I have been toying with learning Chinese, and I happened across one of those amusing intersections of my interests on a blog from a Canadian living in Hong Kong.  He was discussing what to call a pesky kid:

“First, Cantonese has the basic equivalent, beih tai chuhng (鼻涕蟲), literally ‘nose mucous insect’, which is slang for snot-nosed kid.

As for the more vulgar half, Cantonese also has the generic insult si chuhng (屎蟲), literally ‘s*** bug’, also known as ‘dirty bug’, but that could apply to anyone, not just a brat.

I suppose one could combine the two into beih tai si chuhng, or ‘nose mucous dirty bug’ but that term doesn’t exist in current Cantonese slang. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be understood, but for it to be clear one might require the word sai (小), or ‘small’, as in beih tai sai si chuhng.

Or not; for all I know, it may be redundant, as ‘insect’ is often used to refer to smaller humans.”

The basic character for Insect, if you’re interested.

I love learning random things :D

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Dear Bug Girl,
    I also enjoy learning random things! When my interests dove tail together I am over the moon excited!
    I barely can speak English…

  2. I’ve only been visiting your blog for a short time but it makes my day. Whether you’re offering up plant indexes by lep preference or introducing a superhero who keeps bees in his belt (I wish I had a bee belt… not because I really want to keep bees on my person, but because I can’t stop laughing at the extent to which it makes no sense), this blog is a hot cup of awesome.

    Thanks for sharing. Seriously.

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