原帖由 友赏来了 于 2018-10-8 21:02 发表
Original Meaning: Earthquake (Chinese)
Local Meaning: NEA inspector
At the peak of street-hawkers’ peddling in Singapore during the sixties to seventies, the hygiene was the biggest concern for the NEA (National Environment Agency). NEA inspectors would go around the streets to catch unlicensed hawkers, who would be fined or had their pushcarts confiscated.
Such chases after the guilty hawkers usually resulted in chaos with toppled pushcarts and knocked-down passers-by. The scenario was like a rumbling earthquake, thus the inspectors were called di gu in Hokkien (地牛 is an ancient Chinese name for earthquake).
The sights of several chasing inspectors were also likened to that of some uncontrolled wild bulls.
〔摘自 「Best of Singlish Words & Phrases」〔Posted on《Remembering Singapore》August 21，2011〕