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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chinese Idiom of the Day III

Other editions of Chinese Idiom of the Day:
Chinese Idiom of the Day I
Chinese Idiom of the Day II
Chinese Idiom of the Day IV
Chinese Idiom of the Day V

If you are using your new TWoNN calendars, you will see that Chinese New Year is this Thursday, February 7. In honor of the occasion, I will be posting a new Chinese idiom every day in the scrolling marquee at the top of the blog until my brain runs out of them (currently, I have 11 lined up). I've done the first one (畫蛇添足) and provided the literal translation (Draw snake, add legs.). I have also provided the meaning (You are being unnecessarily extravagant and spoiling the whole thing in the process.).

Starting tomorrow, I will update this blog entry every day to give you a new idiom and its literal translation. But you have to guess its meaning! (Good luck to the non-Cantonese speakers out there, mwahahahahahahahaa!!!)

P.S. There will be a "click me" link in the marquee that will bring you to this blog entry.

Feb. 20: 口水多過茶 (She/He has more saliva than tea.)
Meaning: One who talks too much, like my mother. (credit: Freelance Midget)

Feb. 20: 上得山多终遇虎 (If you go up the mountain often enough, you will eventually meet a tiger.)
Meaning: If you flirt with disaster long enough, you're going to get caught. (credit: Cl. Panic)

Feb. 20: 鬼影都冇隻 (Not even the shadow of a ghost)
Meaning: What you find inside an SDA church any given Sunday. (credit: Mr. Nonny Nu)


Feb. 21: 知唔知道個死字點寫? (Do you know how to write the word "death?")
Meaning: A statement used as a threat (e.g., "If you don't clean your room RIGHT NOW, young man..."). (credit: Cl. Panic)

Feb. 21, 22, 23, 24: 一竹篙打死一船人 (One stick of bamboo kills one boatload of people.)
Meaning: Do not generalize (e.g., do not use one stick of bamboo to kill a boatload of people, do not use one statement to categorize an entire group). (credit: Mr. Nonny Nu)

Feb. 25: 借刀殺人 (Borrow a knife to kill a person.)
Meaning: Use someone else to do the job you wanted to do, thereby keeping yourself out of the list of suspects and pinning the blame on someone else. (credit: Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

55 comments:

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"She/He has more saliva than tea."

a bad restaurant review?

Freelance Midget said...

are you talking about popo?

Nonny Nu said...

Again, Mr. Nonny Nu is wrong and Freelance Midget is right.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

okay, what the hell is a popo?

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

okay, what the hell is a popo?
Your mother-in-law.

popo = maternal grandmother

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

in that case, her daughters should be terribly ashamed. letting your own mother go without enough tea. sickening. she's chinese for heaven's sake, tea is like water to her!

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

Unbeknownst to the bear, it utters a clue to the meaning of the idiom 口水多過茶 (She/He has more saliva than tea.). Tea--the drink of choice for people with squinty eyes.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

but you already said that midge was right. wth?

~ ~ ~

(this shit is rigged against the gwai los.)

Nonny Nu said...

Dude, how could a Chinese idiom mean my mother?? Beyond Rosemead's Ranch 99 Supermarket, she isn't that famous, you know. The idiom can be used to describe her, but the idiom doesn't mean "Nonny Nu's mom." *eyes*

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

dudette, rewind:

midge: talkin' bout popo?

nn: freelance midget is right.

damn, madam.

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

Are you talking about popo? /= Does the idiom mean popo?

Geez. I know you don't speak Chinese, but it looks like you don't speak English either.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

you're just mad because you know i'm right.

~ ~ ~

Earl Grey said...

Well, my fine chaps, I do believe that 口水多過茶 describes one who talks too much.

Although I much enjoy a bit of conversation over a fine cup of perfectly brewed British tea, I become quite squeamish around me old mother in law.

Nonny Nu said...

Well, my fine chaps, I do believe that 口水多過茶 describes one who talks too much.
Well, well, well, Mr. Nonny Nu is finally on the board. Hurray.

Lapsang Souchong said...

Thank Golden God we finally get a new idiom. Let's get on with this, Ms. Nu.

Oh, and Mr. NN: 反到成身都咁 重唔去沖個涼

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

In my neighborhood "popo" means the police, Five-O, or The Man.

Cl. Panic said...

In my neighborhood "popo" means the police, Five-O, or The Man.

Not too different than a mother in law really. We all acknowledge that they're needed, but you're probably in trouble if you find one knocking on your front door.

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

"Not too different than a mother in law really. We all acknowledge that they're needed, but you're probably in trouble if you find one knocking on your front door."


So True.

Nonny Nu said...

Lapsang Souchong
^^Okay, who's the wise guy? (Email me and announce yourself.)

And, I'll have you know that the Feb. 20 idiom didn't even last for a day, while the one before that lasted for 4 days.

Nonny Nu said...

"Popo" is not pronounced the way the fuzz is pronounced. (btw, don't trust the cops--they're not your friends!!) The O's are pronounced like "oar" minus the r.

Cl. Panic said...

上得山多终遇虎 (If you go up the mountain often enough, you will eventually meet a tiger.)

If you flirt with disaster long enough, you're going to get caught.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"Oh, and Mr. NN: 反到成身都咁 重唔去沖個涼"

and just what is *that* supposed to mean!

~ ~ ~

or, as steve martin asks while in france, 'courtesy to speak english?'

Nonny Nu said...

OMG!! Those people up there aren't Mr. Nonny Nu!!! I should have known--they used capitalization. Mr. Nonny Nu just disclaimed all knowledge.

Who is Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong?? Of course, they are the same person, but who? I suspect they are the same person as the commentor who we thought was 3-fish but turned out wasn't. Who could this be? My new guess is it's Wah Toh. She expressed great interest in the Chinese idiom game. This is getting creepy.

Nonny Nu said...

反到成身都咁 重唔去沖個涼
Look at your body after flipping. Why don't you go take a shower.

CREEPS.

If you flirt with disaster long enough, you're going to get caught.
That's right!

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"Look at your body after flipping. Why don't you go take a shower."

hmm... nope, can't say i know what you're talking about. but, i have a feeling it isn't good.


~ ~ ~

Bobby Peru said...

"Who could this be? My new guess is it's Wah Toh."

close, but it's more like 'ah-so!'

~ ~ ~

{gong!}

Orange Pekoe said...

Who is Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong?? Of course, they are the same person, but who?

Earl Grey the same as Lapsang Souchong? Blasphemy!

Friar Faze said...

"Feb. 22: 鬼影都冇隻 (Not even the shadow of a ghost)"

what you find inside an SDA church any given sunday.

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

what you find inside an SDA church any given sunday.
Okay, NOW you're on the board. Hurray.

Wow, these idioms are going like hotcakes.

Cl. Panic said...

知唔知道個死字點寫? (Do you know how to write the word "death?")

If you don't clean your room RIGHT NOW, young man....

Freelance Midget said...

what do you mean "Credit: earl grey"??? i believe i was the FIRST commenter who got it right when i mentioned popo :P

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

知唔知道個死字點寫? (Do you know how to write the word "death?")

I can do it in script with urine in the snow.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"i believe i was the FIRST commenter who got it right when i mentioned popo"

you see!

she ain't listening to us for shiznit, midge. apparently we don't matter to her. hmph.

~ ~ ~

MonkeyPig said...

I think the Chinese idoims should be off limits to the "real" Chinese.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"off limits to the "real" Chinese"

then what do we do with your sisters' kids?

XD

~ ~ ~

what's up, mp!

Nonny Nu said...

My omnibus comment...

If you don't clean your room RIGHT NOW, young man....
Correct! But in a very vague way.

what do you mean "Credit: earl grey"??? i believe i was the FIRST commenter who got it right when i mentioned popo :P
You speak the truth, Freelance Midget. You should be given credit for it. That is the prime description for my mom, though--she's a real big believer in conversations (mostly the one-way type).

To self: YAY! I don't have to give Earl Grey any credit!!

I think the Chinese idoims should be off limits to the "real" Chinese.
You know, the real Chinese would mop the floor with the gweilos. We are just holding back.

then what do we do with your sisters' kids?
We leave them at home and go on reunions ourselves, that's what!

MonkeyPig said...

My sister's kids aren't really "real" Chinese. They just know how to use chopsticks. "Real" Chinese don't have to take Chinese classes in College.

earl grey said...

I've been burgled!

Since when did it become the make an inside joke game?

I doubt you'd have stolen the title from Lapsang.

Nonny Nu said...

Well, it has never been about making an inside joke, but that is one way of guessing the idiom's meaning! Too bad we don't know who you are. Otherwise, you could use inside jokes, too! So solly, but Midge did get it right.

Nonny Nu said...

My sister's kids aren't really "real" Chinese. They just know how to use chopsticks. "Real" Chinese don't have to take Chinese classes in College.
It's true. Sometimes, Midge's Cantonese is limited to "he jumped" or (on good days) "he jumped here and there." Very sad.

Bobby Peru said...

"he jumped" or (on good days) "he jumped here and there."

oh, he did, did he! well, you just wait until 3-fish gets wind of this. there's gonna be a pray circle for you, young lady!

~ ~ ~

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"one stick of bamboo..."

all it takes is one half-assed stitch for the whole dress to come apart?

Nonny Nu said...

Good try, Mr. Nonny Nu, but no cigar yet. 一竹篙打死一船人 (One stick of bamboo kills one boatload of people.)--does this sound like a surgical approach?

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"One stick of bamboo kills one boatload of people."

1. little things mean a lot.

2. one good weapon can take out a company of unarmed men.

3. may i mumble dogface to the banana patch?

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

You are very very close with number 2! But, this idiom refers to something you DON'T want to do. The weapon is NOT a good weapon and it takes out more than it should (it is not surgical). You are so close!

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

if you throw that piece of litter on the ground, the whole world will be filled with terrible smog, forcing the populace underground, eventually turning everyone into molemen.

that little misplaced firecracker can blow off a whole foot.

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

You are very very close, but very very far away. The answer is: do not generalize (i.e., do not use one stick of bamboo to kill an entire boatload of people). I think I'll give you credit for it. This is partly because this has been a painful ordeal for me.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"this has been a painful ordeal for me."

well it hasn't been cupcakes and ice cream for me either!

*wails hysterically*
*rips down wallpaper*
*assaults innocent landscaper*
*hides in neighbor's shed"

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

*rips down wallpaper*
Um, Mr. Nonny Nu, where are you? I ask only because we don't have wallpaper back at the den...

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

then i am in some serious, serious trouble...

~ ~ ~

Nonny Nu said...

Just get home by dinner time, b.

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

"borrow a knife to kill a person"

setting yourself up for failure/not taking proper precautions?

making your sneaky intentions obvious?

Nonny Nu said...

No, not quite. The implication of the idiom is that it isn't obvious that you are the one who did the killing.

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

借刀殺人 (Borrow a knife to kill a person.)

Keep yourself out of the list of suspects - pin the blame on someone else.

Nonny Nu said...

Ding ding ding!!

You approached the idiom in the opposite direction but that's fine, too. Okay, what I just said? Only people who know what the idiom means can appreciate it.