At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


This blogger has become what you hold up as an example to the younger generation. Which this blogger never expected. Apparently all my horrid habits and disreputable praedilections mean nothing, because I can write Chinese. "See, this Lofan writes it! You barely even speak it!" And Sunny Jim looked properly chastened, while taking another deep drag from his marijuana cigarette.

He was probably too zonked to comprehend.
Or even care.


This was, more or less, the inevitable result of trying to tell Toisan Uncle three or four weeks ago that the stick I carry late at night to bash people's heads (打人 嘅頭 'taa yan ge tau') was cherry wood. The word I wrote was 櫻 ('ying'), as in 櫻花 ('ying faa'; cherry blossom). Which is 木 ('muk'; tree, wood), in combination with 嬰 ('ying'; infant, little child) as a phonetic element. The tree in question is 甜櫻桃 ('tim ying tou'; "sweet cherry peach"), or 'wild cherry' in English, which is part of the 蔷薇科 ('cheung mei fo'; rosaceae family), native to the temperate zones.
It was problematic, and I could have saved myself the trouble.
Cherry is 車厘子 ('che lei ji'; "cart mile thingy").
Cantonese tend to borrow words.


Sometimes Cantonese locutions can be as baffling to Mandarin speakers as they are to Anglo monolinguals.


Now I should point out that 嬰 is actually a lovely illustration. It shows a little girl with two cowries -- standing in for bows or clips -- in her hair.
Female, woman, girl, daughter: 女 ('neui').
Money, cowrie: 貝 ('bui').

Note: do not confuse 貝 with 具 ('geui'; tool, implement; to write) or 見 ('kin'; see or observe). The word 具 can be understood as shelves on a stand or a stack of inboxes, whereas 見 shows an eyeball (目 'muk') on legs, possibly running away, or in any case actively doing something.
As in 視 ('si'): to view or observe.
眼 ('ngaan'): the eye.
睇 ('tai'): look.


I should mention that a written character I looked up recently (謙 'him') is a word I have never used, and to the best of my knowledge shows up on only one shop sign in Chinatown. But I've seen in hundreds of times.
The meaning is "modest", "humble".

The shop is 寶謙昌 ('bou him cheung'), the Superior Trading Company, at 835 Washington Street, between Waverly and Stockton. Sellers of 花旗參 ('faa kei sam'; "flower flag roots"), as well as ginseng from China, Korea, and Japan. They've been in business since 1959.

Flourishing modest treasure.


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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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