Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bok Kai Temple

I need help from Taishanese native speakers out there on pronunciation and usage! Hidden in an SF Chronicle article, I found a reference to the historic Bok Kai Temple in Marysville. On the temple’s website and on Wikipedia, I saw the temple’s name transcribed as 北溪廟.

On the Wikipedia page, there is another reference to this deity as “Bok Eye” with a link to a page on Xuan Wu 玄武, who is also referred to as the Northern Emperor or Bei Di 北帝. “Bok Eye” looks like an English transcription of the Taishanese pronunciation of 北帝. You probably see where I’m going…

Is 北溪 a Taishanese eggcorn for 北帝? If so, that would be really cool. Or maybe I’m just missing out on a bigger piece of Chinese history and culture.

Do you know of other references to 北溪?