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规规矩矩 seems to have two - not so agreeing definitions in guoyu and MSM.

The MSM definition looks something like this

规矩 - 互动百科

2、[Well-behaved;Well-disciplined;Remain orderly;Have proper behaviour] 引申为称人的品行方正,谨守礼法

靠右的一间正屋住着屋主罗斯托玛乞维列,一个规规矩矩的市民。——《第比利斯的地下印刷所》 又如:没规矩;守规矩

品行方正, 谨守礼法 equates to something along the lines of upright and upstanding.

The Taiwanese Guoyu definition from the Ministry of Education:

MoE

形容行為有條理、有次序, 合於法度。

有條理、有次序 - orderly / organized / prioritized

合於法度 - legally

Guoyu seems to have the idea of orderly and organized where MSM doesn't.

Are my asusumptions correct?

3 Answers 3

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規矩 doesn't mean exactly same as 規規矩矩. I don't quite agree how MSM uses 規規矩矩 to explain 規矩. 規規矩矩 and 規矩 share the same core meaning, but translated differently in different part of speech. In a nutshell, 規矩 =/= 規規矩矩, 有規矩 = 規規矩矩.

  • 規矩(n) - regulation, plan, rules, scheme, discipline,etc.
    That's why when you want to say something is well disciplined you say 有規矩, it literally means "it has discipline". You need a adverb or adjective if you want to translate "well disciplined" literately.
  • 規規矩矩的(Adj) - regulated, planned, ruled, well disciplined, ordered, legal, etc.
    規規矩矩地(Adv) - regularly, orderly, legally, etc.
    As you can see 規規矩矩 has more meanings simply because it functions differently in a sentence. Since "well disciplined ~= do sth in order = orderly", 規規矩矩 seems to have more meaning than simply 規矩. Keep in mind that "orderly" has a different meaning from "order", though in English they share they same root, in Chinese "order' would have translated differently to for example 次序.

I know my answer is quite messy but hope it helped.

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Guoyu seems to have the idea of orderly and organized where MSM doesn't.

  • 规 = divider

  • 矩 = ruler

  • 规矩 = regulation; rule

idiom: "无规矩不成方圆" literally means: "without ruler and divider, you cannot draw square and circle" metaphorically, it means:" without rule and regulation there can be no order but chaos"

规矩

(1) [n] regulation; rule

(2) [v] plan; map out; scheme

(3) [v] advise; admonish

(4) [n] compasses; dividers

"regulation; rule" is the main meaning of 规矩.

  • "upright; upstanding" (to follow rule) is an extended meaning base on the compound word 规矩(1)

  • "orderly: organized" (to follow guidance, stay in order)is an extended meanings base on the individual meaning of 规 and 矩 - 规矩(4)

I think the dictionaries you refer to simply omitted one of the two extended meanings.

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  • I have more than a hunch telling me that Guoyu and MSM's concepts are different.
    – Mou某
    May 23, 2017 at 4:31
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I think the dictionaries are just incomplete in terms of all generalized meaning from the original one. Your feeling of inagreement of Mainland Chinese Mandarin and Taiwanese Guoyu may be biased due to different preference of using words for people in different regions, just like northern and southern China differs.

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