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Ed Jaggard's Chinese Word A Day Page


tao2 yi4 su4 du4

escape velocity

tao2yi4 - to escape
su4du4 - speed; velocity

word from ¦t¯è astronavigation

December 14, 1997


liang3 ci4 yun4 qiu2

double dribble (in basketball)

liang3 - two; twice
ci4 - time; times
yun4 - to transport; move carry
qiu2 - ball
yun4qiu2 - to dribble (a ball)

word from Äx²y basketball

December 13, 1997


tun(2) you(2)

monkey's ischial callosities; monkey's seat pads

This word scooped from the annals of zoology demonstrates the descriptive nature of many Chinese words. For the student learning Chinese vocabulary, it provides a word that can nail down the two characters in the word. My experience has been that a word like this is not soon forgotten and that, although its utility as a word is limited, it is useful in learning the language.

tun2 - buttocks
you2 - wart; pustule

December 11, 1997

The Philadelphia Zoo Online

Don't Call Me Monkey - Old World Monkeys

piao4 ling4


piao4ling4 - purine
These are two characters that you probably won't see too often and if and when you do, it'll probably be this word from biochemistry.

A nitrogen-containing, single-ring, basic compound that occurs in nucleotides of DNA and RNA. The purines in DNA and RNA are adenine and guanine.

auf Deutsch - Verbindungen, die in den Zellen aller Lebewesen vorkommen. Sie spielen eine Schlüsselrolle bei der Erbinformation. Das Endprodukt beim Abbau der Purine ist die Harnsäure. Bei Gicht ist der Harnsäuregehalt im Blut erhöht, deshalb müssen purinreiche Nahrungsmittel gemieden werden.

December 11, 1997

Click the picture for some lecture notes!!


ying1 wu3 luo2


ying1wu3 - parrot
luo2 - spiral shell; snail

The nautilus is a cephalopod mollusc related to the octopus and squid. Unlike its relatives, the nautilus resides in a beautiful chambered shell. The animal's appearance is bizarre in a very appealing way. In some respects it can be considered a living fossil, the last of its kind, surviving from the ancient seas of Earth.

December 10, 1997

The Cephalopod Page - Nautilus

The link above will take you to a picture of a living nautilus

tao1 tie4


1. name of a legendary ferocious animal
2. a fierce person; a greedy and gluttonous person

The taotie appears on artifacts from ancient China such as the one shown here on a bronze urn.

December 9, 1997

Bronze Urn with a taotie mask
(notice the little guy standing on the head of the taotie)

e4 er3 ni2 nuo4

el Niño (el Nino)

Depending on the software you use to view Chinese the accented "n" may not display properly. This is a phonetic transliteration from English (actually Spanish) into Chinese, and in this case the characters' meanings are not really that significant (except the first, e4, which means "distressed, in difficulty).

I found this word in an article in Mingbao newspaper describing recent storms in Southern California as perhaps being an effect of el Niño.

December 8, 1997

El Niño 1997 -1998 In Spanish - El Niño informaciones
El Nino Theme Page Info from NOAA

Ed's Chinese Page on Geocities Links to Chinese Resources

My Main Home Page Here on Tripod


© 1997