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Chengyu-esque Contemporary Abbreviations like “累觉不爱”


#1

Hi guys,

I thought I’d share some extended examples of an interesting bit of vocab that popped up in an intermediate lesson - “4 day work week” - 累觉不爱.

累觉不爱 Lèi jué bù ài

Simply translated means that you are so tried of something you really think you cannot love anymore.

Apparently this term first appeared on a Chinese forum when a high school kid was saying something along the lines of “ah…love it so tough…relationships are so tiring…I think I can never love again” - he abbreviated his experience to 4 characters - 累觉不爱.

Recently Constance was browsing through some Chinese forums and saw that it was used in the context of talking about a job. She found it quite interesting and made a lesson around it.

When I first saw the term I asked Constance whether I could explain the term as a modern 成語. The short answer is no. To qualify as a cheng yu you need to a) have some story or historical background to it and b) pass the test of time.

But the thought lingered with me and I have decided that I will think of them as cheng yu hopefuls or candidates. Maybe in a thousand years some teacher somewhere will say “累覺不愛 - a term used when one is dumped during high school and find the thought of romance utterly exhausting”. ANYWAY… I digress… examples… examples…that’s why i’m writing this…LOL

人艱不拆 rén jiān bù chāi

Definition: 人生已經很艱苦,有些事情就不要拆穿. Life is already miserable. Some things are better left unsaid / Some bubbles shouldn’t be busted.

男默女累 nán mò nǚ lèi

Definition: 男的沈默,女的流淚. A guy’s silence = a lady’s tears. (Don’t get this one)

不明覺厲 bùmíng jué lì

Definition: 雖然不明白,還是覺得很厲害. Despite not understanding anything, you still feel whatever is going on is awesome.

Example:

甄嬛傳的對話,話中有話,不明覺厲啊! “雖然不明白在說啥還是覺得很厲害”

Even though I don’t understand Mark Watney’s SOL 233 entry on the water reclaimer, it still sounds amazing/impressive.


Interesting? Just me? Who am I kidding…we’re all Chinese nerds.

I’d love to hear more terms that you may have come across and don’t quite “qualify” as a cheng yu but have the same kind of feel. (Do I sense a Chinese urban dictionary coming along??!!)

Fi


#2

nailed it!!

Great post. I find "chengyu-s’ very tricky to use. As a matter of fact I’m not sure I’ve ever used it properly, judging by people’s face. :slight_smile:
That being said, may I suggest a post about high-frequency, traditional chengyu and when/how to use it right. 抛 砖 引 玉


#3

@danielpioner there is a series of videos on various cheng yu on the chinesepodtv YouTube page. Here is the playlist.


#4

we’d actually like to restart this series soon so feel free to leave any chengyu below that you want made.


#5

Peace, heres a question, can a cheng yu only be 4 characters? because I’ve come across some interesting cheng yu like things that are more the 4 characters. If not, what would those be called? Like in english we have proverbs or something like this? Also when I was in the bookstore the other day I saw some pretty cool cheng yu dictionaries, and notice they all have a similar layout… can’t quote how its set up but maybe a little lesson on how to decipher a cheng yu dictionary would be cool too! Peace.


#6

Nm this above question I figured it out…