Based on an ethnographic study of courtroom interactions in the bilingual (Chinese/English) common law system in Hong Kong, this article investigates how language plays a constitutive role in shaping the ways people use, argue, and think about law. While the use of English in Hong Kong prescribes by default the supposedly universal speech act of statement-making, the presence of Cantonese allows local speech acts to be brought into the courtrooms. Two local speech acts, “catching fleas in words” and “speaking bitterness,” are discussed. The findings of this study suggest that by studying the local practices and beliefs in postcolonial settings, researchers can gain insights into the complex ways in which Anglo American–style legal institutions are reconstituted.