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Shanghainese idioms?


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Hi guys and gals.

Okay, I'm kind of new to this forum, so I'm not sure where this goes. But I have a few questions to native Shanghai-nese speakers who know a lot of those cute and funny phrases in Shanghainese that are unique to that language and not found in any other dialect. For example, when you want to say "to fire somebody; to dismiss" in Mandarin, it's just "解雇"(jie3 gu4). However, my parents usually say something along the lines of 炒由鱼 in Shanghainese or something similar to that. It would be nice if somebody could teach me where and how sayings like these originate from. I'm really curious about these idiom-like phrases, and it would be nice if I could share it with my Chinese classmates at my high school, since nobody there seems to even know what Shanghainese is.

Thanks in advance if you could help this busy little non-grown up high schooler! :D

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  • 2 months later...

I'm a semi-native speaker. (Competent speaker of Shanghainese, just not completely fluent. Born to Shanghainese parents in the US)

Those aren't idioms, they're slang expressions.

炒魷魚 and 斩葱头 are both used in Shanghainese to mean 'getting fired' or something like that.

吃生活 actually means to punish somebody or to beat someone up. 吃耳光 chiq nyi kuaon means to slap someone in the face (It wasn't written like that, 光 is a result of a Shanghainese erhua event, so it's more like 吃耳括兒.)

http://www.shanghaidialect.com/slangs/htm/search.aspx A lot of words there aren't slang expressions however.

Idioms typically have 4 characters and are quite complex.

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