I've created a character called Eh Poh Nim, a talkative young woman who's something of an English expert. Appearing in The Star's Mind Our English page today is the third article on Eh Poh Nim. The link to the article, Eh Poh Nim goes colloquial is here but after one month Star will remove it from the online archives.
Note : I've decided to paste the entire article here.
Eh Poh Nim wakes up late this morning, so she rushes to work without breakfast. At ten-thirty, her stomach starts to growl. She decides to pop over to the bakery downstairs to grab something to eat.
“Good morning. May I help you?” the salesgirl in the bakery greets her cheerfully.
“Yes, please. May I have a baker’s dozen of those doughnuts?” Eh Poh Nim points to the small sugary doughnuts piled up on a tray.
The girl counts 12 pieces and puts them into a plastic bag.
“Excuse me, you’ve only given me 12. Thirteen please.”
“You want thirteen, is it? You should have said so.”
“I did. A baker’s dozen is thirteen, not twelve.”
The girl rolls her eyes as she hands the bag to Eh Poh Nim. Just then, the bell chimes as another customer walks into the bakery. He stops in his tracks and exclaims, “Eh Poh Nim, is that you?”
Eh Poh Nim squeals in delight. “John Toh? I haven’t seen you since Form Five! What have you been doing?”
“Went to USA to study architecture. Just came back a year ago.”
“It’s great to see you again. Are you married?”
“No, I don’t have a ball and chain attached to me.”
“Ball and chain? That’s not very nice, John. A wife is a good thing, not a hindrance as implied in this expression.”
“Heehee, I see your linguistic skill is still intact. How about you? Are you married?”
“Still single. Why don’t we have a drink and catch up?”
They settle themselves at a table in a corner of the bakery and order their drinks. Eh Poh Nim offers the doughnuts to John.
“Your breakfast?” he asks.
“Yeah, I woke up late this morning and had to skip breakfast. I forgot to set my alarm and my roommate didn’t wake me up either. She was all schnozzled up and overslept.”
“That’s an interesting choice of words. All schnozzled up. That’s American slang for alcohol intoxicated. But then you’ve always been a smart one with words. I remember you were always the top scorer in English.”
Eh Poh Nim blushes. “I remember you as a ball of fire. You were so energetic and ambitious. So, how’s it been since you returned? What do you do?”
John tells her where he works. “I’m giving myself another year to get a promotion.”
“You’ve said it, Eh Poh Nim, I’m a fireball. They took two of us in as architects but I can easily beat the other guy to the promotion. He’s a cream puff. “
“Hey, I thought you were a hot shot with words? A cream puff is a wimp,” John says with a wink.
“If he’s the wimp, you’re the crackerjack then.”
“Touche, my dear. Yup, I’m the excellent, industrious one. He’s also a clay pigeon.”
“A gullible guy, huh? Why did the company take him on then?”
“He’s a nephew of one of the partners. What about you, Eh Poh Nim? What do you do?”
“I’m a marketing exec with a pharmaceutical company. My office is upstairs.”
“Do you sell that little pill that guarantees big results? Maybe I can get some from you at a discount, eh?” John says with a wink.
She bristles visibly. “There’s been too much ballyhoo about that one. There are other products that can do just as well a job. In fact, our R&D department is working on a product that can top it. When it’s ready to be marketed, we won’t create sensational publicity for it, we’ll just let the product speak for itself.”
“I can’t say more, it’s still confidential.”
“That’s all right, Eh Poh Nim. Excuse me, I have to go check out the plumbing.” John gets up to go to the bathroom.
When he returns in a short while, he pulls a face at Eh Poh Nim. “Some people don’t have the decency to flush. The toilet was floating with caca. Eeww.”
“Must you say it, John?” Eh Poh Nim pushes her iced lemon tea away.
“Sorry. Are you feeling green around the gills?”
“It’s okay. I’m not nauseated. Just lost my appetite, that’s all.”
“Sorry for being such a beetle brain.”
“You’re not a stupid person. Just don’t bring out that subject during a meal. Let’s go. I’ve got to get back to work before my boss misses me.”
“Eh Poh Nim, before you go, may I ask you something?”
“Do you know any A.C.-D.C. guys?”
Eh Poh Nim’s jaw drops.
“Close your mouth, girl. A mozzie is gonna fly in. You know what A.C.-D.C. is, don’t you?”
She nods. “Bisexual. Are you one?”
“Ssshhh...Not so loud. Give me a call if you do,” he says as he hands her his calling card.
Eh Poh Nim walks off in a daze as she tries to digest this piece of news. For all her forward loquaciousness, she’s an old-fashioned girl at heart.
Ref: NTC’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard Spears