Home » Chinese

TagChinese

Mystery Date (episode #1577)

A librarian opens a book and finds a mysterious invitation scribbled on the back of a business card. Another discovers a child’s letter to the Tooth Fairy, tucked into a book decades ago. What stories are left untold by these forgotten...

Cumshaw, A Bit of Military Slang

A cumshaw artist is that clever, resourceful person in a military unit who always seems to manage to procure whatever’s needed. This term apparently derives from similar-sounding words in Mandarin, kan hsieh, or kam-si?, in the language spoken...

Walkie Talkie (episode #1541)

One of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn’t in dictionaries yet. But it probably will be one day. The word is endling, and it means “the last surviving member of a species.” The...

Keep Your Powder Dry (episode #1519)

Jacuzzi and silhouette are eponyms — that is, they derive from the names of people. An Italian immigrant to California invented the bubbly hot tub called a jacuzzi. And the word silhouette commemorates a penny-pinching treasury secretary who lasted...

Knives All Over Yet None is Sharp

There’s a Chinese term for a generalist that literally translates as “equipped with knives all over, yet none is sharp.” In Estonia, a similar idea is expressed with a phrase that translates as “nine trades, the tenth one...

One-Armed Paper Hanger (episode #1518)

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words...

Recent posts