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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!