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Ed Jaggard's Chinese Words for Week of 01-19-98

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tou2 bi4 kou3

coin slot

tou2 - put in; drop
bi4 - money; currency
kou3 - mouth; opening; entrance

Here is an extremely useful word that you might not have thought of even looking for in a dictionary. This word for coin slot can refer to vending machines, pay telephones, slot machines or just about anyplace where you can drop your money into a mechanical device, hoping to get something in return (especially when you drop your money into the tou2bi4kou3 on a slot machine!!)
The next time you take money out of your pocket and attempt to buy something from a machine, as you gently place your money into the coin slot, think tou2bi4kou3 to yourself.

January 25, 1998


zhi3 ke2 tang2 jiang1

cough syrup

zhi3 - to stop; halt
ke2 - to cough
tang2 - sugar; sweetened
jiang1 - thick liquid
tang2jiang1 - syrup

Cough syrup: Okay, I know it's a fairly mundane word, but at four characters, it makes a decent review word. Also, I'm not sure that it's a word you'll find in too many smaller dictionaries. Plus, you get two additional words from it. zhi3ke2 means to relieve a cough and tang2jiang1 means syrup.

January 24, 1998


gan1 yan3 zheng4


gan1 - dry
yan3 - eye; eyeball
zheng4 - disease; illness

And now a word from the dark realm of illness and disease.
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines it as:
a dry thickened lusterless condition of the eyeball resulting from a severe systemic deficiency of vitamin A.

I really don't think I can add much to that!!

January 23, 1998


ting1 tong3

1. telephone receiver
2. headphone
3. stethoscope

ting1 - to hear; listen
tong3 - pipe; tube; cylinder

Here you are. A chinese word that has three distinct meanings in English. The word and its meanings are kind of obvious, so I won't belabor the point except to say that this one is a good word to add to your vocabulary list!

January 22, 1998


tang2 lao3 ya1

Donald Duck

tang2 - rude; preposterous
lao3 - old
ya1 - duck

Yes, that's him. Rude old duck - Donald Duck of Disney fame. The tang2lao3 seems to have been chosen to give a phonetic equivalent to the name Donald, but the characters also have meanings, of course. In this case, they seem to have been chosen to describe Donald's character as a cartoon character. I'd like to have put an animated gif here, but not wanting to infringe on anybody's copyright feet, you'll find a link instead to Disney.

January 21, 1998

Look for Donald at this site!!

ya3 ju4


ya3 - dumb; mute
ju4 - drama; opera; play; theatrical work

Pantomime is non-verbal communication raised to an art form. It has long been a staple feature in Chinese classic opera so I have provided a link to the right to an interesting site that covers Chinese classic opera. Be sure to check out the Fat-Mouth Rabbit site in Hungary.

January 20, 1998

Homepage of the FAT-MOUTH RABBITS Pantomime Company in HUNGARY

A Chinese classical drama site

qi1 qiao3 ban3


qi1 - the number seven (7)
qiao3 - ingenious; clever
ban3 - a board; plate; slab, etc.

The tangram, or seven-piece puzzle, is:

tan·gram \'tan-gram \ n : "a Chinese puzzle made by cutting a square of thin material into five triangles, a square, and a rhomboid which are capable of being recombined in many different figures" - Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.

The link to the right will introduce you to the world of tangrams!!

January 19, 1998

What is a Tangram?
Free Game! Play the Tangram Game with Shockwave TM!
Also has links to tangram sites

Advanced Reasoning, Inc - Mathematical Recreations Home Page
Tangrams, Black Box and Magic Squares

My Main Home Page Here on Tripod


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