Say It Right Series

毙, 卧, 昌, 稚, and 蒙

Posted by johnb November 30, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

Nothing starts a day off right like "execute" -- [bì]. 枪毙 [qiāngbì] is a pretty grisly word, meaning "to execute by shooting." It has another colloqial meaning, though, which is "to be rejected." In this usage it's often used with a passive marker, like "被枪毙了." Radical: 比 (81). Components: 比死. Strokes: 10.

[wò] is a much nicer character, meaning "to lie down." I think I first encountered this character on the train, where it is used in the words for the two kinds of sleeper berths -- 硬卧 [yìngwò] is a hard sleeper, and 软卧 [ruǎnwò] is a soft sleeper. Radical: 卜 (25). Components: 臣卜. Strokes: 8.

Next we have [chāng], which means "prosperous." It's not a very common character, mostly used in a bunch of literary sounding words like 昌光 [chāngguāng] ("an auspicious omen"). However, one place it is often encountered is 南昌 [Nánchāng], which is the name of the capital of Jiangxi province. One thing to note is that it's not made of two 日 "suns," but rather one 日 "sun" and one 曰 "to say." Radical: 日 (72). Components: 日曰. Strokes: 8.

Our fourth character is [zhì], which means "immature." It is commonly encountered in the word 幼稚 [yòuzhì], which means "childish" or "puerile." I recently encountered it in a related word, 幼稚病 [yòuzhìbìng], which is Chinese for "infantilism," the psychological disorder. Radical: 禾 (115). Components: 禾隹. Strokes: 13.

Finally, we have the character , which can be pronounced [méng], [mēng], or [měng], depending on how its used. When pronounced [méng] it means "to cover", and when it's pronounced [mēng] it means "to cheat" or "to deceive." The third pronunciation is probably most common, though, as it's part of 蒙古 [měnggǔ], which is "Mongolia." In China, Mongolians are members of the 蒙古族 [měnggǔzú] "Mongol ethnic minority," and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is 内蒙古 [nèiměnggǔ]. Radical: 艸 (140). Components: 艹冖豕. Strokes: 13.

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