Tag Archives: 歇后语 (xie hou yu)


Main piece: 隔夜油炸鬼——冇厘火气

Original piece in Cantonese: 隔夜油炸鬼——冇厘火气

In Chinese: 隔夜油条——没有一点点阳刚气

Translated: A overnight deep-fried dough stick, doesn’t have any hardness left.

Explain: Deep-fred dough stick is a popular snack in Guangdong area. It is crunchy and tasty when it’s fresh made. But after a night, it will be soft and cold, not as good at all. Guangdong people use this two-part riddle to descrive some one doesn’t have any vitality, or someone who is too good temper and never got mad.

Background Information:

Q is a friend I met on Internet. She was from Guangzhou, China, where they speak Cantonese and Mandarin as their daily language. I asked Q to share some Cantanese proverb with me through internet and she agreed. The category pf proverb we are talking about has a specific name called “歇后语”. It is a kind of two-part allegorical saying. There are some content connection between the first part and the second part as well. Normally, they can form a simple story.


I was casually interviewing my internet friend Q through a chinese social media.


This one is different from all the other Cantonese proverb I’ve heard because I have never heard anything close to it in Chinese. At first, I thought it is used to describe someone doing belated action because of the term “overnight” in Chinese. But the usage of this is far different from it. It is very interesting to me.