Cantonese Dishes with names native speakers don’t understand

Today, I’ll introduce you two Cantonese dishes with names that many native speakers don’t understand.

Butterfly

Bāng Sā. Photo Source

The first dish is a butterfiy-shaped snack called Bāng Sā, which is one the local specialties of Shun Tak 順德, and is made by deep frying dough containing red fermented bean curd, salt, sugar etc.

Bāng Sā Before Deep Frying

Bāng Sā is made by deep frying dough containing red fermented bean curd, salt, sugar etc. Photo Source

The characters for Bāng Sā are 虫崩 虫少.character
Yet, 崩沙 or 崩砂 are used most of the time as computer can’t rendered 虫崩 虫少. Bāng Sā means butterfly in Shun Tak dialect; however, majority of native speakers only recognise the word as a butterfly-shaped snack instead of a noun meaning butterfly.

The butterfly snack

Majority of native speakers only recognise the word as a butterfly-shaped snack instead of a noun meaning butterfly. Photo Source

The second dish is Bāng Sā Náahm 崩沙腩, butterfly belly, which is butterfly-shaped pork belly meat.

Butterfly belly

Bāng Sā Náahm, butterfly belly, which means butterfly-shaped pork belly meat. Photo Source

Bāng Sā has a Zhuang cognate

In Zhuang, a Tai-Kadai language, butterfly is called mbungq mbaj 虫蒙/虫朋 虫八, where q and j are tone marks.

 

zhuang

 

IPA for consonant mb is ?b. Tone mark q is equivalent to tone 2 of Cantonese while tone mark j is equivalent to tone 1 of Cantonese.

consonant

Zhuang Tones

2 comments

  1. Great! I saw these as a kid and know it from the children’s song,

    麻雀仔, Little sparrow
    叼樹枝, Twig held in beak
    叼上風頭望阿姨. Peck onto the head wind to look at mother’s younger sister.
    阿姨梳隻崩沙蝴蝶髻, Auntie’s combed a butterfly shape hair bun
    摘朶紅花伴髻圍. She plucked a red flower to put beside it.

  2. bang1 saa1 used to be the Cantonese word for butterfly, not limited to the shun-tak dialect.

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