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A few days back when watching the live football match between Singapore and China, I heard the two young men who hosted the show kept saying 这真是光屁股坐凳子有板有眼 about the performance of the Singapore side.

What did they mean?

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  • Just to add on to what others have said. The idea behind the phrase is that -- even when doing the toilet business, which actually does not require any "organization" or "orderliness", the Singapore team is still organized and orderly. It could be a compliment or otherwise depending on how one looks at it, and how one perceives the general public perception of the Republic of Singapore which is famous for clean public toilets way back when dirty public toilets were the norm in Asia. Commented Mar 24 at 5:25

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The first time I heard the term 光屁股坐凳子有板有眼, but it is a very simple 歇後語 (An idiomatic two-part double pun)

  • The first part is "光屁股坐凳子" meaning "sit on a stool with a naked butt"

  • The second part is "有板有眼" meaning "正確而有條理" (Correct and organized)

Why 有板有眼 mean correct and organized? The terms 板 and 眼 are related to musical notes. If someone hits all the 板 and 眼, he is playing the music correctly, The usage of this expression has extended to all other fields besides music, when you do a thing 有板有眼, you are doing it correctly and organized

Then why 光屁股坐凳子 mean 有板有眼? Well, 板 also means "plate" and 眼 also means "eye"

When someone sits on a stool with a naked butt, you have a plate from the stool and an eye from the butt. That eye from the butt refers to 屁眼 (anus)

The hosts were saying the Singapore team was up to the standard and organized

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光屁股坐凳子——有板有眼 is a funny two-part allegorical saying (歇后语), where the first part is an allegory to introduce the explanation in the second part. Here the first part interprets 有板有眼 as having a (wooden) board and a (butt)hole (有木板有屁眼), but in the whole sentence 有板有眼 still has its original meaning of "orderly". For example, you can say 他介绍规则的时候很有条理。这真是光屁股坐凳子——有板有眼.

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