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Ed Jaggard's Chinese Words for February 1999

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Thunder English-Chinese Online Dictionary

Online Dictionary Word Search


guo1 xue4
kettle hole; kettle basin

guo1 - cooking pot; pan
xue - 1. cave; den; hole in the ground; hole

Also called a kettle basin: a geological depression associated with glacier movement.

Kettle Basin Definition

February 3, 1999

Kettle Hole near Rotarfjallj闥ull
A big one!!

Description of a kettle hole in North Quincy, Massachusetts

Kettle in Tasman Glacier, New Zealand 1
Nice picture

Geology Image Archive - Glaciation
Has an image of evergreen-filled kettle holes near Jackson's Hole, Wyoming.


zha2 yu4 mi3 pian4
corn chip

zha2 - to fry in oil or fat
yu4mi3 - Indian corn; maize
....yu4 - 1. a precious stone - esp. jade; gem
....mi3 - 1. hulled or husked rice; uncooked rice
pian4 - a piece; a slice; a fragment; a chip

One of my favorite snack foods.

February 4, 1999

Salsa2U - America's Monthly Gourmet Salsa Club

Stuff to put on your corn chips!!

Corn Chip Toss

A recipe.


chao2 dong1

chao2 - to ridicule; jeer; sneer; scoff; mock; deride
dong1 - thrush

Check out the links to the right.

February 5, 1999

The Texas State Bird: Mockingbird
This site has a picture and some sound files (wav and ra)

Wild Birds Forever
Learn about the Mockingbird
Info including "How to attract mockingbirds to your backyard"


pian2 zhi1 ti3
corpus callosum

pian2 - calluses
zhi1 - calluses on hands or feet
pian2zhi1 - calluses on hands or feet

ti3 - body

The corpus callosum is a major brain structure which connects the two cerebral hemispheres. Check out the links for further details.

The first two fairly uncommon characters separately and in combination mean "callus or calluses" in the common sense of the word as a thickening of the skin usually found on the hands or feet.

February 6, 1999

The Brain
An interesting slide show - a little slow but well worth checking out!

MIND - what goes on inside this crazy noggin callosum
A sectional view (photo) with a brief description.

Cute one-pager discussing the right and left sides of the brain with an interesting clickable image.


fan3 xiang4 chan3

fan3 - reverse; opposite
xiang4 - direction
chan3 - shovel; scoop

Backhoes are a different breed of heavy equipment. Small models can be of assistance to the average homeowner while their bigger counterparts engage in heavy construction activities.
Because of their shape, they look - well, cool!!
Check out the links to the right.

February 7, 1999

Backhoes for sale

The Meccano Model Library
Interesting model of a backhoe


tiao2 wei4 pin3 jia4
spice rack

tiao2 - 1. to mix; blend 2. to harmonize; regulate; adjust
wei4 - 1. taste; flavor; smell; odor 2. a delicacy; a dainty
tiao2wei4 - to season foods; mix flavors
tiaowei4pin3 - seasoning; spice

pin3 - article; commodity
jia4 - 1. a prop; stand; rack; frame; to prop up; to support 2. framework; scaffold

My main purpose in choosing this word today, is to emphasize the last character - jia4. The word itself is interesting enough, but I want to share some thoughts on learning Chinese using jia4 as an example.
When I first started learning Chinese, my first impression of this character was to dismiss it as a character of limited value. Only recently have I come to respect this character and several like it (like gai4 - a cover) which have proved to be much more useful than I first thought.
It's usefulness manifests itself in its use as a suffix in words such as clothes rack, rifle rack, mantel, dish rack, pen rack, bottle rack, filing shelves, roof rack, pipe rack, trestlework, scaffold, grill, brackets of all sorts, mounting shaft, oarlock, slide-out shelf, etc.
My point is that you should not overlook or neglect a Chinese character because it may seem at first to be too mundane or trivial, because as your study of the language progesses, you may find yourself encountering that character over and over again in all sorts of situations. Jia4 is such a character.

February 8, 1999

Milk Spice's Spice Rack
A different type of spice rack!

Spice Rack

Info on all kinds of spices.

Sears: Spice Rack
Sears - How to build a spice rack.


di4 dong1

di4 - rainbow
dong1 - rainbow
Although this word is found in most dictionaries, it's not really a common word. I use it here to brighten things up a bit. There are a lot of web graphics out there that use the rainbow pattern. Here are a few.

February 9, 1999

Rainbow Photographs
Nice collection of beautiful rainbows!

Questions about rainbows

Get your questions answered here

The Rainbow Maker Website

Cool site!! This artist uses pumps and light to create his own rainbows!!


ruan3 chong2 dong4

ruan3 - to wriggle
chong2 - insects; worms
dong4 - cave; hole
One of the more fascinating predictions to come out of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was the prediction of the possibility of the existence of wormholes. These hypothetical structures in the fabric of spacetime are theorized to be conduits connecting places in the universe separated by vast distances. These "conduits" or wormholes are thought of as "shortcuts" through space (and time).

This theory has fueled many episodes of science fiction series such as STNG, STV and Babylon5 as well as science fiction movies.

Check out some of the links I've provided for more insight into the fiction and reality of wormholes.

February 10, 1999

Chinese language site I found using the word for "wormhole" in the KIMO seach Engine.

Stephen Hawking's Universe
Subject matter includes wormholes and more!!! Provides answers for questions like "Is a wormhole anything like an anthill?"

Time Travel in Flatland

Really Cool Site!!

Erks's Wormhole Pages

Cool site!! The scoop on wormholes, time, the universe, gravity, etc.!!

Space-Time Engineering

Lots of Links to the above-mentioned stuff!!


sheng1 wu4 fan3 kui4

sheng1wu4 - living thing; organism; bio-
....sheng1 - to live; life; living; livelihood; alive
....wu4 - thing; matter; being
fan3kui4 - feedback
....fan3 - reverse; opposite; contrary
....kui4 - 1. to offer food to a superior 2. to present as a gift

Once considered an esoteric art restricted to the practioners of yoga, biofeedback training is now a part of the mainstream. Biofeedback methods are employed by thousands of people to remedy many types of afflictions.

For a definition of this word, I'll defer to the links at the right.

February 11, 1999

Discovery: Headache Chapter23.
Chinese language site I found using the word for biofeedback in the KIMO seach Engine.

Biofeedback Consultants, Inc.
Commercial Site - has a nice definition and description of biofeedback.

Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

Biofeedback und Lebensenergie
German language site for biofeedback

HealthWorld Online
Biofeedback Training


she2 shen2 chong2 bai4

she2 - snake; serpent
shen2 - god; deity
chong2bai4 - to worship; idolize; adore
....chong2 - to honor; respect; revere; adore; worship; venerate; esteem; uphold
....bai4 - to do obeisance; salute; pay respects to

I never realized that zombiism was so closely related to snake worship until I saw the Chinese word in my English-Chinese dictionary. I've been familiar with the idea of voodoo and zombis for most of my life thanks to TV and movies, so it came as a slight shock to see the character for snake in the word. That prompted a little research which showed me just how little I actually knew about this subject.

February 12, 1999

Voodoo Information Pages
Definition and description of the word "zombi".

Caribbean Archaeology Homepage
Fascinating site that offers info on zombis as well as a lot of other aspects of Caribbean archeology.

Haitian Voodoo Entertainment
Haiti Cherie: A Travel Guide to Haiti - Has a RealVideo Voodoo Ceremony - I checked it out - Cool!!!

The Electric Art Gallery: Paintings by Dieuseul Paul
The Saint-Soleil painters, who were discovered in the 1970's by Andre Malraux, are heavily influenced by the vaudou religion. They paint as if mounted or "possessed" by the Voodoo loas, or spirits, and so they paint what the spirit wants, or reveals to them in dreams.


mo4 xi1 ge1 long2 she2 lan2 jiu3

mo4xi1ge1 - Mexico
long2she2lan2 - century plant; agave
....long2 - dragon
....she2 - tongue
....lan2 - orchid
jiu3 - alcoholic drink (brewed or distilled); wine; liquor; spirit

I like this kind of a word because it gives me a chance to add four entries to the online dictionary on this site - Mexico, century plant, agave and tequila. I guess I could add dragon, tongue, orchid and wine as well, but that would be pushing it a little.

So, the Chinese word for tequila can be translated something like "Mexican agave wine". My dictionary translation for long2she2lan2 is century plant, but tequila is made from Weber Blue agave so I'm checking the connection (if any) between century plant and agave. (Note: I found the connection at Herb: Agave and Agave or Century Plant (Science U) .)
Check out the links for more information.

Here's a Chinese site I found using the word for tequila in the KIMO Search engine !!

In Vino Veritas - Tequila
Explains what tequila is and where it comes from. In Portuguese!!

EL MEZCAL TEQUILERO (Agave tequilana Weber)
Spanish language site!!

February 13, 1999

Taco Mac - About Tequila
Explains what tequila is and where it comes from. Very informative.

FlavorWeb - Tequila
Info about tequila and a link to recipes

Agave cactus

See a picture of the source of tequila

Tequila links page!!

Weber Blue Agave



shun4 mo2
nictitating membrane

shun4 - 1. to blink, wink or twinkle 2. a very short time; at the twinkling of an eye
mo2 - any thin membrane that protects internal organs or tissues in the human body

Dogs and Cats (and other animals as well) have an eyelid beneath their outer eyelid that we human beings don't have. It's called the nictitating eyelid and its function is to protect the animal's eyes from dust and dirt.

As usual, I have provided a few links to help explain the topic.

February 14, 1999

繼續加油! QUESTION 3
Chinese language site I found using the word for "nictitating membrane" in the KIMO seach Engine.

Sun Herald Online
See doctor if pet has red eyes

alldogs - The Clinic
Eyes (of dogs)

Cats - All about cats

Briefly discusses the nictitating membrane

Manatee Anatomy Facts and Trivia
Also memtions the nictitating membrane.


xu1 ni3 shi2 jing4 de5 you2 xi4
virtual-reality game

xu1ni3shi2jing4 - virtual reality
....xu1 - virtual
....ni3 - imitate
....shi2 - reality; truth; actuality
....jing4 - state; situation; circumstances
de5 - adjectival ending
you2xi4 - to play; a game
....you2 - to travel; roam; saunter
....xi4 - a game

Game development has been commensurate with advances in computer technology. Yesterday's simple Pong games have evolved into highly sophisticated, intensely realistic role-playing games in which the player is immersed into the gaming environment thanks to a large array of computerized peripherals whose sole purpose is to trick the senses.

I have provided a few links that you may find interesting.

February 15, 1999

Chinese language site I found using the word for "virtual-reality game" in the KIMO seach Engine.

Commercial site - Advanced Real-time 3D modelling and interactive environment development software.

Virtual Reality by Abexpo
Commercial Site - Take a tour of Abexpo's 3-D virtual worlds

VR - Virtual Reality - VRML - 3D - Funsites Guide

Links (including a link to Cybertown) and resources

Mining Company Links
Check out the Dilbert 3D Zonimations link!!

My Main Home Page Here on Tripod