Slang and Idioms – 無X無X

I just recently learned from a post on the cantodict forums that there is a set of phrases in the format 無X無X.  I hadn’t heard of these, so I went through the cantodict dictionary and made a list of the ones I could find. 

Supposedly there are are a lot more out there, so feel free to contribute more – I’d love to learn new ones!

Chinese Yale Romanization Meaning
無依無靠 mou4 yi1 mou4 kaau3 no one to rely on
無情無義 mou4 ching4 mou4 yi6 without emotion nor sense of justice
無法無天 mou4 faat3 mou4 tin1 outlaw
無拘無促 mou4 keui1 mou4 chuk1 freedom
無穿無爛 mou4 chyun1 mou4 laan6 still in good condition
無憂無慮 mou4 yau1 mou4 leui6 without worries
無根無蔃 mou4 gan1 mou4 keung2 without roots; not rooted
無時無刻 mou4 si4 mou4 hak1 at any time
無窮無盡 mou4 kung4 mou4 yeun6 inexhaustible; unlimited


But actually, my favorite new phrase is that I learned in searching for these, is 瓜無滖圓, 人無十全 .  This is pronounced “gwa1 mou4 gwan2 yun4 yan4 mou4 sap6 chyun4”.  The meaning is that nothing is perfect, but the literal meaning is “melons are not perfectly round, people are not perfect”.


2 Responses to Slang and Idioms – 無X無X

  1. MakMak says:

    I like 🙂 hahaha that’s all I have to say 😀

  2. makepono says:

    mou si mou hak is something my mother says on occasion. interestingly, it literally means “no time, no time”, and could literally be misinterpreted as “I dont have the time” if you didnt hear the tone and context in which it is spoken. she only uses such Cantonese type expressions when being courteous to others in an almost disingenuous politeness. if my mother understood or exhibited irony and sarcasm in the western sense, I would think she were being such. of course she could have been pulling the wool over our eyes all these years.

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