Saturday, September 24, 2005

What are the scariest Chinese characters?

One scary Chinese character is 妬(투), which means "intense jealousy." It is composed of the characters 女(여), which means "woman," and 石(석), which means "rock." When I first saw this character, I wondered why the Chinese would use a woman with a rock to represent "intense jealousy," then it hit me. When I think of what a jealous Chinese woman might do with a rock, I cringe.

These days, 妬(투) seems somewhat anachronistic. If the Chinese were to update the character, I think they might replace 石(석) with 刀(도), which, of course, means "knife."

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