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一根弦的傻子

From what I see, "An idiot with one root/string?"

I don't really understand where the meaning would be taken from. Would an English equivalent be something like "An idiot with only one brain cell"?

  • regarding 一根弦 note e。g。 (a)聪明人之所以称为聪明人,是因为他们有一颗善于思维的大脑,傻瓜则不然,傻瓜经常被人们称为“死脑筋”、“一根弦”。(b)人类大脑有多少根弦儿http://iask.sina.com.cn/b/3391580.html, it seems there are different apparently contradictory ways of characterizing brain deficiencies, brain may have only one string,alternatively just one (among thousands)may be lacking: people often say 少(差)一根弦 see e。g。有人说傻子跟天才只差一根玄(sic)?答案:是的,因为人们常说傻子少根弦! i。e。it is a matter of lacking a string (loose screw) also see iciba:一根弦的傻子:examples:自从保罗的女朋友与他分手后,保罗总是象少了一根弦似的.(screw loose)缺乏幽默感的人总是少一根弦 – user6065 May 17 '15 at 3:33
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It comes from a hidden metaphor to describe a person's brain as complex clockwork or musical instruments.

一根弦 means a person is stubborn, overly rigid, inflexible, unchangeable, one-track minded, even narrow-minded, hard to convince, or hard to work with.

Similar phrase: 一根筋,死心眼/实心眼。A brain has many 弦 or 筋,while a heart has many 眼。

Famous 一根弦 people:Forrest Gump

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    一根弦 and 缺根弦 are quire different. Like @Thomas Hsieh said 一根弦 is not necessarily derogatory, but 缺根弦 is. It is just like 实心眼 and 缺心眼 are very different. – Tzu May 17 '15 at 3:56
  • i.e. web quote "傻瓜则不然,傻瓜经常被人们称为“死脑筋”、“一根弦” see (a) of earlier comment is not generally valid? (傻瓜 not meaning fool,idiot?) – user6065 May 17 '15 at 4:33
  • I googled your quote "傻瓜则不然,傻瓜经常被人们称为“死脑筋”, and the first match is a weibo blog entry. In that article 傻瓜 does not meaning fool,idiot. The article ends with "如果你愿意,和笔者一起做一个开开心心的傻瓜吧,做傻瓜,挺好。" – Tzu May 17 '15 at 4:40
  • besides singing the praises of 傻瓜 the quoted article also seems to make no distinction between “死脑筋”and“一根弦”which according to iciba:死脑筋 one-track mind ; block-headed seems to confirm given answers – user6065 May 17 '15 at 9:07
  • Reechen, when will you start writing answers in the answer box? I will always give you an upvote, schlau wie du bist! – Pedroski May 17 '15 at 13:47
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As Pedroski has explained, 一根弦的傻子 or 脑子一根弦 refers to those who clings to one idea. 一根弦 can be interpreted as "single-minded". But note that it is not necessarily a derogatory term.

For example, in the following sentence,

一根弦的傻子,也能熬出头。

A single-minded fool can eventually survive from the nights and succeed as well.

一根弦 implies that the "fool" is determined and strong-willed and will not give up on what he/she has been pursuing for.

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It means a stubborn person, who clings to just one idea , who is incapable or unwilling to consider other points of view.

A bit like 'a one track mind' without the sexual connotations.

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Other people give nice explanations.

Just want to add something to the discussion:

一根弦=一根筋=单细胞.

Sometimes used to describe people who never turns back until runs into an impassable barrier. In Chinese, 不撞南墙不回头。

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