- This week, we’re taking a look at how Hongkongers incorporate temperate into different phrases
- Go viral and get your memes on the hot door page on Instagram, and try to avoid any awkward silences
As soon as Hongkongers got through the sweltering heat of July – the city’s hottest month on record – the rainy season came hot on its heels. This week, let’s look into how locals incorporate elements of hot and cold in Cantonese slang to talk about hot trends, cold reactions and more.
熱門 (jit6 mun4) (yeet-moon): “Hot door”
Meaning: describes posts, videos and articles that are gaining traction online, for example, a trending video on YouTube or a viral post in a forum that sparks heated discussion. Hongkongers typically use the phrase right before the subject, for example, “yeet-moon searches” or “yeet-moon news”.
In English: viral; trending
Example: If we want more people to know about our project, we should get all of our friends to like our post so it gets to the forum’s yeet-moon section.
冷門 (laang5 mun4) (laang-moon): “Cold door”
Meaning: refers to something unconventional that most people would not pay attention to, from an unpopular programme at a university to a lesser-known hiking trail. Though Hongkongers use the phrase to discuss anything outside the mainstream, it also can describe something that is ahead of the trends.
In English: lesser-known; niche; indie; edgy
Example: A few years ago, most people did not appreciate Sherry’s music and thought it was too laang-moon, but now she is considered to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
冷場 laang5 coeng4 (laang-churng): “Cold venue”
Meaning: describes an audience’s cold reaction when a performance, film or television show gets boring
In English: awkward silence; lull
Example: You should check out Dayo Wong’s comedy shows – there are never moments of laang-churng.
炒熱 (caau2 jit6) (chau-yeet): “Fry heat”
Meaning: to make something popular or to make unnecessary noise out of something. The meaning of this phrase can be positive or negative depending on the context. An example of how to use this term in a positive way would be discussing how something has become quite trendy. Negative ways to use this phrase include promoting a meaningless item or talking too much about a serious incident for one’s own benefit.
In English: to make noise; to popularise
Example: Peter cannot stand how the tabloid is trying to chau-yeet the news about the car accident by promoting rumours about the victim’s family.