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Jul 28, 2007

Taiwanese culture: 足俗 (tsiok sông)


足俗 (tsiok sông), also heard as a Mandarin/Taiwanese mix 很俗 (hen3 sông) is an adjective that is something like a cross between redneck (working class culture), tacky and cheap.
It's meaning is a lot like 很台 (hen3 tai2), but tsiok sông is used in more derogatory situations and hen3 tai2 includes bling-running lifestyles and activities. In other words, tsiok sông is a subcategory of hen3 tai2. Things that are 足俗 are 很台, but not everything that's 很台 can be 足俗.

The word has no proper antonym.

While I can't find any video of dancing or pictures of store names that qualify as tsiok sông (names like 又香又好吃炒麵 "Fragrant and Tasty Noodles," for example), I can come up with some good examples.

Lighters with flashing lights are 足俗. Lighters shaped like Taiwan beer are 足俗. Lighters with barely-dressed girls on them are 足俗. 走馬燈 are 足俗. Dark colored, non-denim shorts are 足俗.

All pictures stolen from a Google image search without credit.


Betel nut:





Jason said...

OOH! Good call. Maybe this should've been called "You might be 足俗 if you...."

I have some more:

1. Whisbih
2. Long pinky nails
3. Unwashed t-shirts that act as car seat covers
4. Using a farming tractor as your primary mode of transportation... in the city.
5. A pristine ballcap featuring the name of your local temple
6. Those woven heavy plactic bags
7. 蹲蹲

阿牛 said...

Excellent additions. I hadn't gotten around to everything. Your list is almost takes over everything left.

You reminded me to add:

1. Not cutting the hair coming from a facial mole
2. Wearing rubber boots without socks at construction sites
3. NT$10 coin slot Karaoke bars