Re: "...two Moscovites conversing in English" (was Re: Yet another introduction)
|From:||Adam Walker <dreamertwo@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 25, 2001, 11:00|
>From: laokou <laokou@...>
>Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 19:45:24 -0400
>"Yang2gui3zi", "foreign devil", is really not nice in my book, and I doubt
>any Chinese would try to pass that off as "endearing". It has wartime
>overtones for me, I never heard it spoken (what was said when I was out of
>earshot is another matter :) ), and that you have is a mite alarming.
>That you respond in kind must make you quite popular ;)
No, but they will try to pass it off as totally innocent if you make them
aware that you know what it means. We'll mostly I've seen people shocked
speachless for half a second and then either laugh or act like "What? Did I
say something naughty?" Mind you, I work with over 1200 junior high and
high school students, so mostly (not exclusively) we're talking kids using
these. And that's not the least of the things these little monsters will
do/say. I made a bad mistake in class last week by asking kids what their
nicknames were when we had "nickname" as a vocabulary item. First class had
lots of innocent-if-strange things like mosquito, kitty-cat, grandma (every
class seems to have a grandma) and hairy (a girl who had maybe three or four
hairs on her arms). The second class had boobs (a boy) actually it was a
good deal cruder, but I'll leave it at that, and little bitty, which made
clear was NOT an ironic reference to the fact that he's by far the tallest
boy in the class. Children!
>Actually, having thought about it, I think it's "gaobizi". And surely you
>must have heard the Taiwanese "a1dok4a2", which is roughly the same thing.
>"Dok4" is the Mandarin character "zhuo2", "to peck". Hence, "zhuo2mu4niao3"
>is "a woodpecker". In Taiwanese, the meaning has expanded to include "nose"
>(cf. "beak" in English). So, "a1dok4a2" is "big beak", "Herbie the Schnoz".
>If you haven't heard it yet, maybe this post will be the seminal moment,
>where when you learn a new word, you hear it seventy times the next day.
No I haven't learned *that* one. But that's probably because my functional
vocabulary is still microscopic. I've only gotten throu lesson 5 in my text
But I'm sure, now that you've been so kind as to point it out, I'll be
hearing it constantly. Thanks. :`~
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