Cantonese slang to make you laugh until your mouth breaks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 April, 2008, 12:00am

Forget about 'delay no more', a provocative Canto-English phrase made all the rage by its use on T-shirts and other designer items by the trendy furniture and lifestyle chain G.O.D. An artist and translator has come up with a new deck of cards that has all the up-to-date Cantonese slang you could ever need or want to know.

Picture Cards of Trendy Expressions in Hong Kong Cantonese is compiled by So Realreal - probably not his real name. Some expressions in the cards will be familiar, but others are positively esoteric. Here are some gems.

San kap (God level): the highest level in a particularly tough computer game; also superior skills.

Paa fong (steak house): derived from the Cantonese for pork chops, which means unattractive women. A steak house is a place full of such females - say, a girls' school.

Sau pei (to receive skins): an insulting way to tell someone to shut up or get lost.

Ceoi seoi (to blow water): to talk nonsense, prevaricate or sensationalise - something local reporters are often accused of doing (but not at the South China Morning Post, of course).

Siu baau zeoi (laughing till your mouth breaks): something so funny it blows your mouth wide open.

Wan neoi (to warm a girl): spending so much time with a girlfriend that the person is ignoring his own friends, job or schoolwork.

Gaau je (to stir something): to cause trouble, have sex or poke fun.

Soeng nou (to enter the brain): to become obsessed with something.

Mr So's cards are available at most Chinese-language bookstores. He wrote that his one wish in life was to become an artist without becoming a pauper.