Ambrose Li

Hide-and-seek

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I was working on my Meta-index to etymologically correct written forms of Cantonese words and suddenly realized that none of the two Cantonese names for hide-and-seek‍[Note 1] means “hide-and-seek”.

ˍbuk ˈnei ˈnei means just “hide” (or, literally, “hide-hide-hide”), and ˈdzuk ˈji ˈjɐn means just “seek” (or, literally, “catch them”‍[Note 2]). None of these means “hide-and-seek”, but together they mean “hide” and “seek”.

I actually find this funny.

Notes

  1. C. M. Pang, 正字正確 (Hong Kong: Subculture, 2007), 14.
  2. Singular they

Tags

  • #Chinese languages
  • #Cantonese (language)