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give face

To honor; to pay respect.


  • First used in the late 19th century as a direct English translation of the Cantonese expression 畀面 bei2 min2 (literally "give face", with colloquial cantonese 畀 and 面 instead of the standard written form 給 and 臉 for "give" and "face" respectively. Note: It is now quite common for Mandarin-speakers to say 給面子 as a variation of 畀面, keeping the cantonese 面 instead of converting it to 臉 when they first borrowed it.

Submitted on September 01, 2009


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