I had to take a trip downtown and since driving downtown is crazy and slow and expensive I decided to drive to West Portal and hop on a metro train. Here’s where the fun began.
As I got on the train I sit down and try and tune out everything around me. There was a Chinese couple sitting across from me and they were speaking Cantonese. I’ll get to how I know it was Cantonese and not Mandarin later. So as I’m tuning everything out I suddenty hear. “LOOK LOOK BUTT SHOP!” OK, something like that you don’t just let slip by you.
My minde started wondering what a place called the Butt Shop would be, or maybe it was called the Look Look Butt Shop, kind of like one of silly Asian companies that put English words together to name their company, but not exactly choosing the best words like, “Happy, Sunny Egg Place”. No I’m serious, I actually saw that one time. Maybe the Look, Look Butt Shop sold fanny flattering attire to women who aren’t getting enough attention? Maybe it was a plastic surgery place that fixed dented derrieres?
OK, I’m thinking a little too much here and as I got off the train I realized what she was saying thanks to my Kung-Fu teacher who made us count in Cantonese [Thanks you Sifu Wong!]. They were numbers. 6, 6, 8, 10. They just happened to sound close enough to English words that my mind created the Look, Look Butt Shop out of those sounds. The closest I can come to what the words actually are is luk, luk, baht tsup.
Of course, while I can get my face slapped in about 12 different languages, my knowledge of Cantonese is pretty limited so maybe they weren’t numbers and they really were talking about the Look Look Butt Shop. I tried putting it into google to see if it came up and it didn’t, but maybe that’s a good name for a company that I can make lots of money off of. It’s certainly better than the Cranberry and Apple juice combo that was called “CRAP” when it was released in Japan.
So now I have to ask, what other foreign words can sound like something odd in English and what English words sound like something odd in other languages? Let me know I’m kind of interested in this.