CantoRead Blog


Make telephone congee

There are lots of different kinds of congee Cantonese people love to eat. Some prefer fish congee while others go for the pig lung congee. As varied as these different kinds of congees are, they all have one thing in common, each one requires a one to spend a very long time in the kitchen to make. So the phrase 煲電話粥, while it literally means to


Eat a tiger by pretending to be a pig

This phrase, which literally means “to eat a tiger by pretending to be a pig”, refers to what is commonly known in English as hustling. In other words, to gain an advantage by feigning one’s vulnerability. Apparently this was a common tactic among Chinese hunters. Back in those days, a hunter could not simply stalk a tiger and expect to


I've eaten more salt than you've eaten rice

Sometimes people complain about the smallest things, without appreciating how good they’ve really got it. This phrase which literally means, “I’ve eaten more salt than you’ve eaten rice” is basically another way to tell someone to quit their whining.This is a pretty serious statement, given that the word rice in Chinese


Distributing pieces of a raw pig

This phrase literally means “distributing pieces of a raw pig” and refers to when someone is framed for something he or she did not do. The phrase has its origins in the pig cutting traditions commonly found in rural areas during Chinese New Year and other holidays. When Chinese villages celebrate the new year, the


To trick a demon into eating tofu

This phrase, which literally means “to trick a demon into eating tofu”, refers to a feeble attempt at luring someone into an obvious trap. Oddly enough though, the phrase comes from a story of a wise scholar who was successful in doing just this. Many years ago, a young scholar who was out on his travels decided to set up camp for the