*A good exposure to the Cantonese dialect is required to understand this article.
Consider adopting some of these phrases into your everyday conversation to inject some humour into your communication with friends. Saying funny things helps break the ice. In fact, how often we make others smile or laugh is correlated with how much people like being with us (apart from our character and personality) 🙂
People mountain people sea = ‘yan san yan hoi’
Usage – to describe a place which has a very huge crowd
E.g. – Today is public holiday… you want to go to Mid Valley ah? People mountain people sea lah!
Blue man old dog = ‘lam yan lou gau’
Usage – to describe a grown man in the macho sense
E.g. – I blue man old dog, scared of what?!
Seven early eight early = ‘cat jou bat jou’
Meaning – very early in the morning
E.g. – My wife lah… seven early eight early on a Saturday woke me up to go for dim sum!
Talk three talk four = ‘gong sam gong sei’
Meaning – to talk about useless stuff
E.g. – Don’t talk three talk four, quickly do your work!
Ghost ghost rat rat = ‘gwai gwai shue shue’
Meaning – to behave in a suspicious manner
E.g. – What are you up to huh?! You’ve been ghost ghost rat rat the whole day!
Eat rice don’t know rice price = ‘sik mai em ji mai gar’
Meaning – not understanding the real situation although one is directly involved in it/affected by it
E.g. – What?! All the while you’ve been thinking the policy is meant for our benefit? You eat rice don’t know rice price!
No head no tail = ‘mou tau mou mei’
Meaning – one’s description of an event/story lacks proper structure/flow
E.g. – I don’t get it at all. What you talk has got no head no tail lah!
Big fish big meat = ‘dai yu dai yuk’
Usage – to describe a person who eats expensive meals
E.g. – Doing very well in your business ah… every day big fish big meat.
Wind still wave quiet = ‘fung peng long jing’
Usage – to describe a peaceful environment
E.g. – What a relief… despite the ‘war’ between my wife and my mother last night, it’s wind still wave quiet at home today.
Don’t know sky high land thick = ’em ji tin gou dei hau’
Meaning – not perceiving the reality or understanding the real extent/seriousness of a particular matter
E.g. – Don’t blame him. He’s just too young… doesn’t know sky high land thick.