Friday, October 13, 2006

Animals, Tasty

There's a good, balanced article on Danwei.com where I found these dictionary definitions from the current Xinhua Dictionary (Xinhua is the Chinese government's official news agency).

I thought I would post some of their dictionary definitions here because it emphasises some of my earlier posts with regard to the poor treatment of animals.

鲳 [butterfish]: Flesh is tender and fatty with a delicious flavor.
翅 [fin]: Fish fin; refers to the fin of a shark, a delicacy.
蛏 [razor clam]: Flesh has a delicious flavor.
狗 [dog]: as in 狗腿子 [dog's leg]: thug, running dog, one who performs evil tasks for a powerful person.
貉 [raccoon dog]: Skin is highly valuable. 一丘之貉 [a hill of jackals] tarred with the same brush, refers to bad people.
牛 [cattle]: Strong, useful for plowing fields or pulling carts. Flesh and milk are edible. Horns, skin, and bones can made into things.
兽 [animal, beast]: Figure of speech for barbaric or immoral: 兽欲 [animal desires], 兽行 [brutality].

3 comments:

HistoryElephant said...

The stuff about bad things being associated with animals is hardly unique; doesn't English have 'work like a dog', 'dog's dinner' and 'pig's ear', as well as using 'bitch' and 'cow' in a pejorative sense.

zhwj said...

Interesting blog. Just one note: the Xinhua dictionary is actually unrelated to the news agency - it was set up in the early 50's along with a whole host of other "New China"-titled institutions, and has been published by the Commercial Press since 1954, I believe.

dB said...

Sorry for complete absence of late. Normal service hopefully about to resume...

HE - Indeed, that 'personality' side of things is true but I don't think we're likely to see the 'objectification' being done in the same way:

Crocodile - Animal - can be used to make gaudy belts, shoes and ladies handbags.
Cow - Can be served blue, rare, medium or well-done. Skin can be used either way round to make shoes.
Kangaroo - like cow but rather stringy
etc.

However much the above might be factually accurate, we (British) would be uncomfortable with the light with which these observations would portray us.


ZHWJ - Thanks for the update. Unfortunately it was a case of "The lazy blogger makes incorrect assumptions" just to try to get the post out...