Teochew: How Do You Say “Have You Eaten?”

by | Aug 10, 2018 | Teochew, Teochew - How Do you Say

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

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New Words

EnglishTeochewFormal RomanizationOur Romanization
Have you eaten your fill yet?食饱未?
Ziah ba bhuê?Jiak bah bware?
Have you eaten?食未?
Ziah bhuê?Jiak bware?
Have you eaten?
Are you done with your meal?
Ziah ho bhuê?Jiak hor bware?

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

Hello everyone, welcome to Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast 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? 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 – 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:


食未? and


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 Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast on

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

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, in our ”Can You Teach Me” podcast transcript, 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.


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