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The local patois, which freely uses sinicized English words like sahmunjee (sand-wich), bahsee (bus), lumbah (number) and kayleem (cream).


Many borrowings, including praya (waterfront road), joss (a corruption of deus, or god) and amah (maid).


Several words, including shroff (cashier), nullah (channel or watercourse) and tiffin (lunch).

Mo Lei Tau

The impenetrable slang used by young Cantonese. Based on surreal and seem-ingly nonsensical phrasing.


All-purpose slang term meaning “cool”, “excellent”. (As used in the Hollywood film Wayne’s World.)

“Yau Mehr Liu?”

Translates roughly as “What’s your talent?” but used as a streetwise greeting; a bit like “what’s up?” or “wassup?”


Hong Kong English for warehouse or storage facility; a contraction of “go put your load down”.

“Whiskey Tangos”

Hong Kong police slang for “white trash”


The universal exclamation of disappointment, surprise or regret.


Prefix added to names when denoting affection, as in “Ah-Timothy”, “Ah-Belinda”.