CANTO SLANG: EPISODE 12
Chinese New Year’s Edition! While this isn’t quite slang and more of a colloquialism, it will have to make do for the sake of CNY.
NEED BLEAT, GET BLEAT
WTF is that? Well, it’s a modification of another colloquial phrase, for the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram.
NEED BLEAT, GET BLEAT ORIGINS:
The more common colloquial phrase is 要乜有乜, which means, whatever you want, you will get. For celebratory and cheese ball purposes, they have changed the 乜 to 咩.
Why you say? Let’s look more closely at the character then.
The left side is the Chinese character for mouth, and the right side is the Chinese character for sheep. (Typically, colloquial words will have the mouth Chinese character on the left hand side to denote as such.) When you put mouth and lamb together, you get “meh”, which is the Chinese onomatopia for the sound that sheep make. This same sound is very similar to the Chinese word for “what… (do you want/stuff)”.
To wrap up, 要咩有咩 means 要乜有乜, but the Chinese character sounds exactly the same as of a bleating sheep “mehhh”. Those cheesy Chinese!
Share it if you liked it and Happy Year of the Goat. Meeehhhh.
Till next week for another slang lesson!