Chicken 鸡


Hello! This is our 3rd blog post for Fun Cantonese 101 - phrases that you can learn and use even in Hong Kong. You'll find pronunciations, explanations, examples, and audio recordings to help you follow along. Let's get to it!

If you missed the 1st post ( A Look inside the HK Families)  and 2nd post (About FOOD), you can click the links to see them.

GUESS WHAT? Would you believe there are OVER 50 Cantonese phrases that involve "Chicken?" it's crazy!  If it weren't for this post, I would have never known. From this, though, you can see chicken has a very important role in Chinese society - it is one of the 12 Zodiac animals in China (and is the zodiac animal for 2017) it is the most commonly eaten meat, etc.

After knowing the important topic that we are learning today, I hope these Cantonese phrases will help you to understand more about our culture.

5 Common Phrases that mention "Chicken"


Simplified Chinese鸡同鸭讲                       Mandarin Chinese:雞跟鴨說話

Pronunciation</span>: gāi tùhng ngaahp góng

Meaning: Liker a Chicken talking to a Duck. Even though two people are talking to each other, they are not communicating or understanding each other at all.

Example: If I'm trying to talk to my dad (a traditional Chinese father) about using technology, we will be like a Chicken talking to a Duck.


Simplified Chinese执死鸡                             Mandarin Chinese檢死雞

Pronunciation</span>: jāp seí gāi

Meaning: Found a dead chicken. The dead chicken (死雞) represents something left behind or something that someone lost (generally in a business sense). When a dead chicken is found, it is to take advantage of someone misfortune or to get lucky and find something good.

Example: A man decides to start a restaurant. He secures a loan and starts construction. When the place is just about complete he runs out of money goes bankrupt and is forced to sell. Then someone comes in and buys the place for pennies on the dollar.  He is said to have found a dead chicken.


Simplified Chinese落汤鸡                                 Mandarin Chinese落湯雞

Pronunciation</span>: lohk tōng gāi

Meaning: Chicken in Soup. It has the same meaning as "a drowned rat" in English.  This is a phrase that describes someone who got soaked from heavy rain or it can aslo mean someone who is currently in a very difficult situation.

Example: I got caught in a heavy rainstorm. I am like a chicken in soup.


Simplified Chinese静鸡鸡                                 Mandarin Chinese靜悄悄

Pronunciation</span>: jihng gāi gāi

Meaning: Quiet chicken chicken. It is simply to describe the act of moving quietly about.  It is common for Hong Kong people to say "quiet quiet chicken"靜靜雞 and both are the same.

Example: After my 2-year-old finally fell asleep, I need to be quiet chicken chicken when I enter her room to check on her.


Simplified Chinese鸡啄唔断                                Mandarin Chinese雞啄不斷

Pronunciation</span>: gāi deūng mh teúhn

Meaning: Chicken's pecking can't break it. This always reminds me of the cartoon of a chicken pulling on a worm but not being able to get it out of the ground. This phrase describes people who talk and talk nonstop, and won't let you out of a conversation with them. (Sounds like someone you know, right?)

Example: I try to avoid to start any conversations with my dad because it's like a chicken's pecking that can't break, he just keeps talking forever.

Do you have any similar phrases in your native language?

If you have any suggestion or questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at Thank you so much stopping by and for your support.


I am a mother of three who married a wonderful Japanese American man. I am a pianist, vocalist, chorister, former Chinese teacher, who graduated in Linguistics Major with TESOL and Music minor from BYU.

I have been sharing on my blog about Chinese Homeschooling for six months now. I also share Chinese language learning resources via my blog for helping parents home-school their dual language or multilingual children (ages 3-6).

Come visit my blog - http://www.fortunecookiemom.comFORTUNE COOKIE MOM


NihaoHello aims to cater to the new generation's growing interest to learn Mandarin Chinese. Homeschool and specialise in tutoring English speakers to speak essential but confident Mandarin Chinese. For beginner language learners to readily put to use as soon as you arrive to a Mandarin speaking region.