Learn Chinese word radical – Leather / Hide

The Chinese word for leather or hide is 皮革 (pígé).

(pí) means skin, leather or a thin layer of some material (such as a dumpling wrapper). It is also the abbreviation for 顽皮 (wánpí naughty).

When referring to human skin, say 皮肤 (pífū).

Tā de pífū shàng zhǎng le shīzhěn.
There is eczema on his skin.

脸皮 (liǎnpí) refers to the face or the cheeks. So, 厚脸皮 (hòuliǎnpí) means thick-skinned or cheeky.

皮球 (píqiú) are rubber balls. Rubber is 橡皮 (xiàngpí). Rubber bands are called 橡皮筋 (xiàngpí jīn).

(gé) means leather, hide or to remove or expel.

革除 (géchú) is to get rid of or to abolish. One might talk about removing
不良分子 (bùliáng fènzǐ undesirable members) or getting rid of 不良习惯 (bùliáng xíguàn a bad habit)

改革 (gǎigé) is to reform. A land reform is called 土地改革 (tǔdìgǎigé). 革命 (gémìng) is more drastic – a revolution.

As expected, the (gé) radical appears in words related to leather goods.

(xié) are shoes. 皮鞋 (píxié) are leather shoes. (xuē) are boots.

(biān) is a whip. As a verb, it means to whip.

(bǎ) is the target in target shooting. It used to be made of leather.

(qiào) is a scabbard, such as for a sword.

(lè) is to strap or to rein in. We talked about 悬崖勒马 (xuányálèmǎ) previously while discussing the “mountain” radical.

(jī) is a bridle. As a verb, it means to control or to restrain. 傲慢不羁 (àomànbùjī) describes a person who is haughty and impudent.

Wǒ bù xīnshǎng tā àomànbùjī de tàidu.
I don’t appreciate his arrogant manner.

(bà) is an overlord, a tyrant or a bully. 霸道 (bàdao) is the way of ruling by might. As an adjective, it means overbearing.

Bùyào ràng háizǐ bàdao.
Don’t let the kid behave like a bully.

Now, the English word “hide” also means to conceal. This is not the case in Chinese. (cáng) is the word for hiding, concealing or storing away.

Tā bǎ chǔxù cáng zài chuángdiàn xiàmian.
She hides her savings under the mattress.

When pronounced as (zàng), this word refers to a depository or storage place. Tibet is called 西藏 (xīzàng).

Learn Chinese word radical – Mountain

If you stack a hill, (qiū), on top of a mountain, (shān), the result is a high mountain, (yuè). The father of one’s wife is called 岳父 (yuèfù) or 丈人 (zhàngrén). Correspondingly, the mother of one’s wife is called 岳母 (yuèmǔ) or 丈母 (zhàngmǔ).

(yuè) is also the surname of an ancient Chinese general, 岳飞 (Yuè Fēi), who was regarded as a symbol for loyalty to one’s country. Why, on his back were tattooed these characters: 尽忠报国 (jìn zhōng bàoguó). (jìn) means to exhaust, being exhausted, or to do something to the limit. (zhōng) means loyalty, or being loyal and trustworthy. It’s a popular character in Chinese names for men. 报国 (bàoguó) is to devote oneself to serving one’s country. There will be hope for world peace if we apply such dedication and fervor to participation in constructive projects for our own country rather than to acts of harming people in other countries.

Chinese folklore and kung fu stories often tell of immortal beings or wizards who live as hermits in remote high mountains. A 仙人 (xiānrén) is usually depicted as a kindly old man with a balding head and a long white beard and dressed in a long white robe. On the other hand, his female counterpart, a 仙女 (xiānnǚ), is the Chinese equivalent of a beautiful young fairy. Records show that many a party were dispatched by ancient Chinese emperors to foreign lands in search for the elixir of life, which is referred to as 仙丹 (xiāndān). The most well-known story is about Xu Fu and the boys and girls he took along on such a journey.

(chà) means to branch off or to turn off. It appropriately contains the character (fēn to divide). 打岔 (dǎchà) means to interrupt a conversation. 出岔子 (chūchàzi) is for something to go wrong.

Qǐng bùyào dǎchà.
Please do not interrupt.

小心去做. 不要出岔子.
Xiǎoxīn qù zuò. Bùyào chūchàzi.
Go about it with care. Don’t bungle up.

(yán) is a cliff, while 岩石 (yánshí) is a general term for large rocks.

(tàn) is coal mined from mountains.

(xiá) is a gorge. 海峡 (hǎixiá) is a strait.

(yá) is a cliff. 悬崖 (xuányá) is a steep cliff. 悬崖勒马 (xuányálèmǎ) is a common idiom used to describe how one is able to avert danger at the last moment as with reining in one’s horse at the brink of a precipice.

A rugged mountain that is high and steep can be described as being 峻峭 (jùnqiào). Its homonym, 俊俏 (jùnqiào), written with the “person” radical, is what you would use to describe someone with handsome physical features.

Wǒ xīnshǎng tā jùnqiào de bízi.
I admire her handsome nose.

(àn) is a shore. 靠岸(kàoàn) is a verb that means to pull in to shore.

Chuán kàoàn le méiyǒu?
Has the boat pulled in yet?

崇高 (chónggāo) means high or sublime. Now you see why 崇拜 (chóngbài worship) contains the character (chóng lofty, high).

Take care not to mix up (chóng lofty, high) and (suì evil spirit).

鬼祟 (guǐsuì) means clandestine or surreptitious. It’s often used in the form 鬼鬼祟祟 (guǐguǐsuìsuì).

他鬼鬼祟祟的作风, 令人怀疑.
Tā guǐguǐsuìsuì de zuòfēng, lìngrén huáiyí.
His clandestine ways arouse suspicion.

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