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Posts: 233

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Q: Is calling someone 'small' insulting?

I've had people tell me I'm fat to my face (which I'm not). I've tried not punching people, because I know the culture is different...and I heard that calling someone 'small' here is an insult. Is that true? And if it is, why???

9 years 17 weeks ago in  Culture - China

 
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i dont think so ..
i always hear people calling other xiao mei( xiao means small and mei means beautiful).
xiao adds intimacy ..

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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I dont think its degrading. Besides, if they call you strong it really means fat. Chinese generally have a nice way to say things

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 650

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Not since I heard.

And techezee gets the idea about Chinese.

When we say u r really innocent that means u r stupid, just another example.

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Ya I think often small or "xiao' is used in an endearing way.

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Zootown, no offense but you do look pretty fat.

Generally the Chinese are pretty inscrutable and often use pretty euphemistic phrasing to either praise or criticize you, but I used to work with a Hunanese girl who would just come into the office and say "You look terrible today," "Your hair is dirty," "You are getting fatter" etc. Kind of took me by surprise.

I don't think small is meant to be degrading here, because in Chinese 'xiao' is an honorific term which denotes respect to those who are younger than you, just as 'lao' denotes respect to those who are older... 老师,老板,老头,老伴 etc

Unless they used the actual English word 'small', then the're probably dissing your height.

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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depending upon the person you are telling , some can be sensitive to minute things.. but as far as i can say its ok . but avoiding and not mentioning it is much better for you.......

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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I've never heard that insult before. I've heard quite a few insults though, message me for a full list! (j/k) Wink

Yeah Chinese people are direct.. too direct about some things... And since everyone knows that Strong=fat (Which lemme tell ya.. it doesn't) and innocent=stupid (I think the word you're looking for is naive) Nice way of saying things? Not a chance. You can sugar-coat a piece of sh!t, but it's still a piece of sh!t. Like my mother always told me: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all... and no, telling me I'm strong isn't nice since I know what it really means.

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Scifi is pretty correct with his post, funny too. Don't you hate the redundancy of them calling you fat when they are also. Some Chinese can gossip with the best of them, so instead of losing my temper just smile and say thank you, nothing more

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Depends how's it's used - yeah small as in petite for a girl is good, but xiao ren is usually used to mean small minded.  That's definitely an insult.

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
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