Slang & Idioms

Nip something in the bud

nip-sth-in-the-bud

In this post, Journey11 shares with you Cantonese expressions meaning “nip something in the bud”

防患於未然

fong4 waan6 jyu1 mei6 jin4

斬草除根

zaam2 cou2 ceoi4 gan1


What’s Happening:

London suffered its third terror attack in less than three months, which left seven people dead and dozens more injured. The weekend’s attack at London Bridge and Borough Market was done by three jihadists, one of which has ever appeared on a television documentary.

With his presence known to the police, criticism flared over how the attacker could still be able to slip through the British surveillance.


The Cantonese we speak:

If British police didn’t overlook the jihadist appeared on television, the attack could have been nipped in the bud.

You can say:

1. 一早就應該防患於未然。([The attack] could have nipped in the bud.)

jat1 zou2 zau6 jing1 goi1 fong4 waan6 jyu1 mei6 jin4

2.本身可以斬草除根架。([The attack] could have nipped in the bud.)

bun2 san1 ho2 ji5 zaam2 cou2 ceoi4 gan1 gaa3


Key Points

本身 [bun2 san1] is often linked with subjunctive mood, the English equivalent of “could have”.

e.g. 本身約好左踢波,點知落雨。(I could have played football if not for the rain.


Learn also:

Break into a cold sweat

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