Don’t try to be clever, son! Lí mài teh ké-gâu! 你 mài teh 假 gâu!

Feel like your friend’s being a pretentious ass and want to take him down a peg or two? This is the phrase for you!

oh-youre-trying-to-be-clever-allow-me-to-start-laughng-thumb

Ké-gâuF39A– translated into 自作聰明 or “trying to be clever, thinking you’re clever” (when you’re not).

Lí mài teh ké-gâu!  mài teh 假gâu!

It can be adapted into Mandarin too, so you can say:

你不要在那邊ké-gâu! Stop trying to be clever!

One example would be a recent ad I heard on the radio the other day, which used a quote from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, specifically about the Übermensch to advertise apartments in Hongshulin.

Feel free to contact me with any cool Taiwanese words or phrases you hear and want featured on the blog.

One thought on “Don’t try to be clever, son! Lí mài teh ké-gâu! 你 mài teh 假 gâu!

  1. Pingback: ‘Capable’ in Taiwanese: 「gâu」 | Translating Taiwanese Literature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s