Li Kong Kiu Kiu Tan

(Version in Hokkien)

Li Kong Kiu Kiu Tan

Amah Puak Lo Charn

Ah Kong Chow Khi Kharn

Amah Kong Boe Siang Karn.

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(Version in English)

The thunder keeps on roaring

Grandma fell into the paddy field

Grandpa ran to helped her up

But grandma said she’s alright..

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About this rhyme:~

This is a very short yet fun to recite because it rhymes all the way in its original lingo.

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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Buah Lam Bay

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Buah Lam Bay, Buah Langsat

Ang Mor Char Bor Gia Tongkat

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(1st Version in English)

Rambai fruit, Langsat fruit (local fruits)

English woman carrying a walking stick.

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Buah Chiku, Buah Lam Bay

Ba Li Tung, Ba Li Lei!

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(2nd Version in English)

Chiku fruit, Rambai fruit (local fruits)

Spiral shaped snails, they cluster together!

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About this rhyme:~

This is a very short rhyme, meaningless but catchy to recite.

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 Phong

(Version in Hokkien)

Ah Phong

Phong Tio Jilotong

Jilotong Tiok Huay Sio

Ah Phong Pien Char Sio

Char Sio Hor Lang Chiak

Ah Phong Pien Khar Khiak

Khar Khiak Hor Lang Cheng

Ah Phong Pien Cheng

Cheng Hor Lang Phien

Ah Phong Pien Batman

Batman Toh

Ah Phong Chay Motor

Motor Peng

Ah Phong Chay Tok Teng

Tok Teng Si Ki Khar

Ah Phong Tua Lam Phar.

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(Version in English)

Ah Phong (person’s name)

Bloating all the way to Jelutong (Jelutong is a district in Penang)

After Jelutong was razed in a fire

Ah Phong became barbequed meat

Barbequed meat to be given for others to eat

Ah Phong became clogs

While the clogs are given away for others to wear

Ah Phong became a gun

The gun was then hijacked

and Ah Phong became Batman (a western cartoon superhero)

After Batman collapses

Ah Phong sat on a motorcycle

After the motorbike overturned

Ah Phong sat on a table

The table altogether has four legs

Ah Phong possesses enlarged testicles.

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About this rhyme:~

Obviously, this rhyme is as old as “batman” himself but centers around a character named “Ah Phong”. The word “Ah” is colloquial and it is a form of address that comes before every name like how one uses the word “Mister”. The word “Phong” means “swell” or “bloated” . As usual, there is an uncanny absurdity that makes this rhyme puzzling.

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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Kay Po Chni

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Kay Po Chni

Snar Uar Ee

Chiak Bo Kau

Ko Chai Thni.

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(1st Version in English)

Busybody Spirit

Three bowls of glutinous rice balls (local sweet soup)

Still not enough

Again ask for another helping.

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Kay Po Chni

Sampat Ee

Chiak Bo Kau

Ko Chai Thni.

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(2nd Version in English)

Busybody spirit

Ignorant aunty

Still not enough

Again ask for another helping.

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(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Kay Po Chni

Sampat Ee

Bo Larng Chiak

Kar Ki Thni.

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(3rd Version in English)

Busybody spirit

Ignorant aunty

No one eats

Serving oneself with another helping.

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(4th Version in Hokkien)

Kay Po Chni

Tiam Ean Chi

Ean Chi Ang

Pek Chieu Chang

Chieu Chang Toe

Chay Mo Toe

Mo Toe Peng

Khar Ch’ooi Cheng.

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(3rd Version in English)

Busybody spirit

Puts on the lipstick

The lipstick is red in color

Climbs up the tree

The tree fell

Sits on a motorcycle

The motorcycle overturned

Busybody has his buttocks swollen!

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About this rhyme:~

This rhyme pokes fun at busybodies or those who stick their noses into others affair, a trait that seldom people approve of. It is also used to vent anger at uninvited guest/gatecrashers.

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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Tua Pui

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Tua Pui, Tua Lok Lok

Pang Sai, Lo Chua Lok

Tua Pui, Tua Hai Hai

Si Liow, Bo Lang Chai!

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(1st Version in English)

Fatty, big and clumsy

You shit into the paper bag

Fatty, big and stout

If you die, nobody knows!

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Tua Pui, Tua Hai Hai

Siak Si, Bo Lang Chai

Tua Pui, Tua Lok Lok

Pang Sai, Tey Chua Lok!

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(2nd Version in English)

Fatty, big and stout

If you fall and die, nobody knows

Fatty, big and clumsy

Your shit is kept inside the paper bag!

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(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Tua Pui, Tua Lok Lok

Pang Sai, Lo Chua Lok

Chua Lok Tay Bay Liow

Tua Pui Chiak Ka Liow!

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(3rd Version in English)

Fatty, big and stout

Your shit went into the paper bag

Paper bag cannot contain it all

Fatty ate it all up!

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About this rhyme:~

Similar to “Gong Lang” in some lines, this rhyme pokes fun at stout people but almost always it is said in jest..

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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Thoo Lu

(Version in Hokkien)

Thoo Lu, Thoo Lu

Bey Bi, Uar Hwan Chu

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(Version in English)

Baldy, Baldy

Sell rice in exchange for sweet potatoes.

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About this rhyme:~

This is a traditional Hokkien rhyme pokes fun at bald people..

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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Khok Hiak Char Bor

(Version in Hokkien)

Khok Hiak Char Bor Chuay Hu Jin

Cheng Khok Kim, Ow Khok Gin

Khok Hiak Char Bor Chuay Hu Jin

Cheng Khok Kim, Ow Khok Poh

Khok Hiak Char Bor, Bo Tharn Tho.

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(Version in English)

Women with receding forehead is most elegant

In front she spins gold, at the rear, silver

Women with receding forehead is most elegant

In front she spins gold, at the rear, precious things

Woman with receding foreheads is hard to come by!

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About the Proverb/Saying:~

This is a traditional Hokkien Ditty in praise of  “Khok Hiak Char Bor” or “women with receding foreheads” as they are known to be very elegant, enterprising and successful~ a rare gem much appreciated by our forefathers.

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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Yankee, Yankee

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Yankee, Yankee

Thow Mor Chang Chang

Tey Ya Khang Khang

Chiak Pnui Or Phi Khang

Mata Giu Thow Chang!

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(1st Version in English)

Yankee, Yankee (calling someone by the name)

With spiky hair

And empty pockets

Eats rice while digging his nose

The policeman pulls his ponytail hair!

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Yankee, Yankee

Thow Mor Chang Chang

Tey Ya Khang Khang

Chiak Par Or Phi Khang

Mata Liak To Kio Em Thang!

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(2nd Version in English)

Yankee, Yankee

With spiky Hair

And empty pockets

After eating he digs his nose

When the police arrested him, he pleaded!

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About this rhyme:~

Most rhymes like this retells of actual happenings and tragedies that occur in olden day Penang and I suspected this man must have once been a legendary ruffian sporting a strange hairstyle albeit to have a rhyme commemorating his arrest.

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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Phar Bi Ko Ean Tang Lor

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Phar Bi Ko

Ean Tang Lor

Chin Keh Kong

Chneh Mm Po

Gia Teik Ko

Ban Siang Thoe

Ban Chit Liap Ang

Sang Tniau Larng

Barn Chit Liap Chneh

Sang Sin Seh

Barn Chit Liap Or

Sang Ah Kor

Ah Kor Olo Hoe

Ah Ko Chuar Ah So

Ah So Swee Giang Giang

Ang Ay Chap Ji Siang.

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(1st Version in English)

Sweet Glutinous Cake

Brass Censer

Grandpa of the in-laws

Grandma of the in-laws

Carry a bamboo pole

To pick some peaches

Pluck a red fruit

A gift to your in-law

Pluck a green fruit

A gift to your teacher

Pluck a black fruit

A gift for your auntie

Your auntie is pleased with your gift

Your uncle proposes to your auntie

Your auntie is very pretty

Besides owning twelve pairs of red shoes..

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Phar Bi Ko

Ean Tang Lor

Phar Lu Eh Chneh Mm Po

Gia Kow Ee

Barn Eow Thoe

Eow Thoe Tnee

Barn Lean chee

Lean chee Ang

Kio Kow Kar Tniau Lang.

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(2nd Version in English)

Sweet Glutinous Cake

Brass Censer

Beat up your grandmother-in-law

Stood up on a chair

To pluck some star fruits

The star fruit is sweet

Pluck some lychee

The lychee is red(meaning ripe)

Provoke the dogs to bite the in-laws..

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(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Phar Bi Ko

Ean Tang Lo

Chneh Mm Po

Gia Kow Ee

Barn Phu Toe

Phu Toe Tnee

Barn Lean chee

Lean chee Ang

Ginna Phak Tua Lang.

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(3rd Version in English)

Sweet Glutinous Cake

Brass Censer

Mother-in-law

Carries the chair

Pluck some grapes

Grapes are sweet

Pluck some lychees

The lychees are red(meaning ripe)

Children beats the adults..

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(4th Version in Hokkien)

Phar Bi Ko

PharTang Lo

Tang Lo Say

See Kor Say

Chneh Mm Po

Gia Kow Ee

Bun Phu Toe

Phu Toe Sneh

Sarng Sin Sneh

Sin Sneh O Lo Ho

Ah Ko Chuar Ah So

Ah So Swee Yang Yang

Ang Ay Chap Pay Siang!

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(4th Version in English)

Sweet Glutinous Cake

Beat the brass cymbal

The cymbal is small

Young fourth aunt

Mother in law

Pluck some grapes

Grapes grew

Gave it to the teacher

The teacher is full of praises

Brother weds a wife

A very pretty wife indeed

Owns eighteen pairs of red shoes!

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About this rhyme:~

Rhymes of this nature are like poems. Though most of them showcases actual happenings of the past, the puzzling ones serve well in linguistic recital practice..

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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Hong Lai Hong Khi

(Version in Hokkien)

Hong Lai Hong Lai

Chit Lui Hor Lu Beh Ong Lai

Hong Khi Hong Khi

Chit Lui Hor Lu Beh Ang Kee

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(Version in English)

Wind come! Wind come!

One cent for you to buy pineapples!

Wind go! wind go!

One cent for you to buy persimmons!

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About this rhyme:~

This rhyme recollects the currency value of centuries ago where pineapples and persimmons could be bought with just one cent!

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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