Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Varieties of Stupid

I have a bit of a language lesson today. We have been watching a Mandarin drama series these past few nights and there is a character in there called "Da Sha". A direct translation is "Big Stupid".

That name, "Big Stupid", reminded me of a term that was one of my favorites when I was trying to pick up Mandarin from my colleagues at work - "Sha Qua" meaning "Stupid Melon". No, I don't think they called me that (or maybe they did behind my back), but it was a term that one particular girl would throw out every hour or so. I don't know why, I just liked the sound of it.

So now, we have Big Stupid and Stupid Melon. Another very common one that I hear in Mandarin TV shows is "Ben Dan" meaning "Stupid Egg". Or sometimes, "Da Ben Dan". You guessed it, "Big Stupid Egg". Obviously, with the references to melons and eggs, these aren't really used for malicious name calling purposes. I wouldn't know how to give a lesson on that. Supposedly, the swearing that goes on in Mandarin or Cantonese can be extremely colorful but unfortunately, I don't understand one bit of it.

Off on a tangent but still on the topic of eggs: Richard, who is only allowed to speak Mandarin to Aaron, often says "Pu Yao Huai Dan", meaning "Don't be a rotten egg!"

I wonder what the history is behind using melons and eggs. I'll update this list if I come across more varieties of stupid.


Mike said...

This sounds like a job for, "BILBO THE LINGUIST".

Bilbo said...

Oh, Amanda...I could go on for hours about expressions for "stupid." I feel a post coming on...