What does Pok Gai mean and why should you never say it

  1. You might have heard or seen the word ‘Pok Gai’ before and might have stopped to wonder what it is. Obviously, you know that the word is bad and might have rightly guessed that it is a swear word. You might be puzzled about its meaning, its etymology and perhaps its origin.

In this article, you will get a better understanding of the swear word as the frequently asked questions about ‘Pok Gai’ would be answered.

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Lady shouting Pok gai at man, meaning of Pok gai, pronunciation
Lady calling man “Pok gai”

Back to ‘Pok Gai’, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers;

What is the meaning of Pok Gai?

Pok Gai is a Cantonese swear word used to express feelings of annoyance and anger. It literally means ‘trip and fall forward on the street.’ This meaning is a combination of the two words that form the phrase ; ‘Pok’ meaning ‘trip and fall forward’ and Gai meaning ‘street’.

Despite the literal meaning of the word being “trip and fall forward”, Pok Gai  also means ‘go to h*ll’, ‘go and d*e’ or ‘drop dead’.

Is Pok Gai a noun or a verb?

Both! Pok Gai is both a noun or a verb! It can be used either way. The meaning of Pok Gai changes contextually. This is characteristic of Cantonese; the variation of Chinese from which the swear phrase comes from.

When used as a noun, we see that the meaning changes a little. Here is an example;

  • Jenny is such a Pok Gai (noun)= Jenny is such an assh*le.

As a verb, the meaning is different though the same effect of swearing us intended;

  • Pok Gai (verb) la nei! = Go to h*ll.

The phrase can even be used as an exclamation. Take a look at the example below;

  • Pok Gai! I lost my brother again = D*mn, I lost my brother again.

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How to pronounce Pok Gai

Pok Gai is pronounced like so: /pʌk ɡʌɪ /. In a simpler way, think of pronouncing it as saying “Puck guy”.

Does Pok Gai mean the same as PK?

Yes! You might have seen ‘PK’ before on some online games and wondered what it meant. It actually means “Pok Gai”.

What does it mean when a person is called Pok Gai?

When you call a person ‘Pok Gai’, you are basically calling him/her a b*stard or assh*le. It also means a person who deserves to fall and d*e.


Pok Gai is a swear word and is therefore not fit to be used to describe people. It is a bad word that is used by Cantonese speakers particularly when they are angry at someone. It is considered offensive and is bleep censored on Hong Kong broadcast television.

In a nutshell, DON’T SAY POK GAI.