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I have heard the saying 一窝猪 Yī wō zhū when describing a family or group of people who are all 属猪 (have pig as their zodiac sign).

Is this something that can be applied to other animals e.g. 一窝龙 or 一窝虎?

Just an update to address some of the answers: This has always been said either jokingly or in a self-deprecating way as a joke and amongst good company. Not something that has been said in a sarcastic or insulting way.

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4 Answers

To answer your question, I think it's good to understand the meanings of "窝" mentioned here.

Three possible meanings of “窝" used in this case:

  1. to refer to several animal's babies who are born at the same time.
    This could happen to the mouse,pig, rabit,chicken ,etc. For these animals, the mother animal usually can give birth to(or brood, as a hen does) several babies at a time; but for animals like the cattle and tiger, the mother animal usually(exceptions are rare to see) can give birth to only one baby, so it sounds very strange to say "一窝牛" or "一窝虎", but sounds good to say"一窝兔子”,"一窝小鸡".

    In this case, because it's used for animials, and more importantly, parents and children always can't be born at the same time, by the same mother. You should not use 窝 to refer to a family, even in a figurative way.

  2. to refer to a group of bad people or things.

    一窝土匪 a group of bandits

    Remeber, Bad people and things, so 窝 is also not acceptable in this case.

  3. animal's burrow or nest
    In this case, 窝 seems accpetable to mean "house, the place where a man lives ", and could be used to refer to a family since all the members are in the same house.but as previous answers pointed out, it may offend someone. Don't risk saying that way!

    I have never spoken that way or heard of someone saying that way in the real life.

So how to describe a family when all the family members are of the same zodiac animal?

I would like to say"他们一家都属[X]" or "他们一家都是属[X]的". Here, X is the name of the animal, 鼠,牛,虎,兔,etc.

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Thanks for adding an acceptable way to express the same meaning! That's really helpful for learners. –  Terry Waltz Jan 17 '12 at 15:00
    
Huang, please avoid writing entire sentences with uppercase. Even if it's an important warning, using bold is enough. Remember that writing LIKE THIS means that you're shouting on the internet so, please keep it down... :) Thanks for understanding. –  Alenanno Jan 17 '12 at 15:17
    
@Alenanno Thanks for your kind reminder. I really don't know that. SE is the first international forum that I take part in. Sorry if someone gets upset by that expression. –  Huang Jan 17 '12 at 15:17
    
Don't worry, there is no problem, I didn't get upset. :D I was just saying that uppercase on the internet has a certain meaning so I just edited that and corrected your list... :) You are a very good contributor of this community! –  Alenanno Jan 17 '12 at 15:18
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In this context 窝 would be equivalent to the English word ‘litter,’ in reference to a number of young animals at one birth, hence 一窝猪. You may also say ‘a litter of tiger cubs.’ However, since the parity of the mythological dragon is not clear at the moment, I would suggest refraining from using this measure word unless you intend to say ‘a litter of newborn dragons.’

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You can use this kind of expression with your friends, but keep in mind, never use this to describe a stranger's family, especially 一窝猪 because Chinese people regard 猪 as the symbol of laziness and stupid.

As for 一窝龙 and 一窝虎,we don't often use these expressions. Just as I said, 一窝猪 is just a kind of expression which is only used with your intimate friends.

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Can I just confirm. You are saying that 一窝猪 exists as a set saying and you can't normally use 一窝 for other zodiac animals? –  xiaohouzi79 Jan 17 '12 at 1:00
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you can use "一窝" anytime you want with your intimate friends,but 一窝龙 and 一窝虎 are not as interesting as 一窝猪。Just don't use 一窝 in the formal occasions. –  coqer Jan 17 '12 at 1:19
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user911865's answer is good. I'll suggest not to use it at all. This can be easily misused. Maybe it can be only used when you have become part of family, or at least you have become a very intimate friend with every member of the family (not only the listener).

"窝" is used to refer to multiple animals born together. If the animal is born one at a time, "窝" is not used. "龙" is a imaginary creature, we don't use "窝" on "龙". "一窝虎" is possible but weird. Maybe "一窝小老虎". "一窝马" is incorrect, as they are born one at a time.

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