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My word of the day - (xi2). It means "surprise attack".

One of my favourite parts of A Dream of Red Mansions (红楼梦) is how the main character Baoyu (宝玉/precious jade) renames his maid. She already has a perfectly good name (Zhen1zhu1, 珍珠, meaning Precious Pearl). However, Baoyu is a bored young rich kid who is the heir to a title and an apparently vast fortune, she basically belongs to him and he can do whatever he likes.

Her surname is 花 (hua1), which means "flower", and Baoyu likes a line of poetry which goes 花气袭人知昼暖. This roughly means "when the aroma of flowers makes a surprise attack, people know the day is warm". So Baoyu renames her "袭人", which means "surprise attack".

Hence, one of the main characters spends the whole book walking around answering to "Surprise Attack" and everyone takes it seriously because Baoyu is a spoiled aristocrat brat. Apart from Baoyu's father, who is disgusted when he finds out.

Soon after being renamed, Surprise Attack becomes Baoyu's unofficial concubine. Politically, this is a very precarious position, because she has to suck up to the older generation who want Baoyu to stay away from girls and study to be an official while fending off the hordes of pretty young maids who also fancy themselves as Baoyu's concubine. So, true to her name, Surprise Attack becomes pretty handy at knifing people in the back.

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Flipping through my dictionary today I came across 趿拉ta1la which is fangyan for ' to wear cloth shoes with the backs turned in/ shuffle about with the backs of one's shoes trodden down. and 趿拉儿 also means slippers ...

Then I asked my teacher (to verify that he knew this word too), and he gave me the following sentence:

as in 你别趿拉地走路

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---over due random new words:mrgreen: (com'n we should all accumulate a few everyday, right?)

ok so it has occured to me that the word 霸王appears quite often...here are a few I can remember..

霸王龙 ba4wang1long2: t-rex...roarrrrrr

霸王洗发水 (with 成龙, hmmm) (ok if you are in china and see the tv commercials you'll know what this is..)

霸王餐ba4wang1can1: to eat a meal at a restaurant and not pay for it

Any other random 霸王 words you know and want to add?



拼车 pin3che1 rideshare/carpool/carshare



屈体qu1ti3: Pike (position) (see pic two for visual aid) and more diving/olympic etc vocab here

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一推六二五 yītuī liù'èrwǔ - avoid responsibility (?)



For more details, please check the link below.



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队尾 (dui4 wei3) - means end of the (or last one in) line/queue.

I was in line to pay for something today and a woman came up and asked me "您是队尾?"

I had never heard this expression before but it only took me a moment to figure out what it meant. It's not a question one gets asked nearly enough here. :)

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"尾" can be used to refer to the ends of lots of things (especially things that actually have 尾巴). In Hong Kong, the final stop on a subway line is the 尾站.

贿赂 - hui2 lu4. To be 很有钱的. I saw it in a comic book translated from Japanese into Chinese.

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尼斯嘎阿 Nisga'a, a Canadian Indian tribe that was one of the first with their own government. Very random word from an article on Aboriginals. Was a real pest to find the translation for this one, I kept finding Nice & Cannes but these are not, of course, in Canada.

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