Love those crazy language skillz

You silly man.

I was over on the forums where someone had posted a thread about a Patriot skin/bot for Q4. In one of the images, you can see a couple of Chinese characters tattooed on his arm. Someone wanted to know what they meant, and someone else supplied a translation, “crazy man”.

The characters are 痴漢 chī hàn, which seems really to mean “silly/idiotic Han Chinese person”. [03.08.14. Youdao translates the phrase as “idiot”.] Although hàn can mean “man”, I suspect that the connotation is still “Chinese person” rather than human beings in general. As for chī, that can also mean “crazy about” (i.e., very interested in something). At best, it means “silly man”.

But that’s not all. As any Chinese person will tell you (provided they know the English words), the first character is simplified and the second traditional. It’s the sort of thing that probably makes the Chinese wince, giggle, or both.

The words which the creator of the skin probably ought to have used are either 狂人 kuángrén or 疯子 fēngzi. I don’t know what the connotations of these words are, but the first is literally “crazy person”.

But to turn back to 痴 chī, I can’t find it in the English half of my dictionary. If I understand the character dictionary in the office correctly, it seems to have something to do with talking gibberish. I’d guess that it’s probably low fequency vocab.


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