This is a wonderful Chinese word I’ve just learnt – mamahuhu.
It translates literally as “horse horse tiger tiger” but what it means is “so-so”.
I’ve been given several reasons for the origin of this expression, but the one I like best goes something like this:
Way back in pre-historic times an artistic caveman drew an animal on the wall of the cave with some charcoal. His fellow cavemen were very impressed, and one of them said ‘what a wonderful picture of a horse, so realistic’ but another said ‘whaddya mean a horse, look at it, it’s obviously a tiger’ and a heated discussion began with some shouting ‘horse, horse’ and others shouting ‘tiger, tiger’. After the row had gone on for some time they all decided it wasn’t that good a picture after all because they couldn’t decide if it was a horse or tiger, in fact as pictures went it was only so-so.