Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese! It’s summer now. What is your favorite thing to do in summer? For me, hot summer is the best time to eat watermelon. Having the air conditioner on and meanwhile eating watermelon meanwhile is the favorite thing for many Chinese people to do in summer. But do you know that? In Chinese, there are also many interesting expressions about "gua". Today, let's talk about it!
I believe that every country's language is related to its culture. In China, gua can be a fruit. For example, watermelon, honeydew melon, papaya. These are all fruits. In China, watermelons are especially popular. Watermelons are likely to be grown in warm and dry places. There are many such places in China. Therefore, watermelons are grown in many places in China. However, gua can also be vegetables, such as: wax gourd, pumpkin, cucumbers. gua can also be seeds, such as sunflower seeds, which are the seeds of sunflowers, and are also a favorite snack among Chinese people.
There is a saying in Chinese: You grow melons then you will harvest melons, and if you grow beans and you will harvest beans. What does it mean? This sentence means: if you grow watermelons, you will also get watermelons. If you grow beans, then of course, you will get beans. If you do good things, you will get good results. If you do bad things, then of course, you will get bad results too. If a friend of yours was criticized by his boss for not working hard, you can say, "You grow melons and reap the melons, but if you grow beans then you reap the beans. If you were more serious at the time, it wouldn't have happened."
So, what does "eat melon" mean? The first meaning is to eat watermelon. The second meaning is to watch the fun/spill the tea. For example, we read on social media that some celebrities are in love or break up, and we go to spill the tea. I think it is because in the past people would like to eat melons while they were onlookers. Therefore, nowadays ‘eating melons’ also has the meaning of ‘spilling the tea／see the fun’. However, these businesses have nothing to do with us. In this case, we can say that we are "onlookers", which means that these things have nothing to do with us, and we don't really care, but we just want to take a look to pass the time. For example, if someone is gossiping with you, you can say, "I don't know! I'm just an onlooker."
Sometimes, there are a lot of things going on on social media at the same time, like a celebrity getting married, another celebrity breaking up, and another celebrity committing a crime. At this time, you may see netizens comment like this: "It is so busy in the melon’s field today. There are just too many melons!" Of course, the "melons" they are talking about are not real melons, but some gossip. If someone asks you, "What melon have you been eating lately?" they probably aren't really asking what kind of melon you're eating, but what kind of gossip you know about lately. What melons have you been eating lately? You're welcome to leave us a comment!
1 thought on “#81 To eat melon=to gossip? Expressions with ‘melon’说一说“瓜””
I guess 种豆得豆 is a very ancient idea. An equivalent in old English would be, “as ye sow, so shall ye reap”. I’m interested in how the phrase 聊八卦 has come to mean “to gossip” even though the eight trigrams (八卦) of the old Chinese oracle text, the 易经, are so kind of deep and non-trivial…