A square is a mouth!

I only like simple Chinese symbols. So not this one:

It probably means “guy tripping another guy while trying to open an umbrella.” That’s what it looks like. Well forget that symbol! I hate it anyways. Check out this beauty:

Guess what it means. Mouth. A simple square is a mouth! I love it. From now on, I will replace the word “mouth” with the word “square.” Here, what do you think:


That reminds me of this strange, well-done 2010 Greek movie, Dogtooth. The parents raised their 3 kids in seclusion and taught them the wrong words for random things. (I don’t remember any examples but like, they’d call a napkin a lightswitch.) If you’re in the mood for something strange, a little disturbing, foreign and pretty good, you can see the trailer here.

5 thoughts on “A square is a mouth!

  1. Pingback: Cantonese versus Mandarin. | O hi, Asia!

  2. That first symbol is “ai”, – love. Although it’s the simplified version that save’s three or four strokes by replacing the original “xin” radical (which means “heart”) with a character that (i don’t remember whether it’s actually the radical or not) is also in “pengyou” or “friend”. That always bugged me. We had to choose between writing in traditional or simplified in my Mandarin college classes, and this is one of the reasons i picked traditional until my third year when i finally caved because stuff just got so complicated!

  3. Jonathan, none of what you said makes any sense at all. Maybe you missed the memo, but “radicals” in Chinese have been proven to be a myth. The symbol above may have meant “love” at some point, in some regions, but in Hong Kong it means “guy tripping other guy while trying to open an umbrella.” Trust me. It rains enough here for me to have seen this happen more than once.

  4. Wouldn’t the guy being tripped be more deserving of love?! Sure, women love jerks, but who intentionally trips someone in the rain? Radicals were a total myth / smokescreen set forth by the Chinese government as a political confusion tactic. They’re as bogus as cow tipping and as made up as WMDs in Iraq. Also no such thing as Chinese dictionaries, at least not in Hong Kong. Maybe you’re referring to Mainland China.

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