A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger
A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Where Molotov cocktails seen in Hong Kong protests got their name – think Nordic gallows humour

  • The Molotov cocktail has become part of the lexicon of Hong Kong protests. Thank wartime Finland for this nickname for the petrol bomb
  • The water caltrop, whose dried seed pod feudal Japanese use to make a spiked weapon to slow troops’ advance, has lent its name to another device protesters use

A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger
A caltrop near Hong Kong’s Cross Harbour Tunnel, on November 15. Photo: James Wendlinger
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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).