Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “Have You Eaten?”

New Words  
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours
Have you eaten your fill yet? – 食饱未 – ziah ba bhuê – jiah pah bware 
Have you eaten? – 食未 – ziah bhuê – jiah bware
Have you eaten? Are you done with your meal? – 食好未 – ziah ho bhuê – jiah hor bware

Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “Have You Eaten?”

Hello everyone, welcome to How Do You Say on My name is Eugene and in less than 5 minutes, you will learn how to greet people in Teochew in 3 different ways!  

Let’s start!  

Listen to these phrases:  


食未?(吃没?) and  


Do they sound similar to you? 

“食饱未?” means “Have you eaten your fill yet?”  

“食未?” means “Have you eaten yet?”  

The third phrase is “食好未” has a dual meaning. It means “have you eaten yet”, which is similar to “食未”, or you can use it to ask if someone is done with their meal.   

For example, at a hawker centre, if you are eyeing the seat of someone who looks as though he has finished eating, you can head up to him, and ask, “食好未?”  

You may now be wondering why greetings among Teochews or Chinese people revolve around food. One story is that in the olden days, there is a lack of food and people did not always have enough to eat. As such, asking about whether somebody has had a meal yet is a good way to show that you care about their wellbeing.  

Now, here’s a growing culture/trend/taboo. In current days, the 2nd and 3rd phrase, namely “食未” and “食好未”, are preferred over the first phrase “食饱未”. This is because the first phrase “食饱未”, seems to imply that the subject of your greeting is not affluent enough to eat his or her fill. 

Alright, let’s do a recap now.  The 3 phrases are:  

食饱未(吃饱没), 食未(吃没) and 食好未(吃好没) 

Hope all our listeners learnt something today. In our next post, you will learn 2 more common greeting phrases to greet your family, friends and co-workers! 

Thank you for listening in to How Do You Say on

Our Philosophy for Learning Teochew in Singapore

While we include formal romanization for Teochew words, we are advocates of easy learning. Hence we encourage you to form your own phonics so that you make an association with these Teochew words quickly. To illustrate, the formal romanization of “Teochew” is “diê ziu”. However, you’ll find that we use “teo chew”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “dio chew”, “dio jiu”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.