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In Cantonese, there is a saying '寶物沉歸底', which roughly translates to 'good things always come last.'

I have two questions about this phrase.

  1. What does the word '歸' mean in this phrase?
  2. I googled this phrase and there are serval versions of it: '寶物沉歸底', '好物沉歸底', '寶物尋歸底'. Which one is correct?

3 Answers 3

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It is 好物沉歸底

  • 好物 - good things

  • 沉 - sink down

  • 底 - end up at the bottom

From my answer at another site

It is 「好物沈歸底」"Good stuff sinks to the bottom" It means: " the best things are often hidden under ordinary things. " which means: "We have to get to the bottom to unveil the full value of something"

Example: 「好物沈歸底,啲湯渣先至係碗湯嘅精華。」 「good things sink to the bottom, the leftover ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are actually the best part of the soup」(if you don't get to the bottom of the soup bowl, you wouldn't get to these goodies)

Say you want to hire someone-- after interviewing 30 of 40 people who applied for the job, you thought you've found the one you wanted, but I would advise you, and say: " 好物沈歸底- may be the best person is among the last ten, you should finish interviewing them all."

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寶物尋歸底

  • 寶物: treasure
  • 尋: found
  • 歸底: underneath

寶物尋歸底 could be interpreted as:

►found the treasure underneath
or 
►unraveling the secret treasure under something
or
►below what you could see are the precious gems
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寶物沉歸底 is correct.

Where do you find treasures? At the bottom of the sea. There you go.

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