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What does this saying mean..

Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

I think it’s an expression used in Taiwan:

What’s the meaning of

雞腸鳥肚的 (“like chicken intestines and bird’s belly”)?

I think it’s an expression used in Taiwan. Does it have offensive character?

Thank you!


Hi Niels,

雞腸鳥肚 is Taiwanese. It means stingy. In China, people say 小肚鸡肠 [xiǎo dù jī cháng] Why do we describe people like this? Let me give you an antonym.

  • 宰相肚裡能撐船 [zǎixiàng dù li néng chēngchuán]
    lit. You can row a boat in a prime minister’s belly (implying his belly is huge)
    fig. generous

And because chickens and birds’ belly and intestine are small. We use idioms about the size of a belly to describe someone as stingy or generous.


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Hi Betty,
Thanks for your response, I want to know if 小肚鸡肠 [xiǎo dù jī cháng] is the same with 斤斤计较[jīn jīn jì jiào], many thanks.

They have the same meaning but 小肚鸡肠 can fit more situations.