Learn Chinese word radical – Claws

Talons

Talons


The Chinese character, (zhuǎ), stands for claws or talons. Does it not look like a drawing of a chicken’s foot? Some people pronounce this word as (zhǎo). Colloquially we say 爪子 (zhuǎzi) or 爪子 (zhǎozi). Either way is fine. Just make sure that you don’t confuse (zhuǎ) with (guā melon or gourd). 瓜子 (guāzǐ) are dried melon seeds that people enjoy eating as a snack.

We know that (yá) are teeth. Literally, 爪牙 (zhǎoyá) are talons and fangs. However, this term refers to a bad guy’s minions.

张牙舞爪 (zhāngyáwǔzhǎo) is to bare fangs and brandish claws, i.e. making threatening gestures.

魔爪 (mózhǎo) means the devil’s talons or a monster’s grip. 鸡爪 (jī zhuǎ) are chicken claws or chicken feet. (I know which Chinese dish you are thinking of.) 鳞爪 (línzhǎo) are fish scales and bird claws, or bits and fragments. It often appears in the phrase 一鳞半爪 (yīlínbànzhǎo one scale and half a claw).

我对于这件事只知道一鳞半爪.
Wǒ duìyú zhè jiàn shì zhǐ zhīdào yīlínbànzhǎo.
I only have scrappy information about this matter.

In the character, (zhuā), you see both the “hand” radical and the “claws” radical. Therefore it should not surprise you that this word means to grab, to clutch, to scratch, to catch or to arrest.

他抓到一只鸡.
Tā zhuā dào yī zhī jī.
He caught a chicken.

弟弟抓了一把瓜子去嗑.
Dìdi zhuā le yībǎ guāzǐ qù kè.
Younger brother grabbed a handful of melon seeds to munch on.

The blog post at this link discusses a Chinese children’s song about an eagle trying to catch little chicken. There you will learn the word for wings. Then you will know how to say chicken wings in Chinese.

(pá) means to crawl or to climb.

你喜欢爬山吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān pá shān ma?
Do you like to climb mountains?

Many words contain the “claws” radical in a squashed form.

(yǎo) is to ladle up, spoon up, or scoop up.

她舀了一碗汤给我.
Tā yǎo le yī wǎn tāng gěi wǒ.
She ladled up a bowl of soup for me.

(ài) is love (noun), to love, to treasure, or to enjoy doing something.

(mì), or 寻觅 (xúnmì), is to look for or to seek.

(shòu) means to give or award, to vest power in someone, or to instruct (i.e. to confer knowledge). 教授 (jiàoshòu) is a professor.

老教授今天又迟到了
Lǎo jiàoshòu jīntiān yòu chídào le.
The old professor is late again today.

(yuán) means to help or to rescue. For example, 援助 (yuánzhù) is to help or to provide support. 援救 (yuánjiù) is to rescue or to save someone.

(nuǎn) means warm or to warm up. 暖和 (nuǎnhuo) means nice and warm. You can use this term to describe a balmy day or a warm jacket.

(shùn) is a wink or a blink. 瞬间 (shùnjiān) means a moment, momentary or momentarily.

那颗流星瞬间就不见了.
Nèi kē liúxīng shùnjiān jiù bùjiànle.
That shooting star disappeared in the blink of an eye.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anthony Bogadek
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 11:12:53

    Hi,
    My previous email with comments about lesson 23/09/2013 was incomplete; below is my point No.2.
    2. 授 (xúnmì) means to give or award,…..
    The pinyin entry for this character appears to be incorrect.

    1. My point No.1 (in my previous email which somehow I am not able to trace it back again!) was about the following entry:
    他抓到一只鸡.
    Tā ? dào yī zhī jī.
    He caught a chicken.
    Here the pinyin for 抓 is missing.

    Best regards,
    A bee

    Reply

    • likeabridge
      Sep 30, 2013 @ 13:34:19

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for pointing out a couple errors in this post. These have been corrected.

      I did not see your previous comment. If it contains additional points, please send it in again.
      Thanks!

      Reply

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