There is a Chinese proverb stating that “a smile can make you ten years younger.” This week’s featured word is 笑 – meaning “laugh,smile”.

Pronunciation

笑 is pronounced xiào.

Meaning

笑(xiào) is composed by “⺮(zhú)”,which means bamboo, and “夭(yāo)”,which means stooping. One interpretation of the Chinese character 笑 (xiào) is that it originated from the sound of bamboo bending in the wind, resembling laughter. Another theory suggests that the radical ⺮ (zhú) looks like a pair of smiling eyes, while the component 夭 (yāo) appears as someone stooping in laughter.

Example:

取笑(qǔ xiào )
It means to make fun of someone.

笑面虎( xiào miàn hǔ )
It is a metaphor for someone who is seemingly gentle but has a strong will and a fierce heart.

五十步笑百步(wǔ shí bù xiào bǎi bù)ǐ
It is a Chinese idiom that describes those who fled 50 steps sneered at those who fled 100 steps. The analogy is that the shortcomings or errors are of the same nature, but the plot is more or less serious.


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