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li3wei1

nuance of 就好了

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li3wei1

In a story I'm reading, a man is talking to a woman working in a hairdressers. The woman asks if he is the son of a man who comes to the hairdressers regularly, who wears a green hat. The man says his father doesn't wear a green hat. She laughs (I get that joke). She goes on to say that she's heard that the man used to own a big house, but it was demolished and he got three houses in compensation. The man says: 他真是我爸就好了。She laughs again, and they go on to another subject. From the rest of the story, we know that whatever house the man's father was living in, he was kicked out of it by his wife after having an affair, and he's now living in a house he bought by selling part of his business. Later in the story, the man's father says that he went to the hairdressers only once, and he'll never go again.

So, what does the quoted line mean? Could it be 'If only he were my father'?

The only other explanations I can think of involve either the man lying, the man's father lying, or the woman lying, or some combination of the three. Not that no one would ever lie in a Chinese short story.

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Lu

You are correct. 'If he really were my dad, how great would that be.' The secret lies in the 就, I think, or 就...了. If @Publius happens to come by, possibly he will be able to tell you exactly what is going on in this sentence.

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Publius

It's exactly as you understand it: "If only he were my father."

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Shelley

A man who wears a green hat in China is a very rare thing from what I understand. A man whose wife has had an affair makes him wear a green hat.

 

" 1.     戴绿帽子(Wearing a green hat)

If you are traveling in China, you might notice a curious thing – you will never find a Chinese man wearing a green hat. Let it be a warning to you: no matter how curious you are, you’d better not ask them why they don’t wear a green hat! The reason is, in Chinese culture, wearing green hat has a dark meaning: the one wearing it was cuckolded. And, be sure you don’t wear one yourself, either.


The source is a story from the Ming Dynasty. Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang enacted a law, which required men who worked in the prostitution trade to wear green hats. Later, it became common to say about man whose wife had an affair, that she made her husband wear a green hat. It’s best to stay away from those green hats!" 

 

Quote from iTalki here https://www.italki.com/article/92/the-dark-meaning-of-5-chinese-terms

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li3wei1

Thanks folks, that clears things up.

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Publius

Sorry, after giving it a second thought... there are actually two versions of this expression.

If you say it like normal, it means you do wish you had a father like that.

If the 好 is stressed and drawn out however, then it's sarcasm. The emphasis is on the "not true" part. It's a strong denial/dismissal, like "I wish!"

The line you quoted is the latter.

 

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Shelley

I would agree with Publius's second thought, considering the connotations associated with wearing a green and the fact that he was kicked out after having an affair, so it adds up that its been said sarcastically.

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li3wei1

Elsewhere in the story, it turns out the man is visiting his father in order to ask for money to bail him out of a bad business deal, so it could be said non-sarcastically.

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mungouk
7 hours ago, Shelley said:

connotations associated with wearing a green [hat]

 

What are the connotations of a green hat?

 

 

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li3wei1

Shelley explained it several posts up. A man who wears a green hat is a cuckold.

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mungouk

Oh missed that - thanks!

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Jim

Unfortunately for me my hometown football team plays in green so the very attractive club bobble hat I got off my nephew as a present has to stay in the cupboard all winter unless I'm working in the yard. The joke's just too obvious for any friend or neighbour to let pass :D

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