January 29, 2007

‘beh hoo’

Hokkien. Literally translated as ‘to monger fish/fishes’. Actual use: As an adjective to describe someone who obviously couldn’t dance, but would do it consciously to impress his friends/others.

Eg: “Oh my god, check that guy out… damn ‘beh hoo‘… [proceed to laugh like a hyena]”

Unable to see the connection? Never mind, it isn’t a real term. That was actually a term coined by a buddy of mine many years ago. The story’s like this – the guys and I used to frequent to this same pub every weekend – and each time we go there, there’s always this strange bloke who would dance like there’s no tomorrow in front of the DJ platform. Non-stop and always alone. He would order a bottle of beer and that’s it. That beer would fuel him for the whole night. No friends or mates, just beer and a lot of goofy dancing.

Many people there weren’t too happy about him though. That was because of the way he took up space when he dances, you know, like he was possessed by the propeller demon or something. He’d mow down anything that came in front of him – tables, stools, glasses and hell, even unsuspecting new waitresses (the seasoned ones would stay out of ‘his space’). There was once he got dragged out by a couple of bouncers for flailing his arms too hard endangering other patrons. And as for us, we were like sitting pretty much right across where he was and when the things on our side got a bit bland, he’d be our alternate source of entertainment. (in a way, it’s funny)

So how did this ‘fish mongering’ phrase come into view? Well, that friend of mine once visited an aquarium pet shop and saw Mr.Possessed working as a helper there. When we met up next, that friend told us about it and then we all started to duly refer him as ‘the guy who works at the fish shop’ – ‘the beh hoo guy’. But of course, that’s not the exact description for what he actually does for a living – ‘beh hoo‘ actually means ‘to monger fish’ in Hokkien. But the name eventually stuck and that was how we conceived that term permanently. So, whenever we see a really bad dancer who dances skankily to beckon for attention, we will exclaim “Man… that guy is damn fucking ‘beh hoo‘!”


I was at this local club (wasn’t really a club, but more like a pub with souped up bass speakers… a club-wannabe) with the guys on the weekend and saw a young lad at a table next to ours who reminded us very much of that ‘Mr.Possessed’. You know, exaggerated dance moves… and everything else that makes you cringe in horror. But the problem was, he didn’t realize that. He thought he was good, but he was not. He was clumsy and pathetic. (just like some of those really horrible auditionees in American Idol who think they’re the next champion) From one glance, you’d be able to tell that he is an attention seeker who is trying to fit in… but in his desperate bid to do so, he sort of created quite the opposite effect.

I wonder what makes him think that being able to dance can boost his popularity amongst his friends. Like, would his friends really go nuts about him simply because he CAN dance? Is that what it takes to be a ‘fun’ guy? Someone who can shake and flail – being a ‘beh hoo‘ – never mind how silly he looks? It escapes me, man.

[Hate to break this to you, kids – it is unlikely that your friends enjoy your company simply because you can daaaance. If your friends like you because you can daaaaaance, then you have a problem. They probably want you to be around to share the booze bills – while you’re sweating yourself away dancing like a sohai, they’d laugh at your ass while getting intoxicated themselves. So, wake up.]

michaelooi  | what I saw  | 

8 Comments to “‘beh hoo’”

  1. joeKEW says:

    Now i know what i should call my so-called “prince Q-bar” or “prince Zouk” [names of clubs in KL] ‘friends’, beh hoo!!!!! lol! i find your discovering very useful to me. coz they always daaaance like “stepping on dog’s poo” style which really annoys me, and even self declared themselves as de prince of bla-bla which ever clubs they go. sux….

  2. anas says:

    hahaha…reminds me of one bloke at Passion…’beh hoo’ing in front of the dj, there’s also another regular beh hoo at zouk kl…

    terima kasih, hari ini saya belajar satu perkataan baru dari en. michael…

    p/s: kalau dalam bahasa melayu, saya memanggil orang2 seperti ini
    ‘orang huru hara’

  3. Makes me glad that I chose to be a headbanger rather than a epileptic patient.

  4. michaelooi says:

    joe – Hahah, now you can tell them that they’re just acting like a fish monger…

    anas – In BeeEm, it should be called – penjual ikan ler…

    swallow – Used to headbang when I was a teenager before. It’s always a blast to headbang the whole night with my buddies… but would always pay everything back waking up the next morning suffering neck pain and severe headaches…

  5. joeKEW says:

    i told them alrdy, amazingly they thought that i was praising them. *sweat*

  6. Oh, you’re actually supposed to move your whole body in symmetry with your head, not just the neck. Almost got whiplash on one too many occasions.

  7. Bonnie_Clyde says:

    That’s how the locals in Thailand dance too! Non-stop till 11pm when the pub closes!

  8. bodicea says:

    shit. yes! good term to use on this uber horny stoner (those silent sort of perverts who’d just hit on anything with boobs but won’t go public about it…very very stalkish.) who used to hit on me and a whole bunch of girls.

    he dances like he’s MJ on orgasm.

    fuck. ew. beh hooooooooooooo

    suddenly, that reminds me of Hard Gay. must be the “hoo”. heh.

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