~medicated masseurs~ image copyright Kris lee 2012

~medicated masseurs~
image copyright Kris lee 2012

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of Penang Hokkien 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 as a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails, a biscuit tin of effects 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 past. 




Ah Ba Ko Ah Nya Chi

Ah Ch’eng Ah Ch’eng

Ah Ko Bay Ark Nooi

Ah Kong Bo Looi Ah Kong Oo Looi

Ah Nya Chi

Ah Phian

Ah Phong

Ai Ai Bay Kiam Chai

Ai Hiam Bay Phnai

Ai How Ai Chio

Aim Choon Choon

Ang Bin Kuan Kong

Ang Ku

Ang Mor Chiak Bak

Apek Hor Gu Tek

Apek Khi Chwee Tar

Ay Hiow Pui, Bay Hiow Pui


Bak Chiu Kim Kim

Bak Sai Chiam

Bin Ow Ow

Bo Chwooi Khi Sai

Bo Geh Chiak Tau Geh

Bo Hu Heh Ma Ho

Bo Looi Bor Oo Looi Bor

Bo Pneh Bo Thnia Swnooi Ho Mia

Botak Head

Botoi Ah Chek

Buah Lam Bay


Cantik Si Sooi

Chai Bee Chai Chek Lai Chee Kay

Char Bor Boh Ang

Char Bor Bo Ch’eng

Chart Chiak Bak

Chau K’nui Si Tor Pui

Chay It

Chay It Chap Goh

Chay It Char

Chay Sien Khiar Sien

Ch’eng Kai Snar Ow Kai Si

Ch’eng Snar Eh Ow Si Eh

Chiak Chai Chiak Kuay Chi

Chiak Ka Lau Oak Ka Lau

Chiak Ka Por Lau Lai Cho Chor

Chiak Lau

Chiak Par Khoon

Chiak Peh Hoon, Miar Bay Oon

Ch’i Chiow Keh Hoay Liow

Ch’i Kniar

Chit Chieu Phak Nor Chieu Ch’eng

Chit Lay Pai Kut Sien

Chit Nor Snar

Chit Nor Snar Si Gor

Chit Sim Nor Ee

Chit Snua Koay Chit Snua

Chiu Ow Gia Kuan Kuan

Chneh Gu Mm Bat Hor

Chneh Meh Lang

Ch’ng Ar Ch’ng, Phor Ar Phor

Chng Kak Hwa

Cho Ho Sim

Cho Lang

Cho Lang Ay Tai Chi

Cho Lang Cho Ka Ho

Choon Kuay Chooi Bo Hoon

Choot Jit Loh Hor

Chow Mek Kar Niau Mi

Chow Mek Kong

Ch’ow Sim Knuar

Chow Thow Phi

Chui Chui Kio Lu

Chui Lo Chui Peng Peng

Chwee Khang Meh Ang

Chwee Titi Khwi

Chye Uak Oo Hau


Eam Barn Kong

Eh Yar Tok

Eo Ar Eo


Fatty Fatty Bom Bom

Fei Chai Fei Tut Tut


Gau Seng

Geng Geng Knua

Gia Hniau Gia Keh Keh

Gong Gong Bo Suay Ong

Gong Knia Sai

Gong Lang

Gua Si Kong Chu Kong

Guek Kng Kng Siew Chye Long


Hniau, Hoon Hoon

Ho Ay Chow Wa, Ho Ay Knia Sai

Hoay Kim Chneh

Hokkien Lang

Ho Knia Ch’i Bay Uak

Ho Keng Mm Keng

Ho Lai Ho Khi

Ho Lang Bo Eng Cho

Hong Lai Hong Khi

Huan Peng Cha Bor

Hum Bun Ay Cha Bor


I say, You Say!

It Ch’u Ji Gu

It Leh It Thay Thay

It Pang Kay


Jit Si Bay Liam Lang


Kaik Khi Chiak Kar Ki

Kay Po Chni

Keong Hee Huat Chye

Keh Chooi

Keh Huay Poon Bo Pneh

Khar Chnui Ang Ang

Khar Chwni Chiam

Khiap Si Lang

Kh’nua Lang Chiak Bak

Khui Chwee Luan Chu Kap

Khun Chneh Khi Lai

Kiau Bo Puak

Kim Po Ka Ku Kong

Kin Chiong Khi Tua Korng

Knia Kiam Kor, Kniar Phnai Lor

Knia Oo Hau, Knia Kut Lat

Kniar Choon Chin Kharn Khor

Koay E’ni

Kong Uwa Bo Li Eu

Kong Uwa Luan Chu Pian

Kow Jin Tua Chu Lang


Lala Lila Tampong

Lang Ai Oo Chi Khi

Lang Chark Hua

Lang Ean Tau

Lang Eow Kin Sim Ho

Lang Gau Thni Cho Tui Thau

Lang Khoe Lang Tua

Lang Kiam, Lang Kow Kwai

Lang Lai Khar Khwi

Lang Oo Looi, Lang Bo Looi

Lang Ow Barn

Lang Swee Chiak Bin Chwee

Lang Swee Swee

Lang Tua Lang Say

Lau Ah Pek

Lau Peh Mor Peng

Leng Chee

Liew Liew Liew

Liew Liew Siau

Li Kong Kiu Kiu Tan

Lim Chiu Lim Tar Tar

Lim Chiu Sian

Lu Khnua Wa, Wa Khnua Lu

Lo Kay Khi Thit Tho

Long Ee Long Toak

Looi Swee Long Chong Ay


Mak Ee Po

Mm Chai Si

Mm Knar Khui Bak Chiu

Mooi Lang Po


Niau Jin Ch’u

Ni Nor Ni Nor Keng

Nya Ah Nya


One By One

Oo Bor Siew Bor Khor

Oo Hau Bo Hau

Oo Lang Khnua Looi Aneh Tang

Oo Lay Ho Mnia Knia

Oo Looi Ay Ang, Bo Looi Ay Bor

Oo Mia Men Knia Thnia

Or Kim Or Kim

Or Kow Na Bo Khaw

Or Kwi

Oui Lor Chay E’ni E’ni


Pai Khar

Papa Lang

Pang Phooi

Parng Sim Mian Huan Lo

Par Sarng Kuat Kuat

Part Tor Cheng

Pattern Chay Kuay Badminton

Phar Bi Ko Ean Tang Lor

Peh Bak Bai

Peh Hoon Sien

Ph’nua Pneh

Poot Hau Ay Sim Poo

Puak Kiau Keh Huay Liau

Puak Kiau Kooi

Puak Kiu


Sampat Ee Sampat Thong

Si Chap Kau Pang Lai Hau

Si Cheng Bo Kniar

Sim Ho Lang O Lo

Sim Pu Teh

Sin Chnia Si

Sin Neow Hor Huay Sio

Sin Thau Phark Snar Eh

Siow Lian Kay

Soli Bangali

Soo Kiau Soo Ka Lau Khor

Suka Ka Kuay Thow Jip Sim

Sun Kiew Kiew


Teik Gar Ki

Teng Teng Teng

Thau Ni Sim Pu

Thau Thi Ka K’nui K’nui

Thau Tua Thau Hong

Thni Or Or

Thoo Lu

Thoo Lu Ku Lau Kau Hee

Thor Chai Thor Thor

Thow Thow Kawan

Tiau Hwa

Tim Kum

Ting Tong Tiang

Tiok Pnia Ka Eh Ho Mia

Titi Chow, Titi How

Titi Poon Titi Choon

Tua Chiak Tua Parng

Tua Chneh

Tua Liong Tua Hock

Tua Pui

Tua Sniar Po

Tua Thow Li Kong Chooi


Um Mong Mong

Um Po Cheh


Yankee Yankee


(This compilation is constantly updated. Author wishes to thank all who have generously contributed to this ever growing list.)




4 responses to “Hokkien RHYMES & DITTIES

    • tq 47. b& w street photography is another hobby of mine. i plan to publish it into a
      coffee table book one day alongside many others i took about life in penang. what you
      see are candid shots devoid of manipulation and cropping. i am a purist where photography
      is concern. i don’t believe in manipulating snapshots. in fact they are all captioned but
      i still can’t find time to copy and paste the words in. otherwise it is even more
      interesting! tq for taking notice!

      • What type of camera are you using?
        I love your ‘eye’ for the natural and spontaneous. I also do not like manipulated scenes. Your images are very engaging and appealing.

      • its a lumix tz20 digital camera with leica lens. apparently now it is giving problems which i do not
        know how to solve. pictures left in the memory card gets corrupted and like now, alternate images left in the camera cannot be opened and sometimes it spreads. 😦

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