PostShow links to 十八摸’s article on the etymology of “我顶你个肺” (“I hit your lung”), which I’ve translated below:
”’In the Crazy Stone 《疯狂的石头》movie, the catchphrase of the Hong Kong bandit in the movie, “我顶你个肺” (“I hit your lung”) has come into vogue. No longer confined within the Cantonese regions in GuangZhou, the phrase is now spoken by many people in non-Cantonese areas. On the news two days ago, in some office, someone said “我顶你个肺”, which provoked the boss so much that the boss immediately prohibited the staff from “saying any lines from movies at work.”
This phrase has been in the airwaves for a while, but I never really knew what it meant, just that it was a pretty foul phrase for cursing someone. I thought to myself, the Cantonese people “sure are classy,” that to curse someone in their dialect, instead of relying on lewd slang, directed the curse at the lung. Or perhaps the “lung” is a special spot in the eyes of the Cantonese? Or maybe the Cantonese are born with special feelings for their “lungs”?
Last night I had dinner with Old Yu, and Old Yu cleared up my misunderstandings.
Apparently, “我顶你个肺” (“I hit your lung”) is a variation of the rude Cantonese term “我顶你 fai hai (广州音)” (“I hit your ‘fai hai’ (phonetic spelling of Cantonese dialect)). In this case, the “fai” sounds like the Chinese “块” (kuai4) sound, as in the measure word. The word “hai” refers to a part of the female body, which in the Northern dialect would be called the “逼” (bi1). This phrase then was originally very vulgar, but as people said it more and more, they decided that the “fai hai” portion was too bothersome, and cut the two words down to a simple “肺” (“lung”; fei4) sound. (This truncation of two words was adopted across the nation.
Looking at it now, I guess good ol’ GuangZhou wasn’t able to avoid being vulgar. Deconstructing this word sure is no fun, especially for my female comrades; after knowing what “我顶你个肺” (“I hit your lung”) means, and even if they can’t resist saying it, won’t be able to say it so boldly.”’