August 26, 2004

Prince of Wales Island

I have been living in Penang all my life – also known as “The Prince of Wales Island”, it is an island which has been dominated by the Hokkien clans of the Chinese race. Most people here speaks the Hokkien dialect. It is the colloquial communication medium in Penang… and it has been like this for almost a century (ever since the Chinese came to Malaya to mine for tin ores)

But then, the Hokkien dialect in Penang does not sound a wee bit like those originated from China. It is entirely different from the original. Why? Well, that’s because Penang’s a multi-cultural place and over the years, the Hokkien dialect has somehow evolved into something different… into almost like an entirely new language itself. Slangs and shits like that.

Just like what the Americans did to the original King’s English.

So, in conjunction with our national day, I would like to share some of the most commonly used Hokkien slang in Penang… in hope that it will promote better understanding about the unique cultural establishment here…

“kan keh”
direct translation – ‘fuck chicken’.
actual meaning – referring to someone who’s cynical and selfish, not willing to take even the slightest risk of anything.
eg: “Leh ma ler ! Ah Seng kau giak kan keh ah ..”
[translation: “Your mother ! Ah Seng is damn timid !”]

“kiong kan”
direct translation – it actually is a short form for “ki ho lang kan”, which means, ‘go get yourself fucked by someone’.
actual meaning – an exclamation that is used to vehemently protest against any disagreement or illogical statements.
eg: “Kiong kan lah ! lu sio kong lim peh be hiau si boh ??”
[translation : “Kiong kan lah ! You think you can fool me ??”]

“bak moy”
direct translation – ‘pork porridge’
actual meaning – to undergo the complete and permanent cessation of all vital functions; i.e. die
eg: “Eh ! Lu lang cai boh ? Ray Charles bak moy liao !”
[translation : “Eh ! Did you guys know ? That Ray Charles is dead !”]

“loo siao”
direct translation – ‘rub sperm’
actual meaning – to riot, to rebel, make trouble or go ballistic. Can be used as adjective, verb or noun.
eg: “That char bor, si peh loo siao, tiam tiam chueh soo …”
[translation : “That woman, damn rebellious, always look for trouble..”]

“char siao”
direct translation – ‘fried sperm’
actual meaning – to disturb or to vex someone
eg: “Mai char siao lah !”
[translation : “Don’t disturb me !”]

“kuai lan”
direct translation – ‘suave dick’
actual meaning – adjective to describe a very cheeky or obnoxious person.
eg: “That si ginna si peh kuai lan.”
[translation : “That kid is damn obnoxious.”]

“apong sin”
direct translation – ‘pancake spirit’ (pancake is also the secondary meaning for vagina)
actual meaning – a person who’s fawning over any females and willing to do anything for them.
eg: “Ah Piang kau giak apong sin. Peng eu kio chut, boh eng. Char bor kio chut, eh poey…”
[translation : “Ah Piang damn ‘pancake spirit’. When his friends ask him out, always busy. But when girls ask him out, he’ll literally fly out”]

“ciu cheng”
direct translation – ‘hand gun’
actual meaning – an adjective to describe someone that is unskillfully clumsy, delinquent and fucked up.
eg: “Si tua pui, kau giak ciu cheng. Chia pun beh hiau park.”
[translation : “That fat ass damn fucked up. Don’t even know how to park a car”]

“tu lan” (also known as T.L.)
direct translation – ‘pig’s dick’
real meaning – hatefully dislike or angry; pissed.
eg: “Kua tiok ee eh bin … pun tu lan.”
[translation : “It pissed me off even by just a glance of his face.”]

“kam lan”
direct translation – ‘to fellate’
real meaning – an expression added into questions – to denote something ridiculous or defies logical understanding.
eg: “Lu choaa lu eh bor chut lai kam lan aa ??”
[translation : “Why the hell do you bring along your wife ??”]

“loh tee”
direct translation – ‘bread’ (comes from the malay word “roti”)
real meaning – an adjective to describe a very slutty, chintzy and promiscuous female being. Highly derogatory.
eg: “Ah Piang eh chat loh si peh loh tee. Goh lui chap pek tau”
[translation : “Ah Piang’s girl is a goddamn slut. Five cents for eighteen times”]

Of course there are more. These are just the common ones and is good enough for you to understand more about Penang. It’s a beautiful place.

Related links:
Prince of Wales Island II
Prince of Wales Island III
Prince of Wales Island IV

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | 

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