CANTO SLANG: EPISODE 10
The first quarter of the year is the period where performance reviews are conducted and bonuses are paid out… This slang is just in time!
WTF is that? No, we aren’t talking about the culinary arts here, not even close.
STEW MUSHROOM ORIGINS:
This one originates from the Hong Kong Police Academy in the early days. In those days, there were only a small percentage of the police officers that wore plain clothes and these officers were far more superior than those police officers in uniform. The hat, as part of the police uniform, had an uncanny resemblance to a mushroom.
So, when a plain clothes police officer gets demoted, they have return to the uniform life; ergo, people will say that the officer got “stew(ed) mushroom”, which is a reference to the uniform’s hat. The term gained popularity and now it is not only used for demotions in the police force, but also, for demotions in general.
Share it if you liked it. Fingers crossed that there’s no stew mushroom for me this year. Check out the previous Cantonese Slang lessons #1-9 =)