4

CantoDict: 話之

regardless of; no matter what; "I don't care" | Std. Chin.: 不管; 無論 | Syn.: 唔理 | Usu. in the form of 話之你; 話之佢 etc.

~

粵典: 話之 / 話知

(yue) 唔理唔顧;無視

(eng) to ignore; to disregard; not to care; not to give a damn; used to >express indifference on the part of the speaker

Example of 話之 in a sentence:

  • 話之佢死,最緊要我地走得甩 - Don't care if he would die, the most important thing is we can escape

  • 話之你係皇帝,冇位就係冇位 - I don't care if you were the emperor, If there's no seat, there's no seat.

My thinking is:

"話" = "say"

"之" = "it"

"話之" = "say it"

"say it" --> suppose --> suppose (whoever) are (whatever), I don't care

replace "don't care" with "say it" in English:

  • 話之佢死,最緊要我地走得甩 - Say if he would die, the most important thing is we can escape

  • 話之你係皇帝,冇位就係冇位 - I say if you were the emperor, If there's no seat, there's no seat.

Question: Does is make sense that it is how we break down "話之" (say it = suppose = don't care)? Or there's some other explanation?

  • If you do interpret it this way, then you'll have to treat 話知 as an "incorrect" way of writing it. – dROOOze Dec 13 '19 at 8:03
  • Yes, if my interpretation is correct, then "話知" (say knowing) would also be a valid form of this phrase. – Tang Ho Dec 13 '19 at 8:12
1

i would treat it as “話知”:

i acknowledge (知道) from your speech (說話) that . . . [but]. . .

  • Are you suggesting “話知” is the original, standard term and "話之" was a mistake, but became too popular and was accepted as a valid variant of “話知”?. It could be an answer. – Tang Ho Dec 13 '19 at 8:41
  • yes, imo, 話知 is the original. meanwhile, 話之 is acceptable, i would not say it’s a mistake. you know, write down the proper character for cantonese is, quite difficult :) – 水巷孑蠻 Dec 13 '19 at 8:46
1

I think people got lazy as the 之 is easier and quicker to write than 知 and both sound exactly the same in Cantonese. In any case everybody knows what it means, so no problem.

It's like "Christmas" and "Xmas"

1

After exchanging comments with 水巷孑蠻 I did further research and found this entry in CantoDict

話知: used to express indifference on the part of the speaker

It confirmed "話之' and "話知" are indeed variant of each other. The question is: "which is the original?"

Base on my interpretation of "話之": ["say it" --> suppose --> suppose (whoever) are (whatever), I don't care], "話知" being the original would make more sense ["say knowing" --> say knowing (whoever) are (whatever), I don't care]

The answer to my original question: "...Or there's some other explanation? " would be:

話知” was the original, standard term for the meaning of "don't care" in Cantonese. And "話之" was a wrong way to write it because 知 and 之 are pronounced the same in Cantonese (Wayne Cheah suggested that people got lazy). Eventually, "話之" was accepted as a valid variant of “話知” by dictionaries due to it's popularity

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.