Looking For The Right Book Store? This Ain't It

The "Wong Fook Hing Book Store" chose the perfect name:

The Wrong Something Book Store

(Thanks Don!)


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Wong Fook Hing Book Store

I don't get it. The photo apparently shows a store from my native Hong Kong with a banner under it's English name saying "Our shop specializes in selling Form 1 to Form 5 textbooks", although the goods displayed in the showcase indicate otherwise.

I guess I still can't get what native North Americans found to be humorous after having lived here for over 30 years!

forget you

you must me joking if that you dont get it. me knowing english i even understand it.


read the sign again you fool ( and maybe pronounce it out loud )

Try this...

Combine the second and third words into one word then say the whole name repeatedly as fast as possible.
Good luck!

Bookshop name

I suspect it wouldn't be a good idea to place an order there, you'd probably get the wong fook :)



VERY obviously photoshopped.

VERY obviously photoshopped.


What do you see that makes it clear that this was photoshopped?


People who say things like "obviously photoshopped" also tend to be "obvious trolls," obviously.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

Very obfiously not photoshopped.

I am a talented photographer and use a professional version of Photoshop regularly. I have made several bogus photos by combining and manipulating images with Photoshop.
There are none of the tell tail signs of manipulation in this image to indicate that it has been “photoshopped.”

no, probably the real name

you have a "wong fook hing" (and a "wong yuen dick") listed at the national archives site:

Wong Yok Tong 20734
Wong Yow 20599
Wong Yow & Wong Fook Hing 34120/4
Wong Yuen Dick 20556
Wong Yum Yuen 20903
Wong Yun Mai 20782
Wong Yut

source: http://www.archives.gov/great-lakes/finding-aids/chinese-files-st-paul.html

Engrish: Because other people's languages are hilarious.

Maybe the first commenter was engaging in the elaborate deadpanning which is so often the best response to racist, sexist, classist, or ethnocentric "humor": that is, demanding that the person making the "joke" explain, in detail, just what is funny about it. In the process, of course, the person having to explain just what was funny about their remarks reveals themselves to be an ass.

What makes you think the

What makes you think the first commenter was serious??

Then again maybe they were serious, but for entirely innocent reasons such as because the name is in their first language they see it from that cultural perspective rather than the "English" perspective.

Why this is "racist". where in this posting is anyone making innappropriate comments about a "race"?

Hey Great Western Dragon good posting.

if you don't get that this

if you don't get that this posting is racist, then you really don't belong in librarianship!


Showing an unmodified picture of a store is racist? Thinking that the name sounds funny to english speakers because it sounds like you saying "wrong fucking bookstore" when you say the name is racist?

Dictionary definition of racism:
The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

I don't see how the picture does either or this things. The person that called racism is a reasonophobe.

Maybe the first commenter

Maybe the first commenter was engaging in the elaborate deadpanning which is so often the best response to racist, sexist, classist, or ethnocentric "humor": that is, demanding that the person making the "joke" explain, in detail, just what is funny about it. In the process, of course, the person having to explain just what was funny about their remarks reveals themselves to be an ass.

Reply: Like YOU???

um, racist?

is it okay to laugh at Americans with funny names? of course it is. funny names are funny. Dick Hertz will always be hilarious. oh, wait, maybe I'm racist towards whatever country all the Hertz's came from...

the photo isn't even an example of "Engrish" which is usually a foreigner's attempt to produce a sign or message in English, but screws up with hilarious results. that could be racist, if you want to stretch the definition to grammatical errors.

but "wong fook hing" is not funny by itself. it's not Engrish. and "book store" is absolutely correct. you declare racism and I counter. ante up.


I laughed out loud. It's sort of unintentional "Engrish".

@ commenter #1, it's funny in the same way the phrase "my dixie wrecked" is funny, or why I feel sorry for anyone named Mike Hunt.

Purile and immature, yes. Funny? yes.

I've heard we have phrases in English that, while innocent to us, sound vaguely obscene in other languages. Turnabout's fair play.


Sofa King funny!

Of Course Others Laugh At English

The Japanese laugh at some of our sayings and how they sound. The Mexicans thought the Chevy Nova was a hilarious name for a car. (In Spanish, "no va" means "won't go.") They were even more amused by Taco Bell's Chilito (Slang for "tiny penis.") and one of my Latino friends thinks the fast food Mexican place bearing the name "El Pollo Loco" is wonderful because, to him, it means The Crazy Cock.

It even happens in English between English speaking countries. A friend of mine was staying in the UK on an exchange trip. His host family asked if he had a job back home and he said "Not right now. I'm just bumming off my parents." There was that awkward silence and then laughter because, in England "bum" is slang for butt or ass. A "bummer" is a homosexual man. And "bumming" refers to sex between homosexual men.

Each language has cognates with other languages and sometimes, the results can be hilarious. Get over the so called racist streak and learn to laugh, dammit.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

The Overbearing Mother-in-Law

Wong Fook-Hing was the producer of "The Overbearing Mother-in-Law"

Is this for real?

I have doubts...does anyone here speak Cantonese? In Mandarin, these characters would be "Huang Fu Xing," which doesn't sound at all like the pun intended here ("xing" is pronounced like "shing"). Maybe it does in Cantonese, though. I have heard/seen Cantonese speakers say/write this first character as "Wong," so that part sounds plausible. But how do you get a "k" sound on the back of "Fu???" Is that really how you say it in Cantonese? Or did someone stretch the truth and use photoshop to make a joke?

Real name

If you Google the name it comes up on all kinds of sites. From what I see it is a real name: Wong Fook-Hing

I don't know why this is so amazing to people? Why is it so impossible that someone in another country would have a name that sounded odd in our language?

it is not difficult to

it is not difficult to believe in general -- I was just questioning because that is not correct Mandarin pinyin. But after looking one the web, I do think that is correct pinyin for Cantonese.

poor taste

I am going to send this to ALA to state how racist some of you are! A very poor taste whoever decided to post this. An Asian-American librarian

please send it..

so it will go to committee and they can pass a resolution. because we need another one of those.

I don't get it.

I don't understand how anyone can consider this "racist" in any way. It is a bilingual pun. Since when is the concept of a pun demeaning? By that logic, I guess we Americans must really hate English speakers, because an English-to-English pun is by far the most common type around here.

Some folks here are in danger of terminal seriousness. Please, see a doctor for a funny bone transplant.

Hey guise?

I think it's frightening to have to inject the wisdom of 4chan into a library discussion board, but I have this to say about the person threatening to go to the ALA and report us for racism.

Obvious troll is obvious.

Don't feed the trolls.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

these kinds of posting does

these kinds of posting does not belong in a 'library discussion board'!

you guys just don't

you guys just don't understand what minorities like asian-americans have to go through! if you don't understand why this posting is a racist, then you really should not be in public service posts like librarianship!

its real

the chinese says wong fook hing. fook hing is a very common name

also so far no chinese I've shown it to have got it...

This is the Wong Fook Hing

This is the Wong Fook Hing thread to be reading.

Realign with reality

"you guys just don't understand what minorities like asian-americans have to go through!"

No I dont, you must be totally unique in the whole world and we should all change the way we act and speak because it upsets you.

I'm from a minority too and some things suck. Some things though are great :D. Life can be challengine whereever you're from, but its too easy to blame difficulties on being part of a minority.

Its just about perspective. We can all see ourselves as a minority if we go somewhere different or change our point of view.

It's probably real

I just asked one of my friends (who knows Cantonese) and the romanization is apparently correct for the characters above it, and the name doesn't seem strange to them at all - in fact, I had to explain what I found funny about it.

Funny names

I knew a Richard Glasscock, he got upset at folks that called him Dick

What's the difference between certain posters and a jet engine?

The jet engine stops whining when you get to the gate.

What goes around comes around

How is it racist to laugh at things from another country that are funny in your language? In Germany there is a big bus company called Fücker. It's pretty hard not to laugh when one of those buses drives by. In the UK there's a chain of restaurants called Zizzi-- zizi means "penis" in French baby talk. And as a non-native but fluent French speaker, I couldn't help snickering when I saw a food delivery service in L.A. called LABite (in French that means roughly "the dick").

Seeing racism in every recognition of difference is a form of racism itself.





Wong Fook-Hing

I would guess everybody ended up on this site verifying the email -JOKE!!!!! I guess we all have racist friends.


I really don't get it... This is obviously not racist. It is a picture of a real store in Hong Kong. The name when pronounced by an english speaker sounds like vulgar slang. It is wonderful that we live in a free society where everyone is entitled to get offended at the smallest thing. And others like me are free to laugh at ourselves.

- A Polish American

P. S. If you don't think that I have been poked fun at, you have been sleeping for the last 50 years....


I am offended by your being offended.

It's just plain funny to

It's just plain funny to English speaking people so the rest of you can just GET OVER IT!!!!!! Go whine about something important because this is a joke. Better yet, go watch Comedy Central and figure out where your funny bone is you visceral neophytes.

Oh, for Pete's sake...

Wong Fook Hing....funny at first blush but juvenile, I suppose.

I knew a guy named Harold Dick...he preferred to go by Hal rather than Harry for obvious reasons. Again juvenile, but it colored his childhood in a negative way and continues to be an occasional source of irritation to this day, no doubt.

Once these threads degenerate into name-calling, as they invariably do, the accusation of Troll-ism seems to come up. I'm certain that somewhere out there are short folks living under bridges because of their socioeconomic circumstances. Let's try to be more sensitive to their plight, okay?

Wong Fook Hing book store

Okay so yeah Im ten my mom explained it to me the answer is THE WRONG FUCKING BOOK STORE


Phonetic humor is now racist? Unreal. Several years ago I worked for a company that did a lot of work in Southern China. Wanting to be as accommodating as possible to our customers who would visit from time to time, I bought some Chinese learning tapes, the kind where they give you little expressions and their English translations. You know, just enough language to start an international incident.
So I'm driving along in my car one day, listening to the tapes, when the attractive sounding young Chinese voice says (noting that the Chinese expressions are pronounced very quickly):

"Boo Shee" ... "No, Not So".

I damn near got in a car accident, how beautiful that the phonetic meaning is almost identical in (American) English. Or maybe I'm racist. Or maybe the gal on the tape was racist, after all, she did try to kill me. Or maybe its all just a bunch of booshee. Get over it.


Amazing how we can arrange words or a sentence to suit our needs. Merry Christmas and Tidings of comfort and joy. Say comfort and joy quickly.

there are more

I know (or have at least met) real people called Wong Fook Yew (plus there are five others on Facebook that I don't know), Harry Wang and Wide Wang.

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