"Wecker": an 'English' word used in China?

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Feb 18 05:31:46 UTC 2008

>.... I hadn't thought to analyze the blocks further.
>Maybe "wecker" is just a typo (that got spread around from dictionary to
>dictionary electronically early on, because that's what they do here in
>China) for "wrecker".  "Wreck" can certainly be used meaning a beat-up car.

Thanks. I thought of that too. Maybe that's it, especially given the
"Cars" movie which featured a wrecker which was also a wreck. Still,
to call your valuable classic Rolls a "wreck" ....

As for the blocks: some translation errors of the "faucet"/"hydrant"
type do not surprise me but I was mystified by the weird ones ...


... so I started to look into it, beginning with "turtle" ("wu gui")
~ "mob". First I thought maybe there's an obscure English word "mob"
= "turtle" (as with the "darning needle" = "dragonfly" block). No
immediate luck. Then I thought maybe Chinese "wu gui" can mean "mob":
this seems possible since "wu gui" is a term of abuse like "bastard"
in my very limited experience, and "mob" is often pejorative in
English ... so I looked in my little _Oxford Chinese Dictionary_ for
starters, and there's "wu gui" = "tortoise", and the next entry is
"wu he zhi zhong" = "mob". So maybe somebody read his dictionary
wrong for some reason and used the adjacent entry? Looking at the
other weird ones, this seems to be likely.

"tortoise" ~ "mob":


"beetle" ~ "Crustacea":


(the word on the block is like the entry here for "Coleoptera" [the
taxon of beetles], 1st and 2nd characters matching the "crustacean" entry)

"egg" ~ "dick":


("cock [penis]" in this dictionary but "dick" shown in some others)

"electric saw" ~ "reactance":


"airship" ~ "trapshooting":


(First character the same as on either of the "airship" blocks)

"fire extinguisher" ~ "destroy the evidence":



In each case the initial character is right. So somebody apparently
had some dictionary problems, exact details unknown to me.

But I'm still not sure about "wecker".

-- Doug Wilson

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