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Old 10-10-2019, 12:08 AM
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Chinese cats


女奴

Has anyone ever heard this expression? What does it have to do with felines?
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
女奴

Has anyone ever heard this expression? What does it have to do with felines?
Literally it means a female slave, and it's obviously not the usual word for a cat. But this Wiktionary entry lists "cat" as an archaic meaning. That's all I know, but I can ask a couple of well educated native speakers later today. Any context?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%A5%B3%E5%A5%B4

Last edited by Riemann; 10-10-2019 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:30 AM
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I don't really have any useful context apparently Zhang Mi used this expression. I will try to find a concrete quote.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:55 AM
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狸奴 (raccoon slave??) is also supposed to have something to do with cats. Not sure whether these are fanciful poetic kennings, or familiar expressions, or what, but hopefully educated Chinese speakers would.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:51 AM
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I am still having trouble finding source material. However, as for the "fox slave", I was able to find this poem which mentions it:
Quote:
風捲江湖雨暗村,
四山聲作海濤翻。
溪柴火軟蠻氈暖,
我與貍奴不出門。

僵臥孤村不自哀,
尚思為國戍輪台。
夜闌臥聽風吹雨,
鐵馬冰河入夢來。
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
女奴

Has anyone ever heard this expression? What does it have to do with felines?
Not Chinese but Japanese.
As another poster mentioned, its meaning is "female serf" but it's also an archaic Chinese term for "cat". I do not have a source on how it came to be, but the general thought is:
1. The association between femininity and felinity goes back to ancient times.
2. Cats were seen as inferior animals compared to dogs who were more intelligent and served more useful purposes. (Much like in Western civilization.)
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