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!
Are you a male, aged between 18 to 25, with chiselled features, perfect skin, and a killer smile? If so, then congratulations—you’re a “siu sin yuk.” Originally used by the K-pop fandom to describe male Korean idols they so blindly worship, “siu sin yuk” literally translates to “young fresh meat.” We know what you’re thinking—calling someone a piece of meat can come off as offensive, to say the least, but in Hong Kong, it’s quite the compliment for a guy to be called this. Remember though, this word can only be used to describe men, so if you try to call a young woman a “siu sin yuk,” you’ll most likely just end up feeling embarrassed, as this carries no meaning whatsoever.