Sup Sup Sui: Cantonese slang for love that can’t be broken by a typhoon

  • This week, we have some helpful phrases to talk about relationships, whether discussing your own or telling your paired-up friends to give you a break
  • How do you feel when couples ‘seem-gwong-dahn’ on Instagram?
Yanni Chow |

Latest Articles

All 41 Indian workers rescued after 17 days trapped in a tunnel

SOTY 2022-23: Performing Artist first runner-up uses dance to convey powerful stories

Move over Met Gala: Mutt Gala’s dog art auction to help UK rescue charity

Join us and revel in the fun ‘In The Common Room’ on RTHK Radio 3

This week we’re sharing slang all about love and relationships. Do you know any we missed? Photo: Shutterstock

Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and thought he or she was the most beautiful person in the world? Being in a loving relationship can bring sunshine to your days and make rainy ones a bit easier with a shoulder to lean on. But even when you’re feeling all lovey-dovey, remember to keep up your other friendships, and don’t be so obsessed with your significant other that your friends start to feel annoyed.

Learn the Cantonese phrases below to tell your beloved how much you care about them. Or if you are a friend of a couple, how to tell the lovebirds when to give everyone a break and stop showcasing their affection in public.

Can you hear me now? Canto slang all about communication


痴纏 ci1 cin4 (chee-cheen) – “sticky and tangled”

Meaning: describes two people in a romantic relationship who show too much affection in public by touching each other and saying loving things. It is usually not considered a compliment.

In English: lovey-dovey; PDA (public display of affection)

Example: I can’t stand that couple being so chee-cheen even on the MTR – look at how they keep kissing each other even while wearing masks.

OMG how embarrassing. Photo: Shutterstock

閃光彈 sim2 gwong1 daan6 (seem-gwong-dahn) – “Flashbomb”

Meaning: when couples show their love with so many posts on social media that it is like a “flash bomb” in the eyes of their single friends

In English: social media PDA

Example: Stop putting seem-gwong-dahn on Instagram – Valentine’s Day is already hard enough for single people without having to see all these pictures of your relationship!

How to navigate the world of Canto texting

Idioms of the week:

打風都打唔甩 daa2 fung1 dou1 daa2 m4 lat1 (dah-foong-doh-dah-mm-luht)– “Can’t be broken apart by a typhoon”

Meaning: a relationship so strong that nothing – not even challenges as strong as a typhoon – can break it apart

In English: a relationship that stands the test of time

Example: Grandma and Grandpa have gone through so much – I think they are dah-foong-doh-dah-mm-luht.

Awwww. Photo: Shutterstock

情人眼裏出西施 cing4 jan4 ngaan5 lei5 ceot1 sai1 si1 (ching-yunn-ahn-lui-chuht-sai-see) – “Xi Shi (Sai See) in the lovers’ eyes”

Meaning: the definition of beauty is according to one’s lover. The phrase expresses the fact that not all people have the same opinions about what is attractive. Xi Shi, who is called Sai See in Cantonese, was one of the renowned Four Beauties of ancient China, but the name is now used as a synonym for beautiful women.

In English: beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Example: I don’t understand why he thinks his girlfriend is the prettiest girl in the world, but ching-yunn-ahn-lui-chuht-sai-see.

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy