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Chinlingo Chinese character: 蠢


Nourished by the spring sunshine, a healthy tree is expected to grow mature into the superior timber. However, while refreshing trees and grass, the spring breeze wakes up worms or "虫" (chónɡ) as well.



Worms drain the tree's abundant nutrition, so the tree grows into "蠢材" (chǔn cái, damaged wood) rather than "木材" (mù cái, timber).

害虫啃掉了木头饱满的营养,木头成不了木材(mù cái),只能沦为"蠢材"(chǔn cái)了。咳,可惜!


Here, Chinlingo would like to talk about the character "蠢" (chǔn). Its upper part is the phonogram "" (chūn), which shares the same initial and final with "蠢". Its lower part consists of two ""s, meaning worms are woken up and wriggle in the spring.



Worms eat up a tree inside, and leave nothing but an empty trunk, like a person living with a braincase without wisdom. Hence, Chinese people call a stupid person "蠢人" (chǔn rén) or even "蠢货" (chǔn huò) or "蠢材" (chǔn cái).



So "蠢" is completely derogatory. Use it with caution.

So, "蠢"是个彻头彻尾的贬义字。朋友们可要慎用哦。

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