Intelligence is more than just brains. This Chinese character 聪(cōng) means ‘clever’,  which is our word of the week!


聪 is pronounced cōng.


The character 聪 (cōng) was first seen in the Oracle bone script in the Shang Dynasty. Its meaning is clever. If we take the Chinese character 聪(cōng) apart, we will have 耳 (ěr) meaning “ear” and  总 (zǒng) meaning “altogether.” 心 (xīn), meaning ‘heart’, also appears in 总 (zǒng). This is quite meaningful, because if you think about it, being smart doesn’t just mean thinking with your head. It also means that you have to use your ears and heart.


聪明绝顶(cōng míng jué dǐng)

It means: extremely clever/ highly intelligent.

小聪明(xiǎo cōng míng)

Literally:small clever. Meaning: cleverness in trivial matters.

聪明一世﹐糊涂一时( cóng ming yī shì , hú tu yī shí)

Literally: Clever all one’s life but stupid this once. Meaning: even the wisest can have a momentary lapse in judgement.

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