Saturday, January 21, 2006

Liak Chuar

LIAK v. to catch
CHUAR n. snake

Thank you HY for your suggestion.

I have posted several entries on ridiculous Hokkien words or phrases. But this one is definitely the dog's bullocks as far as ridiculous words are concerned. English-speaking people also have their ridiculous words or phrases. They say dog bollocks for something that is amazingly good, or delicious, because why would dogs lick other dogs' bollocks if they weren't tasty, right? Anyway...

LIAK CHUAR literally means to catch snake. Like kong hey uar (see previous entry), its practical application is often found among disgruntled government workers. Or bloggers who blog during their office hours (you know who you are, tsk tsk tsk). LIAK CHUAR means to use official working period for personal gains or leisure.

It is indeed puzzling why LIAK CHUAR should be used to describe such care-free, mindless behaviour. To catch snake?? Now, seriously, why would anyone use official working period to go out to catch snake?

Unless catching snake would earn you enough money to feed your family for a month, why would anyone do that? Maybe in some ethnic groups, or exotic meat markets, you will get that kind of money. But in Kuching, if you bring back a snake to your office, you will definitely receive at least one of the following options depending how generous your boss is:-

(a) a sack
(b) a visit from the police
(c) a visit from the Sarawak Tribune and Borneo Post reporters

You are more than likely to receive all three options, at the same time! CHIAK LAT!

Besides, if catching snake is such a lucrative work, why would you want to do it during yout office hours? Why can't you use your lunch hour? In fact, why won't you quit your day job and do it full time?

And seriously, where can you find snake in Kuching these days?

There, I have stated my case. LIAK CHUAR is definitely the most ridiculous phrase to be featured on Hokkipedia. But somehow, it is a snappy phrase and highly descriptive of a bad, bad thing.

DISCLAIMER: This entry is not written during the LIAK CHUAR period.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

in fact, there was once when i was complaining to my colleague on how these red blotches on me looks like they are growing in a pattern. he exclaimed that i was having "sey chuar" in hokkien (grow snake) or "shingles" in english. during lunch break, my mum and i went to see this auntie reknown in Kuching for her skills in "liak chuar". yes, but she is not slacking during her job. that is her JOB! she stops the shingles from spreading by 'poking' the 'eyes' & 'tail' of the 'chuar'. AND IT WORKS!!! so i went back to the office horribly late, and my colleagues asked me "where did u go?" to which i replied "went to ... liak chuar" ... pun intended

January 22, 2006 12:34 AM  
Anonymous fiona said...

i thought it shld be "jiat chuar"?
eat snake...

March 15, 2008 6:55 PM  
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May 04, 2010 5:58 PM  

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