Ang Ku

(Version in Hokkien)

Chiak Ang Ee

Tharn Chnee

Chiak Ang Ku

Tharn Hnooi Khu

Chiak Ang Tharn

Keh Ho Ang

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(Version in English)

Eating Red Marble

Gain plenty of money

Eating Red Tortoise

Gain a lot of real estate

Eating Red Mussel

Gain a good husband..

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

“Ang Ku” in the Hokkien lingo is literarily translated to mean “Red Tortoise”. It is a red colored sweet with nutty filling usually included as ritual food in Chinese religious ceremonies. The color red is highly auspicious to the Chinese and the turtle shape signifies longevity and endurance. Although the sweet is generally called Ang Ku, different names are given according to variations in shape, pattern and color. During Mua Guek (confinement period after a women gave birth), the inclusion of Ang Ee (Red Marble) signifies the birth of a new boy whereas if the offspring is a girl, Ang Thoe (Red Peach) would mark the occasion. Ang Tharn (Red Mussel) only appears in the Jade Emperor festival. In inauspicious occasions, the sweet is made in other colors dyed using non-toxic vegetable dyes. This old Hokkien rhyme or ditty associates a specific blessing with each food.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Ah Phien

(Version in Hokkien)

Ah Phien Sneh Ti Thor

Choo Liau Kor Kor

Bo Chiak Tiong Hor

Chiak Liau Hor Tor

Bor Knia Im Kor

Chin Chnia Tnui Lor

Heng Kharm Siang Lau Thooi

Part Tor Tua Chiu Kooi

Khar Thooi Tua Chau Mek

Uwa Piak Cheng Khor..

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(Version in English)

Opium comes from the earth

Cooking makes it sticky

Don’t consume it and all is well

Smoke it and you will become reckless

Your wife and children will be neglected

Your relatives will severe all ties with you

Your ribs will resemble a flight of stairs

Your tummy, like a water barrel

Your legs, like grasshoppers

And you will need to lean against the wall to put on your trousers..

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

Ah Phian is a ‘Hokkien’ word literarily translated to mean ‘Opium’. In the 19th Century, opium-smoking is a widespread vice among the Chinese in Penang. This advisory verse warns us of the dangers of smoking opium. Not only that it wastes the body, it also destroys relationships. This verse is communicated in the deeper idiom of old Hokkien.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Teik Gar Ki

(Version in Hokkien)

Teik Gar Ki

Mor Hor Chni

Choe Lang Eh Sim Pu Bart To Li

Um Um Khoon

Char Char Khi

Khi Lai Say Thow, Buak Hoon Tiam Ean Chi

Jip Pang Lai

Siew Chiam Chi

Choot Tuar Tniah

Cheng Tok Ee

Jip Chow Khar

Say Uar Tee

O Lo Hnia

O Lo Tee

O Lo Chin Keh, Chneh Erm

Gow Ka si..

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(Version in English)

Dried bean curd

Sweet flour cakes

A daughter in law must conform to etiquettes

Goes to sleep late

Wakes up early

Wakes up, combs hair, powders face, applies lipstick

In the bedroom

Plies the embroidery needle

Enters the main hall

Dust the furnitures

Enters the kitchen

Washes the bowls and chopsticks

Speaks well of her husband

And her children

Speaks well of her family, her in-laws

For bringing her up so well..

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About this rhyme/ditty/saying:~

Tek Gar Kee is a ‘Hokkien’ word literally translated to mean ‘Dried Bean Curd’. This rhyme/ditty/saying list out the traits expected out from a newly wed bride by her in-laws. If she passes the scrutiny, she will earn praises from the entire family as well as relatives and friends. The traditional underlying view is that a daughter-in-law must carry herself well for her conduct reflects on her biological parents who are responsible for her upbringing.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Thau Tua Thau Hong

(Version in Hokkien)

Thau Tua Thau Hong

Partor Tua Phong Hong

Khar Chnooi Tua Chut Hong

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(Version in English)

Big Head, wind in the head

Big Tummy, wind in the tummy

Big Buttocks only farts..

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

This rhyme/saying pokes fun at those with one or more of these physical attributes. Also used to describe a show off person with no true substance.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Huay Sniau Si Bor

(Version in Hokkien)

Huay Sniau Si Bor

Mm Knar Khow

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(Version in English)

When the monk’s wife passed away he dare not cry aloud.

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About the Proverb/Saying:~

Monks are supposedly celibate. This saying is used to describe a dilemma or an unfortunate happening that cannot be publicized or it will bring embarrassment to that individual.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Saigu Bong Guek

(Version in Hokkien)

Saigu Bong Guek

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(Version in English)

A rhinoceros touching the moon

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About the Proverb/Saying:~

A rhinoceros seeing the image of the moon reflected on the puddle thought it is within his reach. The moral is “One should realize one’s own limitation.” Also, do not make your goals too big or you will end up dissappointed.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Ho Keng Mm Keng

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Ho Keng Mm Keng

Keng Kar Chow Geng Geng

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(1st Version in English)

With so many to choose from the basket

One finally ends up with a bad longan.

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Chit Keng Peh Keng

Keng Tiok Chow Geng Geng

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(2nd Version in English)

Choose seven, choose eight

One finally chose a bad longan.

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About the Rhyme/Proverb/Saying:~

If one is too choosy, one will end up with the wrong partner.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Tua Liong Tua Hock

(Version in Hokkien)

Tua Liong Tua Hock

Chiak Ka Lau Kok Kok

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(Version in English)

Generosity brings prosperity.

Live to a ripe old age.

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

It is believed that generosity begets prosperity and longevity.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Leng Kow Leng

(Version in Hokkien)

Leng Kow Leng

Hong Kow Hong

Oon Ku Kow Tong Gong

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(Version in English)

A dragon befriend a dragon

A phoenix befriend a phoenix

A hunchback befriends an idiot

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About the Proverb/Saying:~

An observation that marriages should be between two people with similar traits, background, social status and intelligence.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Tua Bak Sin Neow

(Version in Hokkien)

Tua Bak Sin Neow Chuay Bo Chau

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(Version in English)

The big eyed bride cannot locate the stove.

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About the Proverb/Saying:~

Physical attributes of a wife is secondary to her housekeeping skills

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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