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My friend bought me a set of four Zhang Yi Mou movies. I watched Red Sorghum (红高粱) today, and there were a few sentences which, after looking up the meanings, I still couldn't quite understand. I'll give the entire sentence for context, and describe the word in the sentence that I'm having trouble with. Anyone mind helping?

1) "颠不出话来还颠不出尿来" 

颠 dian1, seems to mean "top", or to "fall forward". It appears in this sentence it means "to let out". What exactly should this word mean?

2) "长出了百十亩高粱"

百十 bai3 shi2, translates out to "a hundred or so", but in other cases means "110". So which is it in this case? It would seem strange for the context of the movie for him to specify exactly "110". So is it always okay to use "百十" as an approximation?

3) "唱戏的,你给我出来! 你他妈阴不阴,阳不阳的"

阴不阴,阳不阳 yin1 bu4 yin1, yang2 bu4 yang2, Not sure what this means.

4) "掉到福窝窝里, 还整天五眉三道地转不过来"

五眉三道 wu3 mei2 san1 dao4, I know this is some sort of Cheng Yu, but couldn't find a meaning for it.

5) 少若事, 少生非

生非 sheng1 fei1, I know 生 and 非, but this doesn't make much sense to me.

6) 往后看哪,李家的财产都归你。 人活一世图个啥?

图个啥? tu2 ge sha... I think it means something like "people live a life for what?"

7) 我在家排行老九, 是九月初九那天生的

The usage of 初 chu1. I know this means "the beginning" or "early stages". So 九月初 would mean the beginning of September. But what's the point if you end up specifying the exact day anyway (九月初九 - Sept 9th)... Unless my understanding of the "九" after "初" is incorrect.

8) 俏食 

俏 qiao4 I know means "pretty" or "smart". So does this mean "high class food"?

9) 不行二旦他爹,你们穿好了

二旦 er4 dan4... 一旦 means "if" or "in case"... but wasn't able to find the meaning of 二旦 for this particular sentence.

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2  
俏食 means eating in a restaurant without paying in some dialects. Same as 霸王餐. –  halfelf Nov 26 '12 at 2:52
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Growler, for the next times: asking multiple questions is ok. :) I suggest not all at the same time, but yeah... :) Also, that will increase your chances to get more upvotes, by the way. –  Alenanno Nov 26 '12 at 10:44

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

1) "颠不出话来还颠不出尿来"

Here 颠 means shake, shaking. "Even I cannot shake you word out, I can shake you ... out"

2) "长出了百十亩高粱"

110 should be read as "一百一十", neither of the "一" can be omitted.

3) "唱戏的,你给我出来! 你他妈阴不阴,阳不阳的"

I guess he's calling him a eunuch, who is considered neither 阳 (male) nor 阴 (female).

4) "掉到福窝窝里, 还整天五眉三道地转不过来"

It is possibly "五迷三道", meaning people talking nonsense.

5) 少若事, 少生非

It is 惹是生非 split up. "Don't make trouble"

6) 往后看哪,李家的财产都归你。 人活一世图个啥?

Your are right, it means "people living a life for what?"

7) 我在家排行老九, 是九月初九那天生的

He is referring to date in Chinese lunar calender, where dates for the 1st and the 10th are always prefixed with "初", as "初一", "初九", "初十". Here it is September the ninth in the Chinese lunar calender. (Not sure whether I should call it September)

8) 俏食

I don't know. A search gave me some restaurant names ...

9) 不行二旦他爹,你们穿好了

"二旦" is probably a person's name ...

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Thank you so much! :D I've watched 大红灯笼高高挂 and 红高粱 so far. I'll be watching 菊豆 and 老井 this week. I'll probably have more questions then! :D –  Growler Nov 26 '12 at 1:31
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@Growler You are welcome here :) –  fefe Nov 26 '12 at 1:38
    
can you recommend any other good Chinese movies? I've recently watched the series "黑洞", a story about the mafia (starring 陈道明, one of my favorite Chinese actors), and a Taiwanese series Black & White. I've been learning Chinese for about 6 years, but lately haven't had opportunity to practice with people. –  Growler Nov 26 '12 at 1:41
    
To @Growler I recommend 霸王別姬 zh.wikipedia.org/zh-hant/… –  congliu Aug 21 '13 at 16:29
    
陳道明's recent TV drama 楚漢傳奇 zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%A5%9A%E6%BC%A2%E5%82%B3%E5%A5%87 gives a good rendering of the late 漢高帝 劉邦 –  congliu Aug 21 '13 at 16:31

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