Mair Eating

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Kate Baldanza took this photo in Nanjing:

At first glance, I thought that perhaps I had become a delicacy and had better be careful when out and about in China. However, upon closer examination of the Chinese name of the store, I realized that "Mair" is a transcription of měi ér yì 美而易, more a style of eating than something to be eaten.

Jīngdiǎn • měi ér yì
经典 • 美而易
("Classic — Beautiful and Easy")

What a relief!


  1. Mo said,

    July 9, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

    I first thought of "Mare" eating when I saw this…

  2. Lacey Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 1:08 am

    How does the style differ from any other style of eating?

  3. David Moser said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 3:14 am

    Victor has always given me plenty to chew on. But something tells me this cuisine might not be kosher…

  4. michael farris said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 3:16 am

    Another interpretation would be that your dining habits are so entertaining that people would pay to watch you perform.

  5. Steven P. Venti said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 3:30 am

    Since I don't speak Chinese, I could be very wrong (and would welcome correction if I am), but I suspect that the "mair" part is intended to transcribe only 美而 and the ea of eating corresponds to the 易, so that what you get is a kind of a bilingual pun that perhaps means something like "being 美而易."

    I see similar constructions in Japan all the time. There is a franchise of hair salons called 髪ing (being hair) and a CD/DVD rental franchise called 遊ing (having fun).

  6. Dougal Stanton said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 3:39 am

    I certainly wouldn't enter an establishment called Less Eating.

  7. Tatil Yerleri said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 4:24 am

    I certainly wouldn't enter an establishment called Less Eating.

  8. Victor Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 5:21 am

    from Bill Page:

    I presume that "Mei Er Yi" means something along the lines of "Beautiful and Easy." Here in Thailand we have a chain of supermarkets called Foodland that have attached restaurants called "Took Lae Dee," which translates as "Cheap and Good." And they really are both cheap and good. I wonder if the Mei Er Yi people and the Took Lae Dee people are working together, or if maybe the Thai mind and the Chinese mind may think alike in some areas, e.g., food.

  9. Victor Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 5:24 am

    from Julie Wei:

    What a lovely picture with the words "MairEating" !! Sent me into
    chuckles. The picture should be framed and hung up.
    I literally thought it would show you eating something in Singapore.

  10. Victor Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    from the Merriam-Webster site:

    chiefly Scottish variant of more … "I'm playing in a Scottish metal band called MAIR, because that's what we gie ye: mair …"

  11. Victor Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 5:35 am

    from a friend who has lived in Taiwan for many years:

    Just in case, though, you might want to stay out of Guangdong especially….

  12. Victor Mair said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 6:27 am

    from a friend in Hong Kong:

    Very funny! I'd have thought you'd started a new chain of Chinese restaurants yourself!

  13. June Teufel Dreyer said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 6:59 am

    well there's an idea, Victor: start a fast food chain of your own!

  14. Theodore said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    No Google hits for "Pullum Eating" or "Zwicky Eating", but "Zimmer Eating" gives us this animation, "The Zimmer Eating Contest" which fortunately is not like a pie-eating contest (nor a man-eating shark for that matter).

    I'll leave it to others to Google the balance of LL authors eating.

  15. Andy Averill said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    "Liberman eating" yields only a typo for Joe Lieberman, but, fascinatingly, he was said to be eating a fried twinkie.

  16. Eric P Smith said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Quince is perfect for eating – preferably with a runcible spoon.

  17. Innocent Bystander said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 12:08 am

    In Tamil and Malayalam, Dravidian Languages of India, Mair/Mairu means hair ( mostly referring to pubic hair). Just thought you should know :)

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