Sunday, July 11, 2021

SOMETHING YOU PICK UP WHILE EATING PASTRIES

Imagine you're in a Chinese bakery (in San Francisco) enjoying a sumptuous array of delicious pastries. Oh, they are indeed wonderful. Divine. And you become keenly aware of the elderly Toishanese gentlemen behind you deep in conversation. Every other phrase out of their mouths is something that sounds like shoes. Or, perhaps, crabs.

Elderly Toishanese gentlemen are the salt of the earth.
Honest to goodness. Splendid fellows.

After a while, perhaps several occasions when you've been in such an environment -- my such delightful pastries -- and the expression accidentally rolls out of your mouth like mother's milk.
It seems natural. In that place.

dot dot dot

So the apartment mate, a sweet innocent Cantonese woman of impeccable Toishanese ancestry, asked me about a phrase one of her colleagues had heard. What did it mean?
When she said the phrase I spat out my coffee.


Banana your mother's crab!


Yeah, no, I'm not going to explain that. It's NOT a phrase you or any other nice young Cantonese person of the gentle gender needs to know how to use, ever, and elderly Toishanese men punctuating their speech with it probably don't expect your input.

Remember, you're an innocent young lady.

Please act like it.



The safest part of that phrase is 嘅 ('ge'), used as a possessive suffix.



Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge. Ge.




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