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Special meanings with Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6] and 屈 [wat1]

Special meanings with Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6] and 屈 [wat1]

Are you picking a Cantonese name for yourself?  Do you know Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6] and 屈 [wat1] can be used as an idiomatic expression for sarcasm?  Learn the special meaning of Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6] and 屈 [wat1] before you use them in your name.

Special meaning of Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6]

When 賴 [laai6] is used as a verb, it means to blame somebody and deny one’s responsibility.

nei5 ji1 gaa1 laai6 ngo5 aa4?

你依家賴我呀?

Are you blaming me now?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence依家

Particle 呀 [aa4] is used to ask the listener to confirm a statement.  Read Unit 8 Lesson 6 to learn more.

Since 賴 [laai6] can also be used as a surname, a question deliberately asking whether one’s surname is 賴 [laai6] or not implies the person being asked are blaming others.

nei5 sing3 laai6 gaa4?

你姓賴㗎?

Is your surname Laai? (Implied meaning: You are blaming others and denying your responsibility.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence

You can also imply that meaning by asking people to change their surname to 賴 [laai6].

nei5 m4 hou2 goi2 sing3 laai6?

你唔好改姓賴?

Why don’t you change your surname to Laai? (Implied meaning: You are blaming others and denying your responsibility.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence改姓賴

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbVerbNoun
Words in sentence/

Special meaning of Cantonese surnames 屈 [wat1]

When 屈 [wat1] is used as a verb, it means to falsely accuse someone.

nei5 ji1 gaa1 wat1 ngo5 aa4?

你依家屈我呀?

Are you falsely accusing me now?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence依家

Similar to the usage of 賴 [laai6], since 屈 [wat1] can also be used as a surname, a question deliberately asking whether one’s surname is 屈 [wat1] or not implies the person being asked are falsely accusing someone.

nei5 sing3 wat1 gaa4?

你姓屈㗎?

Is your surname Wat? (Implied meaning: You are falsely accusing someone.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence

Again, you can also imply that meaning by asking people to change their surname to 屈 [wat1].

nei5 bat1 jyu4 goi2 sing3 wat1 laa1!

你不如改姓屈啦!

Change your surname to Wat! (Implied meaning: You are falsely accusing someone.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative expressions in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence不如

Reference

  1. 粵典。「賴
  2. 粵典。「屈

That’s it for this lesson on the special meaning of Cantonese surnames 賴 [laai6] and 屈 [wat1]!  If you appreciate our work, sign up now and give us a LikeCoin by clicking the LikeCoin button below 5 times.  It will empower us to create more useful contents for you in the future!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. This is very difficult. Some impressions are implied and not literal tranlations. I did not know the Chinese language have sarcasm or play with words. I cannot read most Chinese lettering, but I understand more.

    1. Yes Cantonese often plays with words with similar pronunciation, and this is just one of them. Which sentence do you find difficult in this lesson? Maybe we can explain a little bit more for you.

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