Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Sim

Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Sim »

Introduction
============

As I did with "kinship terms", I've started here a topic about "body parts". Here is a list of body parts as I know them in Penang Hokkien.

The idea of posting on this topic came up as one of many which I had after I had finished reading Henning Klöter's wonderful book "Written Taiwanese" (300+ pages). This is his PhD dissertation at the University of Leiden, and I was reminded that he was working on the topic by one of Hong's postings in the "Books"-topic.

I was fortunate enough that Henning (who has posted here in the past) sent me a copy of his dissertation. This is the "university edition", and he is presently working on the "public edition", which will (I suppose) come out later in the year. It is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get an insight into 1) "peh-oe-ji" (also known as "Church Romanization") and 2) (perhaps even more interesting) the history of the different Hanzi used for the writing of a large number of non-Mandarin - i.e. Hokkien-specific - words. It even devotes some space to the writing of Taiwanese using kana during the period of Japanese administration. I'll probably write a brief "review" of it here when the date of publication has been determined.

In Henning's book, I came across the words "au5" (throat) and "bak4 sai2" (tear). In the case of the first word, I remembered that in Penang Hokkien, we only say "na3/7-au5", never "au5" alone. In the case of the second word, I had a more detailed series of thoughts (which I wrote to Henning). This is (a slightly modified version of) what I wrote to him:

<quote>

In Penang, 'bak4 sai2' most definitely does not mean 'tear'!

I remember my father laughing at my mother when I was young, because in _her_ dialect (Amoy Hokkien), like in Taiwanese, it does mean 'tear'. In Penang, it means 'sleep' / 'Schlaf': the stuff one sometimes has at the edge of one's eyelids when one wakes up in the morning.

I feel that the meaning assigned in Penang to 'bak4 sai2' is more 'logical' because of the parallel terms: 'phi*3 sai2' (boogies, nose-pickings), hi3 sai2 (ear-wax), and plain old sai2 (****). In all these cases, it's a body secretion which is a liquid congealed into a solid (sorry for being gross!), which "sleep" is, and "tears" are not.

In Penang, the word for 'tear' is 'bak4 iu5' (literally: eye oil).

However, of course, I'm a descriptive, non-prescriptive amateur linguist, so if Taiwanese and other varieties say bak4 sai2 = 'tear', then who am I to argue! :-)

</quote>

So "na3/7-au5" and "bak4-sai2" from Henning's book made me think of the idea of posting a topic on the Forum about body parts.

I went through in my mind, from the top of the head to the tip of the toe, naming all the body parts I could think of. Then I listed the internal organs (again, from top to bottom), then body-related concepts not localized to a particular part of the body (like skin and blood and bones), and finally (for completeness!) body fluids as well. Then I supplemented these lists by looking at a number of illustrated dictionaries, to pick up some terms I had not thought of myself.

I deliberately restricted myself to "everyday terms". For example, I didn't bother to list really technical / medical body parts like "pre-frontal lobe", "cornea", "optic nerve", "biceps", "metatarsals", "aorta", "pituitary gland", etc.

I then tried to find the equivalents in Hokkien from my own knowledge. For the words I didn't know, or was unsure, I asked my parents when speaking to them on the phone. By co-incidence, my father's sister was visiting when I rang, so I was able to ask her as well. I don't think we did _too_ badly, but it _is_ interesting to note that we don't know the words for such basic concepts as "chin", "wrist", "lung", "heel", "knuckle", "ankle" and a few others. [ I should perhaps point out that my parents and aunt are all over 70, and left Malaysia in the early 1970s. Because they have basically spoken Hokkien only in the small family circle for the last 30 years (and not on a daily basis on the streets and in shops, with friends and strangers), they have forgotten some of the less common terms. They hence make a distinction between terms for which they _know_ that they don't know the Hokkien words, and terms for which they think that they once knew the Hokkien words, but can no longer remember them. ]

I've labelled the usage in my comments as "PgBHk" (Penang Baba Hokkien) and "AmHk" (Amoy Hokkien). The former is my own dialect and that of my paternal relatives, the latter is the dialect of my mother and her relatives. Of course, many of the terms described as PgBHk are also the normal terms used by non-Babas in Penang (i.e. they are simply PgHk), but in the case of some Malay borrowings (my mother could confirm that they were not AmHk), I had no way of knowing whether they were general PgHk or restricted to PgBHk. So for the sake of simplicity, I labelled all the forms known to me and my paternal relatives simply as PgBHk.

Hokkien terms unknown to my paternal relatives but known to my mother I have put in square brackets, as this initial posting is primarily meant to be on PgBHk usage. If anyone knows the original Hokkien words for the Malay borrowings in PgBHk, I'd be very interested in knowing them too (as I would of any other usage which is different from PgBHk). And of course, if anyone would take the trouble to post all the terms which my family and I don't know at all, I'd be very grateful for that too. I'm sure, after all the discussion I had with my family, that they would also be delighted to hear any feedback from readers of this Forum. Of course, when I say that a term is "unknown in PgBHk", I only mean that I, my father and his sister are not aware of its existence - it might very well be known to other native speakers in Penang who do not rely so heavily on English for many aspects of communication.

Also, if anyone thinks of Hokkien terms which do not have a common English equivalent, and which I might hence have forgotten to mention, then I'd be very grateful for feedback. For example, I was surprised to see, when checking a German illustrated dictionary, that German has a term "Rist" or "Spann" which refers to the top part of the foot, between the ankle and the toes (i.e. the anatomical equivalent - on the foot - of the "back of the hand"). I don't believe there is an equivalent in every-day English. The Hokkien words "cui*3" (whirl of hair at the back/top of the head), "teng3/7-sun5" (double eyelid), and "la3/7-ki2" (rubbed-off dead skin), see below, seem to be such words.

Note: I have to give the tone of some words as 3/7. This is because I am not aware of what the non-sandhi tone of these words is, because I don't know the word in isolation, only in the compound (or conversely, I know the word only in isolation, not in any compound). Hence I am not able to determine whether the tone changes when going from citation form to sandhi form, and hence I am unable to determine if the word is tone 3 or tone 7. If anyone would be willing to take the trouble, I would certainly appreciate feedback on which of the 3/7s are 3s and which ones are 7s.

Anyway, here goes (see next posting, this one is already too long!).

[%sig%]

Sim

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Sim »

EXTERNAL
========

hair .................... thau7-mO5 .. AmHk has of course "mng5" instead of "mO5".

head .......... thau5 / thau7-khak4 .. I believe AmHk has "thau1-khak2" instead of PgBHk
...................................... "thau7-khak4".
......................................
...................................... I suppose "khak4" here means "shell"?

forehead ............ [thau7-hiah8] .. Unknown to my PgBHk-speaking paternal relatives.
...................................... My mother says this is AmHk.
......................................
...................................... There is however the expression "khOk8-hiah8" in
...................................... PgBHk. Apparently, it means "having a protrusive
...................................... forehead", and is a physical feature which is
...................................... considered to detract from the prettiness of a
...................................... girl. So apparently the word "hiah8" is preserved
...................................... in this expression in PgBHk. However, both my
...................................... father and aunt had no idea that the "-hiah" was
...................................... related to a word for forehead. To them it was
...................................... just a fixed expression "having a protrusive
...................................... forehead", in the same way that "khiap8 si3/7"
...................................... means "ugly", without any idea what the
...................................... individual syllables mean.
......................................
...................................... My parents pointed out that it is amusing that in
...................................... (at least 19th- and early 20th-century) Western
...................................... culture, a high forehead was in fact considered
...................................... as a positive feature - (I believe) a sign of
...................................... great intelligence. For example, I found this on
...................................... the internet: "Er war v&ouml;llig nach der Mutter
...................................... gezeichnet, fein und hochstirnig, edel in jeder
...................................... Geb&auml;rde." (He was entirely the image of his
...................................... mother - fine and having a high forehead, noble in
...................................... every gesture).

(hair-)whorl ................ cui*3 .. I suppose in AmHk this would be "cng3".
......................................
...................................... I don't know if there is a common English word
...................................... for this. It's the sort of spiral of hair that
...................................... forms at the top of the head, and is one of the
...................................... first places where men start to go bald at.
......................................
...................................... Apparently, it can be proven mathematically that
...................................... if you try to cover a sphere (or sphere-like
...................................... object, like the head) with many single long
...................................... strips (the abstraction of "hairs") in a
...................................... systematic manner, then there must be at least
...................................... one point where a sort of "whirl-pool" / "spiral"
...................................... / "vortex" occurs on the surface of the sphere.
...................................... [ Obviously a "must-know" fact for future games of
...................................... "Trivial Pursuit" !!! :-) ].
......................................
...................................... Most people have only one "cui*3", but some have
...................................... two. In my childhood it was often said that
...................................... children with two were naughty. I got teased a
...................................... little by my parents and uncles and aunts because
...................................... I happen to have "nO3 e3 cui*3".
......................................
...................................... Note: A German-German illustrated dictionary
...................................... ("Der Sprach Brockhaus") gives a drawing of the
...................................... back of the human head, with the "cui*3" clearly
...................................... labelled as "Wirbel". As "Wirbel" means
...................................... "whirl"/"whirlpool", or "whorl" in German, there
...................................... is every reason to accept this as correct.
...................................... Another large German-English dictionary (Collins)
...................................... gives English "crown" for German "(Haar)wirbel"
...................................... ((hair-)whorl). Now, this is the word my father
...................................... always used if he was speaking English and wanted
...................................... to say "cui*3", but I have always been very
...................................... doubtful if this is the correct translation.
...................................... There is the well-known English nursery rhyme
...................................... "Jack and Jill went up the hill / To fetch a pail
...................................... of water. // Jack fell down and broke his crown /
...................................... And Jill came tumbling after." Now, I sang this
...................................... song as a child, and I doubted (even then!) that
...................................... Jack actually broke his "cui*3" (or even the
...................................... "spot in his skull where his 'cui*3' was
...................................... located").
......................................
...................................... In writing up this posting, I looked in the
...................................... 2-volume "Shorter Oxford", and my doubts of 30
...................................... years standing were more or less confirmed: of
...................................... the 27(!) distinct meanings of the noun "crown",
...................................... none of them refer to this whorl of hair at the
...................................... back of the head. (One of them _does_ refer to
...................................... the top part of the head or skull, which is what
...................................... I assume Jack broke).
......................................
...................................... To me, this is sufficient evidence that "crown"
...................................... is not the correct translation of "cui*3" (nor of
...................................... the German "Wirbel"), and that both my father and
...................................... the German-English Collins have got this wrong
...................................... (or if not actually wrong, that this is quite an
...................................... obscure / non-standard usage).

face ......................... bin7

wrinkle(s) ....... bin3 phue5 khiu5 .. This is one I made up (forgot to ask my family).
...................................... Literally: "face skin curled-up". If anyone knows
...................................... a better term, please let me know.

eye ............ bak8 / ba(k)4-ciu1

eyebrow ................. bak4-bai5

eyelash ........... ba(k)4-ciu7-mO5 .. I was rather doubtful about this one, but my
...................................... family assures me that it is correct.

eyelid .......................... ?

double eyelid ........ teng3/7-sun5 .. This is not really a noun which is a body part.
...................................... In English grammatical terms, I think it would be
...................................... more seen as an adjective. [ I realise that
...................................... English grammatical categories may not really be
...................................... applicable to Chinese anyway, but nevertheless, I
...................................... think the point is sort of worth making. ] One
...................................... says: "i1 e3 ba(k)4-ciu1 teng3/7-sun5
...................................... cin3-(ch)ia*1 sui2" (her having double eyelids
...................................... make her very beautiful), or: "i1 nO3 lui2 bak8
...................................... u3 teng3/7-sun5" (both her eyes have double
...................................... eyelids). [ What I'm trying to say is that it's
...................................... only the need to _translate_ "teng3/7-sun5" into
...................................... English that sort of "turns it into a noun". ]

iris ............................ ?

pupil ........................... ?

nose ........... pi*7 / pi*3-khang1 .. In "pi*3-khang1", the second syllable is
...................................... presumably "khang1" (hole). However, in PgBHk the
...................................... compound word "pi*3-khang1" does not mean
...................................... nostril, but rather just nose.
......................................
...................................... However, if I remember correctly, to refer to
...................................... "big nose", one could also say "tua3 pi*3-kOng2".

ear .................. hi7 / hi3-a2

ear-lobe ........................ ? .. My family says that such a word exists, but they
...................................... can't think of it. My aunt remembers people
...................................... saying: "i1 e3 <something>-<something>
...................................... cin7-(ch)ia*1 sui2" (i.e. "her earlobes are very
...................................... pretty", meaning: suitable - the right shape and
...................................... size - for having ear-rings), but unfortunately,
...................................... she can't remember the word itself.

mouth ....................... chui3

lip .................... chui1-tun5 .. My mother tells me that in AmHk "teng1 tun5" and
...................................... "e3 tun5" are the upper and lower lip
...................................... respectively - "teng" as in "teng1 bin7" (top),
...................................... and "e" as in "e3-te2" (bottom).

tooth ...... chu1-khi2 / chui1-khi2 .. PgBHk almost always uses the "corrupt" form "chu"
...................................... instead of "chui" in this compound word.

tongue ....................... cih8

gums ...................... gu3-si1 .. This is borrowed from Malay "gusi" (gums).

throat .................. na3/7-au5 .. As noted in the introduction to this posting,
...................................... apparently Taiwanese has just "au5", whereas in
...................................... PgBHk, it is always "na3/7-au5".

cheek ................... chu1-phe2 .. AmHk is "chui2-phue2".

...................................... 1. The "chui" is "corrupted" to "chu" in PgBHk
...................................... .. (only in compounds, see also "tooth" above).
...................................... 2. PgBHk has the tonal sandhi rule 3->1 rather
...................................... .. than standard AmHk 3->2.
...................................... 3. "phe" vs. "phue" is standard -e vs. -ue
...................................... .. alternation between Zhangzhou and Quanzhou
...................................... .. dialect.

chin .................... [e3-hai2] .. Unknown to my PgBHk-speaking paternal relatives.
...................................... My mother says this is AmHk.
......................................
...................................... "e" as in "e3-te2" (bottom). My mother is unaware
...................................... of what "hai2" means.

beard ................. chui1-chiu1 .. In PgBHk, "beard" is also often pronounced
...................................... "chiu1-chiu1" (or "chu1-chiu1"). In my opinion,
...................................... this is probably not a "doubling" of the second
...................................... syllable, because otherwise it would not have
...................................... (sandhi) tone-1, but the (sandhi) tone-7. It
...................................... seems to me to be just a "mispronunciation" of
...................................... "chui3", as this gives the expected PgBHk sandhi
...................................... tone of 1. It seems to me reasonable that the
...................................... sequence is "chui1-chiu1" -> "chu1-chiu1"
...................................... (similar to "chu1-khi" (tooth), see above), and
...................................... then "chu1-chiu1" -> "chiu1-chiu1".

moustache ............. chui1-chiu1 .. My family claims that no distinction is made
...................................... between a beard and a moustache, which seems
...................................... unusual from an English-speaking / Western
...................................... perspective.

side-burns ............ hO3/7-chiu1 .. Actually, not "just" the side-burns. The Hokkien
...................................... term "hO-chiu" appears to cover the lower part of
...................................... the side-burns, along the cheek and jaw-bone, all
...................................... the way down to the upper part of the chin (but
...................................... not the tip of the chin).
......................................
...................................... This actually corresponds to the modern meaning
...................................... of the English word "whiskers". The Shorter
...................................... Oxford says that this term in English originally
...................................... indicated the moustache, became extended in
...................................... meaning to include the beard, then restricted in
...................................... meaning to the cheeks and sides of the face (the
...................................... present meaning).

neck ................ am3/7-a1-kun2 .. I believe the AmHk form is just "am3/7-kun2". As
...................................... far as I know, PgBHk always has the diminutive
...................................... "-a1-" in this compound word.

adam's apple .................... ?

body .................. sing3/7-ku1 .. I suppose this might be "seng3/7-ku", I'm not
...................................... really sure whether it's "sing" or "seng".

shoulder ............ keng3/7-thau5

shoulder blade .................. ?

arm / hand .................. chiu2

armpit .................. ki3-tiah8 .. Borrowed from Malay. The Malay spelling is
...................................... "ketiak", but the -k in Malay is pronounced as a
...................................... glottal stop, rather than as an unaspirated or
...................................... unreleased [k], so in fact, PgBHk "ki-tiah" and
...................................... Malay "ketiak" are almost identically pronounced.
...................................... The only difference is the vowel in the first
...................................... syllable (and the fact that tones are put on the
...................................... PgBHk form, of course).

elbow ............ [chiu1-au3-ti*1] .. Unknown to my PgBHk-speaking paternal relatives.
...................................... My mother says this is AmHk.
......................................
...................................... It would seem to me that "chiu1-au7" would be the
...................................... "back of the hand", as in "au3-bue2" (the back).

...................................... My mother has no idea what "ti*1" means.

wrist ........................... ?

finger .................... ja1-li2 .. This is borrowed from Malay "jari" (finger). The
...................................... AmHk word is "cng1-thau5".

thumb ................ tua3-ki7-bo2 .. I speculate that this is "big-piece-woman". The
...................................... "tua" is obvious, "ki1" is possibly the noun
...................................... classifier for longish objects, and "bo2" is
...................................... possibly female.
......................................
...................................... My mother says that AmHk has "tua3-pO3/7-bu2".

index finger .................... ?

middle finger ................... ?

ring finger ..................... ?

little finger ......... se1-ki7-bo2 .. The "se" (small) is of course the opposite of
...................................... "tua" (big).

palm ................. [chiu1-sim1] .. Unknown to my PgBHk-speaking paternal relatives.
...................................... My mother says this is AmHk.

back of the hand ................ ?

knuckle ......................... ?

fist ............................ ? .. This is of course not really a body part. I read
...................................... in some book on Buddhism that this is actually a
...................................... verb disguised as a noun!

nail ................... cing1-kah4 .. There was some disagreement among my family about
...................................... whether the last word was -kah4 or -kak4. My
...................................... father says the former while my aunt says the
...................................... latter, although they are both PgBHk speakers.
......................................
...................................... Apparently AmHk has "cng-" and PgBHk has "cing-".
...................................... Personally, I say "cng-", but I may have picked
...................................... that up from my mother, without noticing that it
...................................... wasn't quite correct PgBHk. (Or perhaps usage
...................................... varies even in Penang.)

chest ............... heng3/7-kham2

breast .......... leng1 / nen3-nen1 .. "nen-nen" is a children's / "baby-talk" word for
...................................... breast, used by adults only when talking to
...................................... children. In my own recollection, the tones were
...................................... nen1-nen3, but my parents insist that their version
...................................... is correct.

nipple ................ leng7-thau5 .. AmHk calls it "ni7-thau5". I wonder if men's
...................................... nipples (which give no milk) would also be called
...................................... this?
......................................
...................................... This corresponds to PgBHk "gu7-leng1" vs. AmHk
...................................... "gu7-ni1" (cows milk).

back .................. pa3/7-ciah4 .. I believe AmHk has "pa1-ciah2" instead of
...................................... "pa3/7-ciah4".

navel .................... tO3-cai5 .. I suppose the "tO3" here (with sandhi tone) is the
...................................... same word as "tO7" (citation form) meaning
...................................... "intestines"?
......................................
...................................... There is a cute poem / saying which goes with
...................................... this word:
......................................
...................................... ... tO3-cai5 chim7-chim1 "navel deep deep"
...................................... ... te2 sa*7 ang1 kim1 "contains three urns gold"
...................................... ... tO3-cai5 thO1-thO2 "navel protrude protrude"
...................................... ... te2 sa*7 ang1 chai1-pO2 "contains three urns
...................................... .................... of preserved cabbage stems".
......................................
...................................... I believe it's a saying which claims to predict
...................................... whether a person will be rich or poor depending
...................................... on the shape of his/her navel. People with deep
...................................... navels are supposed to end up rich (three urns of
...................................... gold), people with protrusive navels are supposed
...................................... to end up poor (these preserved cabbage stems
...................................... being "poor people's food").

umbilical cord .................. ? .. Not strictly a body part, but seems to go well
...................................... with "navel".

waist ........................ ioh1

hip ............................. ?

? ..................... ui1/ui5/ui7 .. In answering my questions, there was a lot of
...................................... disagreement among my family about what this body
...................................... part refers to. My family (and I) are all
...................................... familiar with the term "ui3/7 thia*3", which is a
...................................... pain somewhere in the lower part of the
...................................... stomach/waist, but no one was sure where the pain
...................................... really was! My father thought it was the "small
...................................... of the back", my mother thought it was the "related
...................................... to the stomach", and my aunt thought it was the
...................................... "waist". Also, the non-sandhi tone of this word
...................................... was uncertain, because we were most familiar with
...................................... it only in this combination.
......................................
...................................... My mother claimed that there was a distinction
...................................... between "pO1-tO2 thia*3" and "ui3/7 thia*3", the
...................................... former of which she called "stomach ache", and
...................................... the latter of which she called "gastric pain",
...................................... but I had to say to her that I couldn't work out
...................................... the distinction she meant.
......................................
...................................... In fact, this discussion on body parts tended to
...................................... shift constantly into one on diseases, so I had
...................................... to keep focussing them back onto body parts,
...................................... saying: "I'm not doing diseases this time on the
...................................... Forum. We can talk about that next time"!

penis ........ lan3-ciau2 / ku7-ku1 .. I don't know exactly _how_ vulgar "lan3-ciau2"
...................................... is. It was the word we used in the school-yard
...................................... (see "vagina" below). "ku7-ku1" is the children's
...................................... / "baby-talk" word for it.

testicle(s) ............. lan3-pha1 .. Again, I don't know exactly _how_ vulgar this is.

vagina .... ci3/7-bai1 / phu3/7-ki1 .. We've covered "ci3/7-bai1" before in another
...................................... topic (and I didn't get censored, so this seems
...................................... like quite a tolerant Forum :-). It's been such a
...................................... long time since I said these words (not since the
...................................... early 1970s, when we migrated to Australia), so
...................................... I'm no longer sure of the tone of "phu3/7-ki1".
......................................
...................................... I suppose all of these words for penis, testicles
...................................... and vagina are probably quite vulgar. We never
...................................... used them when adults were present. Of course,
...................................... having learned these words in the school-yard, I
...................................... have no idea what the "formal" words for these
...................................... body parts would be. [ And I didn't really have
...................................... to nerve to ask my family about them this time
...................................... either! ]

pubic hair ...................... ? .. I suppose this would be some compound with "-mO5".

back-side / arse ...... kha7-chui*1 .. AmHk has of course the corresponding
...................................... "kha7-chng1". As far as I know, this is not a
...................................... taboo word in Hokkien, again showing a lesser
...................................... degree of prudishness in Hokkien culture.
......................................
...................................... Somewhere on the internet (perhaps even this
...................................... Forum, but I don't think so) I read what was
...................................... meant to be a humorous page. It was a series of
...................................... "Hokkien names NOT to give your children"
...................................... (because they had amusing interpretations in
...................................... English or Chinese). One of them was: "if your
...................................... surname is Ch'ng, then don't name your daughter
...................................... Monica"; i.e. "Monica Ch'ng" (feel your bum). I
...................................... have to admit that I burst out laughing when I
...................................... read this!

anus ............ kha7-chui7-khang1 .. Literally, 'back-side hole'. Intrinsically crude,
...................................... I suppose, but not in itself really a taboo word.

thigh ..................... pa3-ha1 .. This is borrowed from Malay.
......................................
...................................... When my father lived on the East Coast of Malaya
...................................... in the 1950s, he learned a Malay expression:
...................................... "bagi betis nak paha", meaning "[if you] give [a]
...................................... calf [he] wants [a] thigh", apparently the Malay
...................................... equivalent of "give him an inch and he'll take a
...................................... yard/mile".

lap ................... (pa3-ha1) ? .. My PgBHk-speaking paternal relatives are now
...................................... unsure if there is a separate word for "lap". My
...................................... father thinks there is, but can't remember it.

leg / foot ................... kha1

knee ................. kha7-tha7-u1 .. My mother says that in AmHk this is
...................................... "kha7-thau7-u1", and that the PgBHk "-tha7-" is a
...................................... "corruption" of "thau7", i.e. "head" (with sandhi
...................................... tone, of course). This seems quite reasonable to
...................................... me.

shin ............................ ?

ankle ........................... ?

toe ............... kha1 e3 ja1-li2 .. This surprises me, but my family assures me that
...................................... this is correct.

toe-nail ........ kha1 e3 ja1-li2 e .. This is presumably the phrase for it. From an
........................ cing1-kah4 .. English-speaking perspective, this seems to me
...................................... quite a cumbersome thing to have to say for
...................................... "toe-nail". [ This is similar to Germans and
...................................... Dutch finding "the-day-after-tomorrow" amazingly
...................................... cumbersome for "&uuml;bermorgen" (respectively)
...................................... "overmorgen". ]

heel ............................ ?

sole ..................... kha7-te2 .. Literally, just "leg/foot bottom", with "te2"
...................................... (bottom) as in "e3-te2".



INTERNAL
========

brain ........... nau2 / thau7-nau2 .. In animals, e.g. pigs, the word for "brain" is
...................................... just "chue2": "tu7-chue2" (pig brain). See
...................................... "marrow" below.

heart ........................ sim1 .. "sim" is the actual physical body part. When
...................................... referring to it as the seat of the emotions, it's
...................................... "sim7-kua*1" (i.e. heart-liver) as in "sim7-kua*1
...................................... thia*3" (heartache, deep sorrow), and
...................................... "chau1-sim7-kua*1" (bad-hearted, evil-hearted).
...................................... [ "chau3" has sandhi-tone 3->1 in PgBHk. ]

lung ............................ ?

liver ....................... kua*1

kidney ................... ioh4-ci2 .. Presumably, the first syllable of this compound is
...................................... the same as "ioh8" (waist).

spleen .......................... ?

gall bladder ................. ta*2 .. This is also used figuratively to mean "courage".
...................................... "u3-ta*2" (have gall) and "bo3-ta*2" (no gall)
...................................... are the usual expressions I use for "brave" and
...................................... "cowardly" respectively.
......................................
...................................... Curiously, English has a roughly similar idiom:
...................................... "He had the gall to say that to me", meaning "he
...................................... had the nerve to say that to me". However, in
...................................... English, it seems to be restricted to negative
...................................... meanings, more like the "insolence", or the
...................................... "rudeness", although perhaps a "core meaning" of
...................................... "courage" can be detected here. [ The "Shorter
...................................... Oxford" says that this is American English usage,
...................................... but I'm sure non-Americans are quite familiar
...................................... with it too. ]
......................................
...................................... My father started to explain about people eating
...................................... the gall-bladders of pythons, but I have to admit
...................................... that I chickened out and told him I'd rather not
...................................... know about it.

pancreas ........................ ?

intestine ..................... tO7

stomach ................... pO1-tO2

uterus / placenta ..... pak8-lai3/7 .. I'm unsure which one of these it is, and I forgot
...................................... to check this with my family. I only know the
...................................... term because it used to end up in noodle soups in
...................................... my childhood, and my mother told me that it was
...................................... related to the reproductive system of the female
...................................... pig, but it wasn't clear to me which part
...................................... exactly.
......................................
...................................... I never could make myself eat it!

bladder ......................... ?

appendix ........................ ?



NON-LOCALIZED
=============

skin ........................ phue5

rubbed off dead-skin .... la3/7-ki2 .. Not strictly a body part, but seems to go with
...................................... "skin". The "gunk" which comes off when you give
...................................... yourself a good scrub in the shower.

scar ............................ ? .. Not strictly a body part, but seems to go with
...................................... "skin".

scab ......................... phi2 .. Not strictly a body part, but seems to go with
...................................... "skin". If I get round to going diseases, then
...................................... "scar", "scab", "blister", "boil", "pus", "ulcer"
...................................... etc belong more properly there.

blister ............. phOng1-pha3/7 .. Not strictly a body part, but seems to go with
...................................... "skin".
......................................
...................................... The first syllable "phOng1" is presumably the
...................................... sandhi form of "phOng3" (inflated). I don't know
...................................... what "pha" means.

mole ........................ ki3/7

corn ............................ ?

callus .......................... ?

vein ......................... kin1 .. AmHk has "kun1". Interestingly, "veins" and
...................................... "tendons" appear not to be distinguished in
...................................... common speech (see below).

tendon ....................... kin1 .. AmHk has "kun1". Same word as "vein" (see above).

nerve ........................... ?

muscle .......................... ? .. My family claim that this is just "bah4" (i.e.
...................................... flesh), and that there is no specific word for
...................................... "muscle", at least, not in everyday speech in
...................................... those days.
......................................
...................................... There probably is one these days, with people
...................................... (well, perhaps only men specifically) going to
...................................... the gym in Malaysia.

flesh ........................ bah4 .. I believe AmHk has "bah2" instead of PgBHk "bah4".

bone ......................... kut4 .. I believe AmHk has "kut2" instead of PgBHk "kut4".

rib ................... pai3/7-kut4 .. I only know this from "pork ribs", as food. Is
...................................... the same term used for humans?
......................................
...................................... Also, what does the "pai" in "pai-kut" mean?

spine ........................... ?

skull ........................... ? .. There are many other terms for specific bones in
...................................... the body, but "rib", "spine", "skull", and
...................................... "shoulder blade" are the only ones I thought were
...................................... sort of "every-day" words.

cartilage ....................... ?

marrow ...................... chue2 .. AmHk has of course "che2", the standard -e vs.
...................................... -ue alternation between Zhangzhou and Quanzhou
...................................... dialect.
......................................
...................................... Also, "pig brain" as a food, is "tu7-chue2". My
...................................... father's explanation for this makes sense. He
...................................... says brain is like marrow in the sense that
...................................... marrow is a soft jelly-like substance found
...................................... inside a bone, and brain is also a soft
...................................... jelly-like substance found inside the skull,
...................................... which is a sort of bone.

joint ........................... ?

skeleton ............... kut8-thau5 .. Apparently, this is not really the word for a
...................................... "whole skeleton", in the English medical sense of
...................................... the word, but rather for a "collection of bones".
...................................... In many contexts however, such a "natural"
...................................... collection of bones (e.g. of a dog or cow, with
...................................... the flesh rotted away, in nature) would be the
...................................... natural way to say "skeleton".



BODY FLUIDS
===========

snot ........................ phi*7

boogie ................. phi*3-sai2 .. Well, not necessarily a "boogie", just dried snot
...................................... inside one's nose, but one doesn't really need a
...................................... word for it unless it is a boogie!!

ear wax .................. hi3-sai2

sleep ................... bak4-sai2 .. As mentioned in the introduction to this posting,
...................................... in AmHk, this means 'tear'. I wonder what the
...................................... word in AmHk is for 'sleep' then?

tear ..................... bak4-iu5 .. This is "bak4-sai2" in AmHk (see above).

saliva ....................... nua7

phlegm ...................... tham5 .. This is not a "real" body fluid. I suppose I
...................................... should put this one under "diseases".

blood ....................... hueh4 .. I believe that this is "huih2" in AmHk, which,
...................................... curiously, has a different tone from PgBHk.
......................................
...................................... It's interesting to note that there are a number
...................................... of words ending in -k or -h (glottal stop) which
...................................... have tone-4 in PgBHk and tone-2 in AmHk:
......................................
...................................... .. "head": thau7-khak4 (PgBHk) vs. thau2-khak2 (AmHk)
...................................... .. "back": pa3/7-ciah4 (PgBHk) vs. pa1-ciah2 (AmHk)
...................................... .. "flesh": bah4 (PgBHk) vs. bah2 (AmHk)
...................................... .. "bone": kut4 (PgBHk) vs. kut2 (AmHk)
...................................... .. "blood": hueh4 (PgBHk) vs. huih2 (AmHk)
......................................
...................................... This surprises / puzzles me all the more, because
...................................... I thought that words ending in -k or -h would all
...................................... be ru-tones, and hence could only be 4 or 8.

...................................... Or perhaps my mastery of AmHk is defective, and these
...................................... words don't have tone-2 in AmHk at all.
......................................
...................................... If anyone reading this could give an explanation,
...................................... I would be most grateful.

sweat ..................... kua*3/7

milk ........................ leng1 .. As mentioned above, AmHk has "ni1".

sperm ........................... ?

urine ........................ jio7

**** ......................... sai2

pus ............................. ? .. This too belongs more under "diseases" than "body
...................................... parts".

[%sig%]

hong

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by hong »

puki is filipina if I am not wrong.
cibai and lanba are not vulgar but it is old chinese language dating back to han period.The hanzi of it appear in most guhanyu dictionary.The hanzi for nose can be used as verb in minnan and hakka follow guhanyu.
I won't be too excited about thesis by Henning because there are books on this topic .
I will spend money on thesis for minnan grammar like (koh and chia) in minnan.lu lai lu <more and more>to explain lu.etc.Have you downloaded 8 thesis in english like that one on thioh ,etc.?You need a chinese input to enter the password.
I think it will be better for Henning to write a thesis,500 pages for Gustav Schlegel 4 volumes-5200 pages tsiang-tsiu dictionary.Give comments for any mistakes on it.Someone from taiwan did thesis on hakka dictionary written by westener.

Niuc

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Niuc »

Hi Sim :)

Thanks for your marvelous postings which let me recalled these "fundamental" things.

head: 頭 thau5, 頭殼 thau5 khak4 (our sandhi: thau3-khak4). It's also khak4 (shell) in AmHk (and others). All words that end with -p, -t, -k are either in tone 4 or 8.

wrinkles: we say bin7 pher5 liau5 (jiau5) 面皮皺

eyelash: we say bak8 cia4 mng5 目[?]毛 (will look for the character for cia4 later)

nose: Sim, is it really pi*7 in PgBHk? It's phi7 in ours

tooth: in certain context can be also 牙 ge5

gum: khi2 hua*7 齒(岸?)

throat: we use both na7 au5 and 喉 au5

chin: 下顎 e7 hai5, hai5 = jaw

adam's apple: if I remember it correctly, we call it 'kiat3-a0' 結仔 (cf. Mandarin 喉結)

body: in our dialect is sin1 khu1 身軀

shoulder: 肩頭 kai*1 thau5 in ours

armpit: 胳下空 ko3 e7 khang1

wrist: 手腕 chiu2 ua*2

There was some threads discussing fingers' names http://www.chineselanguage.org/forum/re ... reply_1118

fist: 拳 kun5, 拳頭 kun5 thau5 (also means martial arts in our dialect), 拳頭母 kun5 thau5 bu2

chest: usually I just say hing1 胸

breast: we pronounce it as lin1 or ne1 奶

back: we call it ka1 cia4 [?]脊

navel: usually we say pu4 cai5 [?]臍

hip: I don't think we differentiate between hip and arse.

胃 ui7 = stomach (digestive organ)
腹[?] pak4 to`2 = belly, stomach as an abdomen
Our usage on ui7 thia*3 and pak4 to`2 thia*3 is similar to your mother's description.

thigh = 腿 thui2, 跤腿 kha1 thui2

ankle = 跤目 kha1 bak8

toe = 跤趾 kha1 cai*2/cing2

heel = kha1 au3 ti*1, kha1 au3 to`2

lung = hi3 肺

It's true that io1 in kidney (io1 ci2 腰子) = io1 waist.

spleen = pi5 脾

pancreas = I think that pancreas is chio2. As a kid I liked to eat ty1 chio2 (pig's pancreas?)

to`7 肚 can be stomach or intestine. tng5 腸 is intestine.

pak4 lai7 腹內 = internal organs

uterus = si*1 tng5 生腸 (literally: intestine to give birth)

bladder = pong5 kong1 膀胱

I think that la3/7-ki2 (rubbed off dead-skin) in PgBHk is from Malay "daki". We call it san1.

tear = bak8 sai2 in ours, bak8 iu5 in our dialect means "oily" tear, as when eyes catch smoke or because of some disease.

[%sig%]

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

Sim and Niuc

Both of you have done a good job in describing the parts of our body. May I add the following using the "e-mng" accent:


About "tear":

When one cries, one "lau5 bak8 sai2", i.e., tears flowing out profusely.
When one's eyes catch some smoke or dust, one "lau5 bak8 iu5", i.e., tears flowing out in a small quantity in reaction.
The sticky stuff that sticks on the side of the eye and eyelashes is "bak8 sai2 ko1" or simplified as "bak8 sai2" which is the same as for "tear" but which is also easily distinguished judging from the usage context.

About "hair-whorl": "cng" should be in tone 7. Interestingly the Chinese character I found in the dictionary for this is "旋".
(I think Sim may have a problem to distinguish tone 3 and tone 7 as he mentioned before in this forum since in Penang Hokkien, these two tones are quite indistinguishable as confirmed by Andrew Yong.)

"Wrinkle": bin7 phe5 "jiau5" or "liau5"

"eyelash": bak8 mng5, bak8 ciu1 mng5 or bak8 ciap8 (睫) mng5 are all acceptable

"double eye-lid": teng5 sun5

May I add also "eyeball": bak8 jin5 (or lin5), bak8 ciu1 jin5 (lin5)

"ear": our family call it as "hi*7" or "hi*7 khang1": the same for "nose", "phi*7" and "phi*7 khang1", both with nasal intonation.

"chin": we say "e7 tau2"

"tooth": "chui3 khi2" is a general term for all teeth, "ge5" is for those in front, e.g., "mng5 ge5" , and the big ones behind meant for grinding the food are called "au7 can1"

“gums": khi2 hua*7

"arm": chiu2 gut4

"finger": chiu2 cai*2 or cng2 thau5 a0

"nail": cng2 kah4 (I think "kah4" is more appropriate since the Chinese words are 指甲, "kak4" means "horn" 角)

May I add also "knuckles": ciu2 bak8

and also the part between the thumb and the index finger: hO2 khau2

"breast": ni1 (leng1 is Ciangciu accent and lin1 is Cuanciu accent)

"nipple": ni1 thau5

"back": ka1 cia4, ka1 cia4 phia*1

"umbilical cord": tO7 cai2 tua3 or simply cai2 tua3

"lap": there is no equivalent in Chinese. It usually refers to the top of the thigh or the knee

"hip": kha1 chng1 phue2 (it's like chui3 phue2)

"shin": kha1 liam5 (the bone part in front), kha1 tO2 (the muscle part behind)

"toe": kha1 cng2 thau5

"toe nail": kha1 cng 2 kah4 or kha1 kah4

"heel": au7 ti*1

Sorry, I need to go now, will continue another time.

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

"pancreas": chio4

"intestines": tng5

"stomach": tO7, ui7

"abdomen" (stomach and intestines): pak4 tO2

"uterus": si*1 tng5, cu2 kiong1 (子&#23467;)

"placenta": thai1 pua*5

"bladder:: jio7 (or lio7) gui1

"appendix": bong5 tng5

"rubbed off dead skin" (or dirt on the skin): sian1

"scar": pa1 jiah4 (liah4)

"corn": lan1

"callus": same as corn

"nerve": sin5 keng1

"muscle": general term is similar to flesh, bah4. and the lumps that can be displayed, kian3 (腱)

"rib": lek4 kut4 (肋骨)

"spine": kut4 cui1 (骨椎)

"skull": tau5 khak4 ua*2 (head shell bowl)

"cartillage": nng2 kut4 (soft bone)

"joint": guan1 jiat4 (&#20851;&#33410;)

"skeleton": kut4 keh4 (骨骼)

"sperm": siau5, jing1 ek8

"stool": sai2 (屎), pun3 (&#31914;), pui5 (肥, meaning fertilizer)

"pus": lang2 (&#33043;)

Sim

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Sim »

>> Have you downloaded 8 thesis in english like that one on thioh ,etc.?
>> You need a chinese input to enter the password.

I am (at the moment) completely crippled when it comes to Chinese sites, because I can't read Chinese. I can't even type in usename and password because I don't even know what all the labels to the boxes mean.

On some of the links you give, there are sometimes drop down boxes, but I can't work out the meanings of the options either. So for me, it's like looking at a site in Russian or Arabic, even if the articles they refer to are in English.

All this will be better in a few years, when I have done some Chinese lessons.

Cheers,
Sim.

[%sig%]

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

More items of parts of the body that I might have missed out:

"eyelid": bak8 phe5

"temple": pin7 pi*1

"nape of the neck": au7 au1

"spine": other than "kut4 cui1", it can be simply called "ka1 cia4 kut4" (back bone), and the part at the waist position, "io1 kut4" (waist bone, e.g, back pain is described as "io1 kut4 sng1" or "io1 kut4 thia*3")

"testicles": lan7 hut8

"scrotum": lan7 pha1

"foot": kha1, top part is "kha1 pua*5" and bottom "kha1 tue2"

hong

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by hong »

Dear Sim,
Just let me know your email.I will send one by one the thesis in english by attactment format (400 k)
I will start with Grammaticalization of tioh in Taiwanese southern min. .

Niuc

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Niuc »

Hi Casey

Thanks for your postings that reminded me of character 睫 for ciap4/cia4, also for au7 can1 and ho`2 (bu2) khau2 虎母口.

chin: we also say e7 tau2 beside e7 huai5 (I have checked with my mom that indeed we usually say huai5 instead of hai5)

cheek: usually we say chui3 pi*1 嘴邊, sometimes chui3 phui2 嘴[面比]

hip: kha1 chng1 pi*1 尻川邊 or kha1 chng1 phui2 尻川[面比]

correction-> kha1 au7 to`2 is not heel but = kha1 to`2 = lam2 to`2

pancreas: Casey is corret, it's chio4 instead of chio2. Btw Douglas' dictionary says that chio4 is for pig, i5/i8 胰 for cow/sheep, no references for human.

appendix: we call it bang5 tng5 盲腸

rib: can we use pai5 kut4 排骨 for human's rib?

[%sig%]

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

This is the last portion that I missed previously:

"pupil" & "iris": dong5 jin5 (lin5)(瞳仁). I think these terms are not distinguished in Minnan dialect, the dark part of the eyeball is called "O1 jin5", the white part, "peh8 jin5".

"the area surrounding the eye": bak8 khO1, e.g., the boy is about to cry, his "bak8 khO1 ang5 ang5" the surroundings of the boys eyes are red; he did not sleep well last night, look at his eyes, "bak8 khO1 O1 O1".

"earlobe": hi7 cu1 (ear pearl) or hi7 tui7 (耳&#22368;)

"shoulder blade": png7 si5 kut4 (literally rice spatula bone because of its shape being like a spatula). It may also be called "keng1 ka4 kut4" directly from the term 肩胛骨.


Niuc

About "pancreas", chio4 is actually for animals, for human it should be "yi5".

About "rib", pai5 kut4 is more for animals, for human, colloquially it may be called "heng1 kham2 kut4" (front) and "phia*1 kut4" (back) but "lek4 kut4" is more appropriate.

Oh yes, about the nasal intonation of "ear" and "nose", I checked up two dictionaries and both indicated the same, that "ear" does not have a nasal
intonation but "nose" does. Thus they should be pronounced as "hi7" and "phi*7" respectively.

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

While washing my hair, just remembered the following terms in relation to hair:

"bundled hair": thau5 cang1

"pig-tail": thau5 cang1 be2l

"dandruff": thau1 phO1

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

Oops, sorry for the typo-mistakes, they should have been:

"pig-tail": thau5 cang1 be2

"dandruff": thau5 phO1

Casey

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Casey »

It looks like the list can still keep on growing. I just thought of another term:

"dimple": jiu2 khut4 (wine hole)

Yisheng

Re: Parts of the Body in Hokkien

Post by Yisheng »

Hi Niuc,

I have a question here. I was reading through your post and I found that you wrote 皮 as pher and 豬 as ty. What is the difference in pronunciation between the vowels in these two words?

thanks

yisheng

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