I had friends from Taiwan many years ago who often used an expression that seemed to mean something like "praising an idol, or bowing down" not sure. Sometimes said with a bowing down motion. It was always meant to be funny when I said something funny, clever or stupid. It sounds like "Oh mee doe voh" Stress or high tone was on "mee". I have always wondered what exactly it meant in Chinese. I just never bothered to ask. Any native Taiwanese help would be appreciated. Thanks.

2 Answers 2


It refers to 阿彌陀佛, the Amitabha Buddha.

You describe the colloquial usage of the term quite accurately.

Most of the time, the term is used not to refer to the Buddha itself, but to create comedic effect in speech.


Quote:- "It was always meant to be funny when I said something funny, clever or stupid"

Following on what Axel said, it is not typically Taiwanese.

The phrase is 南无阿弥陀佛 It is a solemn Buddhist chant. Since this is not a "religious forum", we'll leave it at that.

However, this phrase has often been used irreverently to, as in your case, make fun of other people. The reason is that Buddhist chants and or scriptures are normally beyond the understanding of non-initiates, so much so that when someone said something which no one could comprehend, (or because it is so silly or nonsensical), or, just for the fun of it, being made the object of a friendly ridicule, this phrase is uttered to indicate, in a back-handed sort of way, that what was said is so utterly profound as to be in the same category of some sagely sayings of the Buddha himself.

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