MaoMi Chinese - Learn Mandarin - Episode 132 Single Dog

#132 A Single dog – 只单身狗

大家好!欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese!


在英文里,有一些关于狗的词,它们都有很好的意思,比如lucky dog,幸运儿。这是因为狗在英文里,和忠诚,友好有关。但是在中文里,人们好像不太喜欢狗,和狗有关的词语很多都是不太好的。这是因为在中文里,狗也象征着卑微。如果我们一直很倒霉,突然有一天有了一点点的好运气,我们可以说我们走了狗屎运。比如,我这个星期一直在生病,工作也很不顺利,突然今天我在路上捡到了100块钱,我可以说:“哎,今天走了个狗屎运!”

我们知道有很多记者,喜欢跟着明星拍照,然后在报纸上写这些明星的新闻。人们叫这些记者“狗仔”,因为觉得他们很烦人,就像狗一样跟着明星。如果一个人为了坏人工作,也做一些伤害别人的事情,我们会叫这个人走狗。比如,我们可以说:“这家公司做了很多污染环境的事情!你怎么还在为他们工作?你真是他们的走狗!” 如果我们想说一个人说不出什么好话,我们会说“狗嘴里吐不出象牙”。比如,你画了很漂亮的画,一个人跟你说“这画得一点儿也不好”,而且他一点儿也不会画画,这让你觉得很不高兴,这就是“狗嘴里吐不出象牙”。如果一个人有很多朋友,但是这些朋友都不是真朋友,只会和他一起玩,但在他有困难的时候不会帮忙,那我们可以说这些人只是“狐朋狗友”,不是真正的朋友。




Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

In your language, is “dog” a positive word or a negative word? In Chinese, there are many words related to dogs. For example, “single dog” (referring to someone who’s single), “licking dog” (someone who excessively flatters), “running dog” (lackey), and so on. What do these words mean? Today, let’s talk about them together!

In English, there are some positive expressions involving dogs, like “lucky dog.” This is because dogs in English are associated with loyalty and friendliness. However, in Chinese, people don’t seem to like dogs as much, and many words related to dogs have negative connotations. This is because, in Chinese culture, dogs can also symbolize lowliness. If we’ve been unlucky for a long time and suddenly have a bit of good luck, we can say we’ve had “dog poop luck.” For instance, if I’ve been sick all week and work hasn’t been going well, but I suddenly found 100 yuan on the street today, I could say, “Wow, I’ve had some dog poop luck today!”

We know there are many reporters who like to take photos of celebrities and publish news about them in newspapers. People call these reporters “paparazzi” because they find them annoying, just like dogs following celebrities around. If someone works for bad people and does things that harm others, we would call that person a “running dog.” For example, we could say, “This company has done a lot of environmentally harmful things! Why are you still working for them? You’re truly their running dog!” If we want to say that someone can’t speak any good words, we might say “A dog’s mouth can’t spit out ivory.” For instance, if you’ve drawn a beautiful picture and someone tells you “This is not good at all,” and they can’t draw at all, this would make you unhappy, and that’s “dog’s mouth can’t spit out ivory.” If a person has many friends but none of them is true friends, they only hang out and have fun together but won’t help when they’re in trouble, we can say these people are just “fair-weather friends,” not true friends.

Many words related to dogs used to have negative meanings, but in recent years, some people have started using dog-related words to describe themselves in a sarcastic way. If someone has been single for a long time, they might refer to themselves as a “single dog.” If we like someone and do many things for them and spend a lot of money, but they don’t like us at all, we might call ourselves a “licking dog.” If your friend is facing this kind of trouble, you can tell them, “Stop being someone else’s licking dog! Treat yourself well, be your own licking dog!”

Why has this change occurred? I think firstly it’s because more and more people nowadays have pets, and dogs have become pets in many Chinese households. So, people no longer feel a dislike when they think of dogs. Besides, some people like to mock themselves for humor by comparing themselves to dogs, and gradually, dog-related words have become more endearing.

In your language, are there any expressions related to animals? Feel free to comment and leave us a message!

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