6 Surprising Chinese Phrases with 吃 (Chī), “to Eat”

by | Sep 5, 2023

7 Surprising Chinese Phrases with 吃 (Chī), "to Eat"

China is famous for its rich food culture. When it comes to different types of cuisine, the verb 吃 (chī), to eat is often the first word that comes to people’s minds. Interestingly, there are some Chinese words which contain the verb “吃 chī”, but their meanings have nothing to do with “to eat”. Let’s find out 6 Surprising Chinese Phrases with “to eat”.

To eat | That's Mandarin Blog

01. To Feel Surprised

Surprised | That's Mandarin Blog
chī jīng
to feel surprised

In this word, 惊 (jīng) means “surprise”. 吃惊 (chī jīng) is usually used as an adjective to express that you come across something unexpected. For example:

Tā Zhōngwén shuō de zhème hǎo, wǒ hěn chījīng.
I’m surprised that he speaks Chinese so well.

02. To Bear Losses

Worried | That's Mandarin Blog
chī kuī
to bear losses

In this word, (kuī) stands for “loss”. Therefore, this verb can be translated as “to bear losses” or “to be in a disadvantageous position”. For example:

Jason hěn jīngmíng, nǐ hé tā yīqǐ gōngzuò kěnéng huì chī kuī.
Jason is shrewd, and you might be in a disadvantageous position if you have to work with him.

03. To Be Jealous

Serious | That's Mandarin Blog
chī cù
to be jealous

In this word, 醋 (cù) means “vinegar”, which insinuates the “sour taste” that can be felt when you see someone you like hanging out with another person. You can use it to tease your partner a bit if he or she is the jealous type. For example:

我喜欢Mike, 但是他经常和Linda在一起,我吃醋了。
Wǒ xǐhuan Mike, dànshì tā jīngcháng hé Linda zài yīqǐ, wǒ chī cù le.
I like Mike, but he often hangs out with Linda, I feel jealous.

04. To Be Strenuous

Tired | That's Mandarin Blog
chī lì
to be strenuous

力 (lì) means “force” or “energy”. This word can be used to describe something (work or exercises) that turns out to be quite hard and hence may “consume a lot of energy”. For example:

Zhè fèn gōngzuò hěn chīlì, nǐ xūyào měitiān gōngzuò shí’èr gè xiǎoshí.
This job is pretty strenuous. You need to work for 12 hours every day.

05. To Bear Hardships

Busy work | That's Mandarin Blog
chī kǔ
to bear hardships

In this case 苦 (kǔ) means “bitter”. The literal meaning of this word (the intake of bitterness) implicitly refers to someone who is willing to handle an excessive amount of workload or face predicaments. For example:

Tā xuéxí nǔlì, hěn néng chī kǔ.
He studies hard and is able to bear hardships.

06. To Be Popular

Famous | That's Mandarin Blog
chī xiāng
to be popular

香 (xiāng) means “aromatic”. This is a colloquial word that is used to describe someone or something that is considered popular. The meaning of this word can also be treated like “something/someone smells so nice that everyone wants to take a bite”. For example:

IT zhuānyè de bìyèshēng hěn chī xiāng.
Graduates with a degree in IT are very popular (among employers).

6 Surprising Chinese Phrases with “to eat”

We hope this topic was useful for you! To enhance your proficiency, maintain a consistent study routine and apply these words in real-life situations for more effective practice. To find out more interesting facts about Chinese language, check out other blog posts: Traditional and Simplified Chinese Characters, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese Characters,

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