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In another answer someone helped me understand the meaning of:

今年一定是好事連連

At that time, I was having trouble getting the context of 連連. But then I saw both 好事連連 (good fortune) and 好运连连 (Good Luck).

When I saw these at first I thought of idioms. When double words are put together, is there always a special meaning? Are there any rules to using double words?

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1  
What you called "double words" is called reduplication and is 叠词 or 叠字 in Chinese. 叠 means duplication. –  wind rose Aug 23 at 14:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

连连 is an adverb.

ABC

1 repeatedly; again and again; one after another

他连连摇头。

Tā liánlián yáotóu.

He shook his head repeatedly.

2 slowly; quietly

A Chinese English Dictionary

repeatedly; again and again

连连点头

Liánlián diǎntóu

nod again and again (to show agreement, etc.)

演出结束, 观众连连叫好。

Yǎnchū jiéshù, guānzhòng liánlián jiàohǎo.

At the end of the performance, the audience applauded again and again.

Oxford

over and over again

连连称好

keep praising

连连得手

make it again and again

Not all 叠词 are the same, 匆匆 for example is an adjective - 潺潺 is ONOMATOPOEIA - there is no rule for this kind of thing.

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When I saw these at first I thought of idioms. When double words are put together, is there always a special meaning? Are there any rules to using double words?

As a complementary to @user3306356 's answer, there are some variations of 叠词 (I couldn't cover all of them, but I will list out some for your reference :) )

1. Verb

The syntax would be AA(n.), for example:

吃吃東西 : Eat something

畫畫圖畫 : Draw something

2. Adjective (BAA)

Usually in a form of (n.)aa or (adj.)aa

Let's consider 紅彤彤 and 白雪雪

has the meaning of RED, however 彤 in 紅彤彤 refers to 丹砂 (a red-color ink), which decorates the adjective 紅(RED) itself.

For 白雪雪, 雪 means snow, which gives 白雪雪 a meaning of "Snowy white".

There are more than one way to describe a single colour in different context, such as 白茫茫,白皙晢,白花花,白蒼蒼,白皚皚 etc.

3. Adjective/Adverb (AA / AABB)

We can consider words in form of AA / AABB as 疊詞 as well,

For example, 重重疊疊 (Piles over piles) and 彎彎曲曲 (Curvy, in twist and turns)

4. Adjective/Adverb (ABAB / ABAC)

In Chinese language, we also consider the form ABAB and ABAC as 疊詞.

Such as 百發百中, 自由自在, however most of them are idioms. We often use double words to emphasize the story itself.

5. Onomatopoeia

Sometimes, 疊詞 are just used as onomatopoeia (word that phonetically imitates the sound itself)

潺潺, pronounced as 'san san', which imitates the sound of flowing water. 淙淙, reads 'cong cong' also refers to the sound of water

Extra

There is a famous poem《聲聲慢》by 李清照(Li Qingzhao), a poet from Song dynasty which starts with 14 words of 疊詞, is a masterpeice of double words.

尋尋覓覓, 冷冷清清, 淒淒慘慘戚戚

Some people tried to translate the lines into English:

尋尋覓覓, I seek in vain, I search in vain;

冷冷清清, Chilled to the bone, all alone;

淒淒慘慘戚戚。 In pain, in tears, unconsolable.

Finally, my answer

So, where does 好事連連 fall?

好事 means "Good things",

連連 means "Again and again" or simply "repeatedly"

It's in a (n.)AA format, which means literally "Good things happens repeatedly" (It's really a good fortune).

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