Cantonese: 舐/瀨(laai2)嘢


Senior Member
Canadian English
Hi all,

I was watching TVB program about cooking competition. The host mentionned Laai/Lai (not sure if it's long "aai" or short "ai") 嘢. I think it means something of low quality, i'm not certain.

Please advise the meaning and the chinese character.

Thanks in advance.
  • halfflah

    English - Canada
    Hm... I don't know that it fits the context, but the only thing I can think of is 瀨嘢 which doesn't have anything to do with cooking haha, unless maybe someone cheated and got caught??


    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Hi! That may be laai2je5, literally "lick [the] thing", meaning "get into trouble". You may write it as 舐0野, although the "literary reading" 文讀 of 舐 is saai2, as in idioms like 舐犢情深 saai2duk6cing4sam1 and 吮癰舐痔 zyut3jung1saai3zi6.

    The expression can be quite vulgar, as in :warn:佢同差佬報串我咪舐0野! "I'll be in deep shit if he rats on me [to the cops]", although it's used by many, especially when one blunders, as in 死喇,舐0野添 "Oops, I goofed!"

    The "thing" in question is supposed to be the female genital, and I often hear the youth say laai2taat1 舐撻 "lick [the] tart" for the same meaning. If you want to emphasize, you can say 舐大鑊 laai2daai6wok6 or 舐到應一應 laai2dou3 jing3yat1jing3 "goof big time".

    A variant is leng2je5 領0野, but there's a difference: this one can be used with a pronoun to mean "fall for someone's trick", as in 我唔會領你0野 "you can't fool me!" (NOT *我唔會舐你0野).

    Hope that gives you an idea!


    Senior Member
    I'm not a native speaker, yet I've guessed laai2je5 is "lick the thing". Although the literal meaning is kind of vulgar, I can hear it from time to time even in my office...
    I want to ask about 領 and 舐, are they both meaning "to lick" in Cantonese? I think I've heard both.


    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    I want to ask about 領 and 舐, are they both meaning "to lick" in Cantonese? I think I've heard both.
    Hi! There're two words for "lick" in Cantonese: laai2 and lem2. The two are not interchangeable, though (we can't say *lem2je5, for example). It seems to me that lem2 is more "delicate" than laai2. For example, when I talk about a cat which licks another, I would use lem2 instead of laai2. There's also the expression lem2lem2lei6 (you can write it as lamlam脷; most Cantonese speakers don't distinguish the vowels [æ] and [ɛ] as found in English), used to describe food (so delicious that one keeps licking one's chops even after eating). In recent years one hear the expression lam到盡 a lot, often used to describe the local tycoons who are unscrupulous to "milk it for all it's worth".

    As to leng2 領, it doesn't mean "lick" by itself, and as far as I know, is only used in the expression leng2je5 (or leng2某某je5, which is like 著了某某的道兒 in Mandarin).

    I thought 舐 was pronounced lem2.
    Yeah, since Cantonese orthography is not standardized, one should not be surprised when one finds 舐 stands for both laai2, saai2 and lem2 depending on the context.
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