Hong Kong's summer of crazy catchphrases

September 15, 2015 14:43
Pro-establishment lawmakers failed to vote on the election reform bill as they walked out of the chamber to wait for 78-year-old Lau Wong-fat (left). Photo: HKEJ

We told you so: “Wait for Fat Suk (等埋發叔)” is the hottest, sizzlingest phrase ever to come out of Hong Kong in the summer just past, according to Yahoo Hong Kong's most popular word searches.

It came from the Beijing loyalists in the Legislative Council who decided to wait for their tardy colleague, 78-year-old Lau Wong-fat, a.k.a. Fat Suk or King of the New Territories. Their walkout from the chamber led to the colossal 28-8 defeat of the Beijing package.

The phrase is now part of the local slang. Whoever is late for a group appointment is called Fat Suk and/or gets to foot the bill.

Making it to No. 2 of the most popular searches for the quarter is “Fear no almighty adversary, but oh, that piggish camaraderie (不怕神一樣的對手 只怕豬一樣的隊友)”.

The saying also originates from that Legco fiasco, which means that some stupid colleagues, rather than formidable opponents, could easily spoil a perfect plan. Indeed, it is something the pro-Beijing camp should take to heart.

Legco president Jasper Tsang Yuk-shing should take a bow: he dominated the top 10 list by authoring four of the most popular catchphrases.

Here are three of those: “There is no cure for stupidity (人蠢無藥醫)”, “Stupid people do stupid things (蠢人做蠢事)” and “See how you can play tricks on me?" (睇你點整我)” – all referring to the same person he is rather displeased with.

“The thief is coming back (賊來了)” is another Jasper Tsang original. 

The phrase gained currency after Tsang typed it out as a message to his colleagues on WhatsApp as pan-democrat lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip was returning to his seat at Legco.  

Fortunately for Tsang, he did not earn the ire of pan-democrats when his exchange of text messages with pro-administration lawmakers was divulged to the public.

Tsang's name, however, was not the most popular subject of search on the internet. 

That honor belongs to Dr. Lo Chung-mau, council member and head of surgery at the University of Hong Kong.

His fall during a commotion at the HKU council meeting last month, in which the delay in the appointment of the university's pro vice chancellor was discussed, was ridiculed by netizens as football "diving".

Dr. Lo said he was attacked by one of the students who stormed the meeting, although he failed to show any visual evidence that he was indeed hit in the knees.

But we saw tons of online pictures that exaggerated the good doctor's own injury and he was found to be speaking against the appointment of non-local HKU vice chancellor Peter Mathieson.

Also making it to the list of top local catchphrases is one attributed to Dr. Regina Ching, head of surveillance and epidemiology at the Center for Health Protection.

She was quoted as saying that there was no serious health risk posed by the lead-contaminated water because the average intake should be “expensed over one’s entire life (拉勻一生)”.

Rounding off the list is the famous query from our former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, who politely requested a reporter to say his name, thus: “What is your last name, Mr. Chan? (貴姓阿陳生)”.

We cannot say enough thanks to the old men who brought us something to laugh about in an otherwise lethargic summer.

Don't miss this on the top 10 list - "Violent market rescue (暴力救市)", which was used to mock Beijing's intervention during the stock market rout in early July.

Legislator Christopher Chung of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, also contributed one by his wrong usage of a Cantonese idiom.

He originally wanted to accuse RTHK of "backstabbing" the government but somehow his quote became "repaying evil with good (食碗底反碗面)". It's not his first blooper, by the way.

And guess what – you read all these stories in local papers and EJ Insight as well.

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EJ Insight writer