Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chiak Lat

CHIAK v. Eat
LAT adj. Power

Now, 'ang-mo kia' Kellie from Preston, this is a proper Hokkien word.

Hokkien-speaking people expressed their emotions with words that everyone can understand. That is why they are so clever, yet so under-appreciated. They don't have words like cataclysmic or calamitous, because these words are too cumbersome.

But chiak lat, everyone in the Hokkien world understands. Even a toddler would wince in empathy when you say chiak lat to his face, just like a man holding an unplanned baby.

Chiak means Eat (like I said before), and Lat means power or strength. Together they mean eat power. What?

Yes, eat power is an important everyday phrase. Example of usage:

(1)I put money in the Arsenal Mider-spre (Middlesbrough) game, they give 2 goals , so I take Mider-spre, and then they go and lose seben jiro (7-0), eat power man!

(2) Eat power, eat power. I forgot about the parking fine!

(3) My in-laws coming to town, have to take them to Cultural Village and Museum. Damn, chiak lat!

(1) and (2) clearly denote being in trouble, but (3) implies hard, troublesome work. Why chiak lat? Eating power simply means to consume energy. To take something away from someone. So I hope you now understand. Always avoid situations where chiak lat can happen, unless of course it is worth it, like a damn beautiful wife whose parents are coming to town!

Tomorrow: TU SI A-NAY
Do you want your favourite Hokkien word to feature on Hokkipedia? Please write to me, sisuahlai@googlemail.com.



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