Mee Tu flavor

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A tasty visual pun found on Facebook:

(originally posted by Wayne Hudson)

The word for "taste; flavor" in Mandarin is "wèidào 味道".

In Cantonese that would be "mei6dou6".

In Wu (Shanghainese) it would be "midau".

In Hakka it's even better:  mi-tho.


[h.t. Diane Moderski]


  1. Frank Southworth said,

    November 29, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

    Compare the following entry from Turner's A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages:

    10299 mr̥ṣṭá1 ʻ rubbed, washed, pure ʼ RV., ʻ prepared, savoury ʼ R., ʻ sweet, pleasant ʼ MBh., miṣṭa — 1 ʻ dainty, sweet ʼ MBh. [√mr̥j or √mr̥ś]
    Pa. Pk. maṭṭha — ʻ wiped, polished, clean ʼ; P. maṭṭhā m., ˚ṭhī f. ʻ wheaten fritter ʼ; A. māṭhiba ʻ to smooth with a hammer ʼ; Or. maṭhā ʻ polished ʼ, māṭhibā ʻ to polish ʼ; H. maṭṭhā ʻ rubbed smooth ʼ, miṭhnā ʻ to be effaced ʼ; M. māṭhṇẽ ʻ to polish ʼ; Si. maṭa ʻ polished, smooth, shining ʼ; — ext. — r — and — l — : N. muṭhārnu ʻ to smooth, trim (a stick) ʼ; G. maṭhārvũ, ˚ṭhervũ ʻ to smooth ʼ, M. maṭhā̆rṇẽ, maṭhāḷṇẽ, māṭharṇẽ, māṭhaḷṇẽ ʻ to smooth by hammering ʼ. — With unexpl. loss of aspiration (poss. influenced by Drav., Tam. miti ʻ tread on ʼ, &c. DED 3982?): Pa. maṭṭa — ʻ wiped, polished, pure ʼ; Pk. miṭijjaï ʻ is wiped out ʼ, K. miṭun, S. miṭaṇu, P. miṭnā, ḍog. maṭanā tr. ʻ to wipe ʼ; N. māṭ — meṭ ʻ exhaustion ʼ; A. miṭiba ʻ to be settled ʼ; B. miṭā, meṭā ʻ to be wiped out ʼ; Or. miṭibā ʻ to be settled ʼ, tr. ʻ to rescind ʼ; Mth. meṭab ʻ to be rubbed out ʼ (X *vijjhāyati in mijhāeb ʻ to extinguish ʼ), H. miṭnā, OMarw. miṭaï, G. miṭvũ, maṭvũ; M. miṭṇẽ tr. ʻ to efface ʼ; — tr. with e: Pk. mēṭavaï ʻ wipes out ʼ, S. meṭaṇu, P. meṭṇā; WPah. (Joshi) meṭṇu ʻ to spoil ʼ; N. meṭnu ʻ to wipe out ʼ, Or. meṇṭibā, OAw. meṭaï, H. meṭnā.
    Forms with — (r)i — < — r̥ — were early (e.g. miṣṭa — in MBh.) specialized as ʻ pure, good, (esp.) sweet ʼ: Pk. miṭṭha — ʻ sweet ʼ; Gy. eur. mišto ʻ good, right, useful ʼ; Ash. mäistä, maiṣta ʻ good, sound, true ʼ, Bashg. mustā ʻ clever ʼ; Tir. mərəxta, (LSI) mrixt ʻ sweet ʼ, Woṭ. miṭh, Gaw. miṣṭa, Bshk. mīc̣h, muc̣, Tor. miṭh; Mai. miṭha ʻ good ʼ; Sh. mĭṣṭŭ ʻ good, in good health ʼ; K. myūṭhu, f. mīṭhü ʻ sweet ʼ, pog. miṭh ʻ a kiss ʼ; S. miṭho ʻ sweet ʼ, miṭhī f. ʻ a kiss ʼ; L. P. miṭṭhā ʻ sweet ʼ, WPah.bhad. miṭṭhū, paṅ. cur. miṭṭhā, (Joshi) miṭhā, Ku.gng. miṭh, N. miṭho, A. miṭhā, B. miṭha, meṭ(h)o, Or. miṭhā̆, Mth. Bhoj. mīṭh, OAw. mīṭha, H. miṭh, mīṭhā, miṭṭhā, G. mīṭhũ; M. mīṭh n. ʻ salt ʼ, miṭhā ʻ sweet ʼ; Ko. mīṭa ʻ salt ʼ.
    Addenda: mr̥ṣṭá — 1: S.kcch. miṭho ʻ sweet ʼ, WPah.kṭg. (kc.) míṭṭhɔ ʻ sweet, tasty ʼ, m. ʻ sweets ʼ, kṭg. məṭhe/i f.; J. miṭhā ʻ sweet ʼ; Garh. miṭṭhu, maṭhṇu ʻ to wipe off ʼ; OMarw. sumīṭha ʻ very sweet ʼ; A. miṭhā (phonet. mitha, mita) AFD 203, 206, māṭhiba ʻ to smooth ʼ AFD 337, Md. mařanī ʻ grazes, sharpens, slices ʼ, meřum ʻ wounding ʼ.
    *mēḍayati see mēlayati Add2.

  2. Rick Rubenstein said,

    November 29, 2018 @ 5:02 pm

    There's an errant Comcast Xfinity service warning embedded in this post. A popover opens whenever I view it. I can see the javascript which triggers it in the page source.

  3. Victor Mair said,

    November 29, 2018 @ 5:39 pm

    @Rick Rubenstein

    I've opened the post many times, and I never get that Comcast Xfinity service warning.

  4. Chas Belov said,

    November 29, 2018 @ 5:53 pm

    No Xfinity popup in the code here either.

    On topic, I believe 味 meih is sufficient in Cantonese, at least in spoken Cantonese, as in 好味 hóu meih, tasty (with emphasis on the flavor as opposed to the entire eating experience, which would be 好食 hóu sihk).

  5. David Morris said,

    November 29, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

    Has the #MeToo movement reached China? Earlier this year I posted about MeToo, 미투 (mi-too, transliterating the English) and 나도 (na-do, translating it) in Korean news stories (but the URL is too long to post as text).

  6. MikeA said,

    November 30, 2018 @ 11:12 am

    Just FYI, Comcast is quasi-famous for injecting scripts in customer connections. Not every customer gets any particular one, and they are _usually_ legit announcements of service interruptions. That said, https is your friend, because these injection may someday be weaponized. _That_ said, protecting yourself will mean also losing out on possibly important notices. What A Brave, New, World!

  7. Chas Belov said,

    November 30, 2018 @ 11:20 pm

    Alas, attempting to access Language Log via https produces an error message. I imagine a hacker taking advantage of the http requirements by adding a script which produces grammatical errors, double negatives, and gibberish in an attempt to destabilize English grammar and turn it into a tower of babel.

  8. Philip Taylor said,

    December 1, 2018 @ 4:47 am

    Chas — no hacker needed; all the things you mention are now so endemic that the future of our belovèd language must be in very serious doubt. Half the world now regularly "looses" things, at least one regular contributor to this forum appears to have his own language, and Messrs Gowers, Fowler, Onions, Weseen, etc., must all be spinning in their graves.

  9. Michèle Sharik said,

    December 1, 2018 @ 2:48 pm

    @Philip – “one regular contributor to this forum appears to have his own language”


  10. Philip Taylor said,

    December 1, 2018 @ 4:48 pm

    I leave that to other readers to decide.

  11. Victor Mair said,

    December 1, 2018 @ 8:13 pm

    I noticed that person's unique and nearly unintelligible blend of English, other languages, and his own words and expressions. He posted for several months, but eventually he became abusive of others, and it seems that the LL moderators banned him, because I haven't noticed posts by him for several weeks.

  12. Victor Mair said,

    December 1, 2018 @ 8:15 pm

    If Frank Southworth's initial comment above has any special message, my guess is that he's telling us that Indology is light years ahead of Sinology.

  13. Rodger C said,

    December 2, 2018 @ 12:42 pm

    At the risk of continuing a topic that should probably be dropped: I had the impression that said person was just writing their own basilect, native to some neighborhood of NYC probably, which I could make out via my knowledge of Appalachian, Spanish, and (passively) AAVE.

  14. Michèle Sharik said,

    December 5, 2018 @ 2:47 pm

    @Philip: ok. I must have missed it. ‍♀️

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