Lizzie doesn't live here anymore

Lizzie used to live in Hong Kong where she had lots of fun buying consumer electronics and being taller than almost everybody.

She learned to speak Chinese and to be inscrutable.

Lizzie's Chinese friends called her Eleesabaat. (In Cantonese, baat is the lucky number eight and means wealth and good fortune.) Lizzie was considered a lucky person, not only because her name has baat in it, but because she is a lefty, which most surely is a sign of genius.

Unfortuately, with Lizzie gone, the British decided that there was no reason to keep Hong Kong as a crown colony and so they let it revert to the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997.

Here are some of the useful words and expressions that Lizzie learned while she was in Hong Kong:

Ah-Ba father (affectionate term)
amah house maid
Basic Law Constitution for post-1997 Hong Kong
BLCC Basic Law Consultative Committee which helped write Basic Law
CAAC Chinese national airline. Stands for "Chinese Airliners Always Crash"
Cantonese Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong
catty Chinese unit of weight; approx. 1.33 lb or 0.7 kg
CCTV Chinese Central Television. Official national television network
CMB China Motor Bus. HK bus company known for its reckless drivers
choi sum delicious Chinese vegetable
congee rice porridge
conservative in HK context, someone whose politics are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun
daai paai dong low-priced street-side restaurant
Daya Bay nuclear power plant just upwind of Hong Kong
dim sum tasty dumplings served literally a la carte, on carts wheeled table-to-table in Chinese restaurants.
dollar 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$1.00) = US$0.13
Executive Council Governor's appointed cabinet of advisors
faan gwailo more belligerent term than "gwai lo"
fung shui Chinese traditional belief in good fortune in relation to geographical alignment of structures
gwai ghost; demon
gwaipoh female gwailo
gwailo "demon man"; in other words, a foreigner
hoi moon lai see lucky money given by a groom to bridesmaids to make them "open the door" to his bride before a wedding

Hung Hom
low rent district in Kowloon
hung mo gwai "red haired demon"; belligerent term for gwailo
Inland Revenue tax department
Joint Declaration 1984 pact, in which Britain agreed to hand over Hong Kong to China
Kai Tak Hong Kong's international airport
Kowloon Peninsula which forms part of the colony where Lizzie lived.
Lantau Island outlying island; site of new airport now under construction
Legco Legislative Council; Hong Kong's semi-legislature
Macau Portuguese colony near HK; reverts to China in 1999
Mai Po Marsh wildlife preserve along the border with China
Mongkok Kowloon district crowded with people and boutiques
MTR Mass Transit Railway; the subway train
New China
News Agency
see "Xinhua"
Nathan Road major shopping area and traffic corridor of Kowloon
New Territories northern half of the colony of Hong Kong
Ni hao ma Mandarin for "How are you" or "hello"
The Peak posh residential area on top of Victoria Peak
PRC People's Republic of China
Public Order
law empowering government to censor the press
SAR Special Autonomous Region; what HK is after 1997
Shenzhen Chinese industrial city bordering Hong Kong
shoe shiner Cantonese term for sycophant or "bootlicker"
to taam to spit; another of Hong Kong's national pastimes
Tolo Harbour highly polluted body of water in New Territories
triad Chinese criminal gang
Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district, known for dishonest shopkeepers
turtle's egg highly derogatory Chinese insult
Urban Council responsible for museums, libraries and parks
wai Cantonese way to answer the telephone
(pron. "Shin-wa")
New China News Agency
8 lucky number in Cantonese, means "wealth"
88 twice as lucky as number 8


Meet Lizzie's friend
Lily Wong
who helped Lizzie with this page.

Go back to Lizzie's Place

© Elizabeth deMarco 1995-2002. All rites observed.