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Made-up vocabulary known only to locals, words that consist of a mix of both English and Chinese, and double-entendres that make absolutely no sense—these are just a few of the things that make Cantonese one of the hardest languages to learn. So, we thought it was about time we gave you folks a quick lesson on some funny terminology, common phrases, and the latest Internet slang. We guarantee it will score you a few extra points with the locals!
If silly jokes about farts and private parts appeal to your sense of humour, then don’t blame us for calling you a “siu hok gai.” Literally translated to “primary school chicken,” the term came about from the imagery of small primary school children running around the playground or lining up in the canteen for food, just like little chicks on a farm. It is also frequently used to describe people who are immature, petty, and go out of their way to pick fights, so this is one insult that can be applied to anyone, regardless of their age.
How to use:
“Brett ghosted me over the weekend after six months of dating—he’s such a ‘primary school chicken.’”