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Interesting Chinese Side-knowledge(II)

Interesting Chinese Side-knowledge(II)


Now "呆若木鸡(dāi rùo mù jī)" refers to people who are stupid or not clever. At first, the word had completely different meanings and was highly appraised.

During the Warring States Period, cockfighting was a very popular entertainment for nobles. King Qi specially invited chicken fighting expert, Ji zi, to help him train chickens. As a result, Ji zi trained a "wooden chicken" that did not respond to the outside world. As soon as they arrived at the arena, the other chickens were scared away by that chicken’s clam.

The word "呆若木鸡(dāi rùo mù jī)" is to describe a person who keeps countenance. Later, people did not understand the reason and simply defined it as a derogatory term.

    There were many strange celebrities in Wei and Jin dynasties. For example, Ruan Ji likes to roll his eyes at people he despises. When he met someone he appreciated, he turned his eyeballs downward. As the name implies, “垂青(chuí qīng)” means to turn one's eyeballs downward. It became the meaning of favor and appreciation now.


As the name implies, "溜须(liū xū)" means "wiping beard." During the Northern Song Dynasty, Deputy Prime Minister Ding Wei served Kou Zhun with great respect because Kou Zhun was Ding Wei’s examiner.

Once they had dinner together. Seeing that Kou Zhun's beard was stained with soup, Ding Wei stood up and carefully wiped it clean. Kou Zhun was ungrateful and laughed at him, "How can a Minister of State wipes his chief’s beard?" Later, "sneak beard" became a pronoun of flattery and flattery. Later, "溜须(liū xū)" represented an act of flattery.

We know “偏袒(piān tǎn)”means be side with. It was also originally the earliest voting method. At the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty, Lv Zhi (Empress of Liu Bang) died. The general said to the officers, “Now let's vote by show of hands, bare left arm if you support Liu’s family, or bare right arm if you support Lv’s family.” Soon after, the Lv’s family collapsed. "左袒(zǔo tǎn, 左=left)" or "偏袒(piān tǎn)" has become a new word.

Now "衣冠禽兽(yī gūan qín shòu)" means a beast in human clothingBut in ancient times, becoming such a person was the dream of many people. All kinds of animals are embroidered on the clothes of officials in Ming Dynasty.

Therefore, people called the officials “衣冠禽兽(yī gūan qín shòu)”. At that time, the term was not derogatory at all. However, since the Ming Dynasty was the worst period of official management in Chinese history, when there were almost no good officials, the word naturally became a derogatory term.


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