A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP
A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

How Hong Kong slang terms for ‘police’ have evolved over time

  • Much like the ‘popo’ of southern California, the uniform of the Hong Kong police force has informed what they are called
  • The word ‘police’ entered the English language via Latin, meaning ‘civil administration’

A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP
A Hong Kong policeman in khakhi drill at a protest outside Government House during the Black and white photo. Riot 1967 riots. Photo: SCMP
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Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim has worked in Singapore, Britain, Amsterdam and Sri Lanka, and until June 2018 was Associate Professor and Head of the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, where she still holds an Honorary position. She now is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. She is co-editor of the journal Language Ecology, founder of the website linguisticminorities.hk, and co-author of Languages in Contact (Cambridge University Press, 2016).