Chicken hegemon

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From Mark Swofford:

The back of a restaurant stand going up in front of the Banqiao train station as part of a temporary market for the Christmas season.

Tài 泰 means "Thai".  No problem there.

Now comes trouble:

jībà 雞霸 ("chicken hegemon", like "chicken king" or "king of chicken")

jībā 雞巴 ("cock; the male member")

As Mark says:  "The vulgar pun is a bit of a surprise, but on the other hand Taiwan is a pretty easy-going place."

Selected readings


  1. CCF said,

    December 2, 2021 @ 3:34 am

    The writing in the left side, 三碗豬 san wan3 zhu, lit "Three bowls of pork“ is also interesting:
    When read in Taiwanese, the phrase will be pronounced as "sann-uánn-ti”, which is a common phonetic transcription of Thai greeting สวัสดี (sawatdi) in Taiwan.

    泰式奶茶 tai4 shi4 nai3 cha2 = Thai-styled milk tea

  2. AG said,

    December 2, 2021 @ 4:07 am

    also referencing "tai chi" and English "bar"? not bad!

  3. Mark S. said,

    December 2, 2021 @ 7:56 am

    @CCF: Yes!
    Not far from the Banqiao Train Station is a restaurant with the same Taiwanese pun. For ages I've been meaning to mention this; I might as well do it here.

  4. Victor Mair said,

    December 2, 2021 @ 11:13 am

    Wow wow wow!!!

    And Mark S. has given the restaurant to us in street view, so you can almost feel as though you are walking into the front door and can look up and down the street and all around the neighborhood — 360º!

    Tài hǎo! Tài bàng! 太好!太棒!("Great! Fantastic!")

    The sign above the door reads:

    Mandarin: San Wan Zhu Jiao

    Taiwanese: Sa-Wa Di-Ca


  5. Mark Hansell said,

    December 3, 2021 @ 2:15 am

    At the risk of dragging this discussion (even farther) into the gutter, a little anecdote about 雞巴 jībā 'male member':

    In my early days of studying Mandarin in Taiwan many decades ago, I wanted to use the word "cocktail" in a class discussion. I remembered that it was a compound consisting of 'chicken' + one syllable of the word for 'tail' (尾巴 wěibā) + 'liquor'. Unfortunately, I didn't remember which syllable of 'tail' to use, and came out with 雞巴酒 jībājiǔ 'penis liquor', instead of the correct 雞尾酒 jīwěijiǔ.

    My teacher, a lovely young woman (and very skilled teacher) listened with a quick look of growing horror on her face that suddenly was replaced by a complete poker face, as she gently responded "對了,雞尾酒“ ("right, cocktail").

    I learned two valuable lessons: 1) In language teaching, one of your most valuable tools is your poker face. 2) In Chinese, if everyone pretends they didn't hear it, then no one said it.

  6. Pau Amma said,

    December 3, 2021 @ 5:33 pm

    For anyone else hunting for the door ("The sign above the door") in the undescribed picture, that's apparently where the pig with a bowtie holding a tall glass is, in the left third of the blue-boards rectangular section. Observant sighted people may notice the wider boards in that area.

    Tangentially, having meaningful alt= descriptions in pictures in blog posts would be an accessibility boon for screenreader users.

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