Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Phrases Expressing Actions, part 5
John: Hi everyone, and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com. I'm John.
Nguyet: And I'm Nguyet!
John: This is Must-Know Vietnamese Slang Words and Phrases, Season 1, Lesson 18. In this lesson, you'll learn more phrases expressing actions.
John: These are funny ways to describe a few actions. Let's learn why and how we should use them.
SLANG EXPRESSIONS
John: The expressions you will be learning in this lesson are:
Nguyet: ăn cơm trước kẻng
Nguyet: ăn kem trước cổng
Nguyet: đặt gạch
Nguyet: cắm sừng
John: Nguyet, what's our first expression?
Nguyet: ăn cơm trước kẻng
John: literally meaning "eating before ringing the gong." In the Vietnamese military, you act and do activities based on the ringing of the gong. For example, at meal time, soldiers don't eat until they hear the gong ringing, same as bedtime and many other military activities. When it's used as a slang expression, it means "getting pregnant before getting married."
Nguyet: [SLOW] ăn cơm trước kẻng [NORMAL] ăn cơm trước kẻng
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Nguyet: ăn cơm trước kẻng
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: In the past, it meant an act where someone has slept with their girlfriend or boyfriend before getting married. It used to be a big no-no in Vietnam, culture-wise. In modern days, it refers to a girl or a woman getting pregnant before legally marrying a man. It's often sarcastic or critical. It used to be a big deal in Vietnam for many years, until a few years ago. Now it's more socially accepted but still not very encouraged.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Vì Hạnh ăn cơm trước kẻng nên giờ bố mẹ cô ta buồn lắm. [SLOW] Vì Hạnh ăn cơm trước kẻng nên giờ bố mẹ cô ta buồn lắm.
John: "Hanh's parents are very upset now, as she got pregnant before getting married."
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Vì Hạnh ăn cơm trước kẻng nên giờ bố mẹ cô ta buồn lắm.
John: Okay, what's the next expression?
Nguyet: ăn kem trước cổng
John: literally meaning "eating ice cream in front of the gate." But when it's used as a slang expression, it also means "getting pregnant before getting married."
Nguyet: [SLOW] ăn kem trước cổng [NORMAL] ăn kem trước cổng
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Nguyet: ăn kem trước cổng
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: This is a pun from the previous slang as they rhyme together:
Nguyet: ăn cơm trước kẻng — ăn kem trước cổng.
John: This is a fun pun invented by the younger generation and it's mostly used as a joke now, as getting pregnant before getting married is now more socially accepted. You can use it when someone in a relationship "crossed the socially accepted line."
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Mày với nó yêu nhau đã lâu, chắc phải ăn kem trước cổng nhiều lần rồi ấy nhỉ? [SLOW] Mày với nó yêu nhau đã lâu, chắc phải ăn kem trước cổng nhiều lần rồi ấy nhỉ?
John: "You guys have been together for awhile now. Must have crossed the line a number of times, huh?"
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Mày với nó yêu nhau đã lâu, chắc phải ăn kem trước cổng nhiều lần rồi ấy nhỉ?
John: Okay, what's our next expression?
Nguyet: đặt gạch
John: literally meaning "putting a brick down." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "stand or queued in line for something."
Nguyet: [SLOW] đặt gạch [NORMAL] đặt gạch
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Nguyet: đặt gạch
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you want to get in line to get something or you put down something as a deposit to wait for something when ordering or shopping. The history of this slang came from the difficulties of life under Vietnam’s Subsidy Economy between 1975 and 1986. During this period, food, goods, and services were purchased with coupons or food stamps at government kiosks. When people got to these kiosks, there was usually a long line of people waiting for their turn. When it took too long and someone couldn't stand in the line the whole time, they put a brick there to "represent" themselves.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Cháu đã đặt gạch con gái bác rồi đấy nhé. [SLOW] Cháu đã đặt gạch con gái bác rồi đấy nhé.
John: "Remember, I am standing in the line to wait for your daughter." (To be old enough to be in a relationship — it’s a common joke).
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Cháu đã đặt gạch con gái bác rồi đấy nhé.
John: Okay, what's the last expression?
Nguyet: cắm sừng
John: literally meaning "putting horns on someone's head." But when it's used as a slang expression it means "to cheat."
Nguyet: [SLOW] cắm sừng [NORMAL] cắm sừng
John: Listeners, please repeat.
Nguyet: cắm sừng
[pause - 5 sec.]
John: Use this slang expression when you talk about someone cheating on their partner.
John: Now let's hear an example sentence.
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Chị ta đã cắm sừng chồng bao lâu nay rồi mà anh ta không hề biết. [SLOW] Chị ta đã cắm sừng chồng bao lâu nay rồi mà anh ta không hề biết.
John: "She has been cheating on her husband for a long time now and he has no idea."
Nguyet: [NORMAL] Chị ta đã cắm sừng chồng bao lâu nay rồi mà anh ta không hề biết.
QUIZ
John: Okay listeners, are you ready to be quizzed on the expressions you just learned? I will describe four situations, and you will choose the right expression to use in your reply. Are you ready?
John: They have to rush now with the wedding plans because a baby is on it’s way.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Nguyet: ăn kem trước cổng
John: "getting pregnant before getting married"
John: She gave birth before actually becoming his wife.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Nguyet: ăn cơm trước kẻng
John: "getting pregnant before getting married"
John: Your friend is seeing other men while her boyfriend is abroad.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Nguyet: cắm sừng
John: "to cheat"
John: He paid half of the price ahead of time to make sure to get the product in the queue.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Nguyet: đặt gạch
John: "stand or queued in line for something "

Outro

John: There you have it; you have mastered four Vietnamese Slang Expressions! We have more vocab lists available at VietnamesePod101.com so be sure to check them out. Thanks everyone, and see you next time!
Nguyet: Tạm biệt.

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Hi Listeners! Do you know any other related slang expression? Post them in the comments.