Chnae3mae3 kay1 tork1 tiok3 thang2.
Literally: Blind chicken pecked a worm.
Meaning: An unfortunate person receiving a lucky strike.
Example: Heh1-leh1 boh3 looi3 lang2 nya3 kiau4 siang3ka1 chnae3mae3 kay1 tork1 tiok1 thang2.
(The poor man winning the gambling game is like a blind chicken pecking a worm.)
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