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Ed Jaggard's Chinese Words for August 1998

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mo2 fang1

Rubik's cube

mo2 - wizard; witch; demon; devil
fang1 - square; "cube"
When I saw the Chinese for Rubik's cube, I had to laugh to myself. What an appropriate name. Years ago I spent hours with this devilish little puzzle in vain attempts at solving it. I never did! Someday when I am retired and have many hours of leisure, I intend to finally solve it. For those of you who have successfully mastered the "devil" cube, my sincerest congratulations. Unless you did like my brother-in-law who took the cube into the bathroom and came out with a completed cube. On close inspection, we noticed that he had rearranged the little colored pieces on the puzzle making it look like he had solved it!!

August 23, 1998

Rubik's Cube Java Applet
Solve it online!!!

Rubik's Cube Links


ao1 hen2

dent (as on a car)

ao1 - 1. indented; an indentation; a hollow 2. concave
hen2 - a mark; a scar; a trace
Here is a fairly simple word that doesn't always pop out of the common dictionary. It refers to a dent like one which you might find on your car after a trip to the supermarket. I guess the English word "nick" would also be appropriately translated by this Chinese word.

August 19, 1998


xiao4 li4

kookaburra; laughing jackass

xiao4 - to laugh; laugh
li4 - a type of bird
The kookaburra, or laughing jackass, is a kingfisher (Dacelo novaeguineae) of Australia. It is roughly the size of a crow and it gets its name, laughing jackass, from its call which resembles loud laughter.
Finding this word was a small victory for me. I've been loading a database with all the characters in the Unicode database. This character did not have a meaning associated with it (). I often browse through my Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries looking for new words to add to my Chinese word database. Today I found this word which happens to use a character for which I had no meaning.

August 9, 1998

UNICODE info on U+9D17

My source of info on characters not found in my hardback dictionaries

Laughing Kookaburra
A drawing and some info

Click on the Laughing Kookaburra


ma3 wei3 zao3

sargassum; sargasso

ma3 - horse
wei3 - tail
zao3 - alga; algae
Sargassum, or sargasso, is a genus of brown algae also known as gulfweed. It stays afloat by means of air bladders creating a type of floating ecosystem upon which vast numbers of sea animals depend for their existence.
The Sargasso Sea in the western North Atlantic contains vast amounts (estimated 7 million tons!!!) of two species of sargassum. Check out the links to the right for more info on sargassum and the Sargasso Sea.

August 6, 1998

An Image of the Sargasso Sea with some text

Sargasso Sea - Where the Eels Meet

Marine Plants & Algae - Sargassum

Phaeophyta: Life History and Ecology
This link has good info on sargassum and the Sargasso Sea.

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