You bake bread


ni3 kao3 mian4bao1

Literally: you bake bread. I heard this in a class full of teens and, believe it or not, it’s an insult. I had to ask them why and where the term came from. Anyone else heard this one? Wanna take a guess at it’s meaning or etymology? Learners only please and no cheating (ie asking local wives etc).

Hmm… “You’re toast”?

Nice one. But that’s “Toasty” to you sir.

Actually, the “you bake bread” comment means something different entirely. It’s a reference to one of the jobs mentally challenged people do as an occupation in Taiwan. The comment came from one of my teenage students and was directed at another student who was behaving enthusiastically. It’s actually a nasty thing to say and, when teacher was brought up to speed as to its meaning, the culprit got double homework and the honor of staying behind to clean the classroom. So, if someone tells you that you bake bread–even if his name is toasty-- you can be sure he’s not complimenting your buns.

Another bread-themed vocabulary item brought to you by Toasty.

Thanks, that’s pretty good to know. Youths these days… my my my. I’m glad you punished that one, though! Did you make sure to explain the reason why that’s bad? I know that my teachers have taught me a lot, and shaped my character for the better.

Ok, now let’s ask the local SO’s to find out whether this is well-established slang or just one of those new things that only pimple-faced teens know… because I don’t find the latter category of slang worth committing to memory, being an old fart myself. :stuck_out_tongue:

The school contacted his parents on my request and took care of that end for me.

I wonder if this is only used in Taiwan (do mentally challenged people bake bread for a living in the mainland?) and if so how widely used. It would be interesting if it spread.

OK, I am a local and I think I am young enough to pick up the slang that teens use (although I don’t speak them as often as average people do, I still get to know those words from my students or friends). But I have never heard of the slang “烤麵包”. My guess is that it’s somehow related to a certain sexual activity, as teens are curious about sex and like to make joke out about it. But that’s just a random guess.

And, personally, I think punishing them is a good thing to do, in this case.


Ooops, did I just leak the answer out?



Oooo. Now you’ve piqued my interest. :slight_smile:

But I tend to think my intitial instinct was correct, especially considering the context in which the comment was made. The kid was behaving very enthusiastically (perhaps too much so). One of her classmates exlaimed, “你真的考麵包!” I’m sure he was calling her a “retard.” I can’t see how anything other than that would fit the context of the insult. The explanation of the term that I gave came from more than one source, btw.

Perhaps you could explain how you would use a sexual reference to insult a classmate who was talking too much (and maybe saying strange things).

Based upon the above I would guess it refers to the young people who are afflicted with Down’s Syndrome “mongolism”. There is a Group in Taiwan called Children Are Us. They have bakeries and cafes where the staff out front and in the back are teenagers with Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsey … You usually hear more about these places during Mooncake Season. I am sure there is one or more bakeries of Children Are Us in Tapei.

I have been to the cafe in Jubei many times.

Down’s Syndrome people tend to be very upbeat and happy. Teenagers can be perceptive but cruel. Hence the reference to kids be overly happy at school.

If you have a chance go the Bakery/Cafes I always find the staff great and the food is good too.

Yeah, the class clown in one of my middle school classes used to get called that a lot. I had assumed it was some sort of bizarre in-joke. It was starting to get out of hand when I’d hear someone whisper the word bread, I’d repeat it, and the rest of the 35 students would hysterically burst out in laughter.

It came to an end quickly when I told the students whoever said the word “bread” had to stay after and write their homework five times.

There’s one in an alley off the south side of Minsheng E. Rd. between Dunhua and Guangfu (nearer to Guangfu), called 喜憨兒 xi3 han4 er2. You can read more about the group here, here and here.

The reason you hear about them at Moon Festival time is that these kids bake huge numbers of mooncakes then, too.

I’ve eaten at one of these places (bakery-cafe) about 5 times, and I think it’s a great idea. I do hope that groups like this help people have more positive contact with these kids and help these kids achieve more with their lives too. Hopefully we can stamp out ugly phrases like this kao3 mian4bao1… :s

I remember when I was a kid, the refrain was: “Do you want fries with that?” It was in reference to the McDonald’s hiring a lot of “special” adults.
Usually it was accompanied by a motion of a beating one’s chest with a one’s right arm–in imitation of those people who are unable to fully extend their arms or open their hands. Very cruel, indeed.

I’ve asked several young adults (locals) and no one has heard of this, so it must be the latest teen slang. :unamused:

“kao” also means “fuck” in Taiwanese. So now we have, “You fuck bread.” And I still don’t know what that means.

Although, as insults go, sodomizing bread is a good one. :smiling_imp:

Where’s Chewy? :unamused:

[quote=“jdsmith”]“kao” also means “fuck” in Taiwanese. So now we have, “You fuck bread.” And I still don’t know what that means.

Although, as insults go, sodomizing bread is a good one. :smiling_imp:

Where’s Chewy? :unamused:[/quote]

No, kao3 is bake. Kao4 is f*ck (right?). Totally different tones, or am I mistaken?

No, the insult wasn’t delivered in Taiwanese. It was delivered in full, clear Mandarin. The only part I lacked, initially, was the frame of reference necessary to fully understand the exact nature and full degree of the insult. I am aware of most common Taiwanese insults, along with a few I also got from students that I’m sure would similarly stump most readers here as well.

Not surprising, really. Kids in every corner of the world have their own “student language,” often unintelligible to those not in touch with youths directly. I think this term is very situational. It doesn’t have its connotative meaning when said out of context. I think if your friends heard it in context, they’d get the general gist of the meaning. When I heard it, I knew it was an insult, just not exactly in what way, simply because of the timing and delivery of the term.

[quote=“Dragonbones”][quote=“jdsmith”]“kao” also means “fuck” in Taiwanese. So now we have, “You fuck bread.” And I still don’t know what that means.

Although, as insults go, sodomizing bread is a good one. :smiling_imp:

Where’s Chewy? :unamused:[/quote]

No, kao3 is bake. Kao4 is f*ck (right?). Totally different tones, or am I mistaken?[/quote]

I always thought of kao bay kao boo as meaning I cry for your mother and father (because you are so stupid).

On the subject of Taiwanese obscenities, I’m not sure that ‘kao4’ ([i]kh