Peribahasa in Hokkien

Actually, I am supposed to write some serious stuffs but I cannot find the opening sentence to start the two pieces of thing. It is always very hard to find the right opening to the very first sentence. Whether it is the first, “Hi, my name is xyz” when you really like someone and wish to make the first move or is it the ‘One dark, stormy night…’ when you need to write an article.

Been sitting here for several hours, figuring out things. Finally, I decided that my brain cells do not have car technology in it. So, I sub-contract out the work to the next person. Why didn’t I do that earlier? Why did I get myself all worked up for two days when I can just tell my sub-contractor, “Eh, give you 30%, you go study and then tell me what it is and give me the gist of things.” My sub-contractor is merely my son lah. I don’t know anyone else who knows cars’ engine.

So, let’s talk about Penang Hokkien peribahasa. We Penangites have certain words not used by other people.

For example, the other day someone and I were talking about another one. We were grumbling about this headless chicken. And we came to the conclusion that the one word that fits the person best is ‘chneh kong lan’.

Chneh Kong Lan when literally translated means ‘in a hurry male organ’. This kind of person is always panicky, has no sense of organisation and just rush about without achieving much. Every hole he also run inside but not achieving any kind.

Penang Hokkien people have this fascination with the male organ. It doesn’t need to be human male, it can be pig’s organ, dog’s organ…

Just like ‘too lan’. Too lan means male pig’s private parts. It means feeling very, very pissed.

And then, there is the ‘kam lan’. By now, you know what lan is, right? Kam means sucking on it. It means doing something useless. Let’s make a sentence with kam lan. “Lu blog lai kam lan ah?” (meaning : You are blogging for nothing)

Incidentally, this reminds me of the secretary who accidentally bit off her boss’s lan. I am still laughing over it. I hope you didn’t missed the news which was mentioned in the Chinese papers and also in The Star.

Now, I think I have cleared my constipated brain and will go back to write serious stuffs. Otherwise, people waiting for my written piece will be grumbling, “This 5xmom kau teh ti cho mik lan.” (what is this 5xmom really doing) See? We can lan any sentence and it actually doesn’t mean much.

Then, there is the kwai lan which means very obnoxious or cheeky.

Now, boys and girls, go make some sentences with the peribahasa I taught you to see if you have learned all the right usage of the lans.

18 thoughts on “Peribahasa in Hokkien

  1. I read the secretary’s story this morning and had a good laugh!

    Next time he sked to do something, his employees can say ‘aiyoh,boh lan eh boss’!!

  2. Momo – HAHAHA, like this he cannot seh moh lan anymore, hor?

    mL – I think I should do a podcast with the right pronounciation…But then, I better not.

  3. There’s one I like to use for politicians…..”t’wah lan pah”…..big balls but for show only!

  4. Lilian, with all that drama going on in our country, better I come back here and learn more peribahasa.I have reread this article of yours several times and still can get a good laugh.What an education!!

    Btw, I always thought that TL does not mean the pig punya organ.It means an erect organ eg. lan too too. Cikgu,please correct me if I am wrong.

  5. Momo – You lagi ‘la sam’ than me. I thought it means pig mah? You mean ‘tuk’ ah? Adoi, then, very ‘chor’ wor.

  6. Lilian, that’s why cannot simply say TL one. When someone say they TL oredi, it means someone’s gonna get ‘screwed’ la! That’s why they say women cannot say TL one.

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