Why are the Chinese names of certain vegetables based of off directions (North, South, East, West?)
Also, why does a specific direction mean a certain vegetable? (I.e do watermelons come from the West?)
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
It is said that 西瓜 was introduce from 西域 (the Western regions, a Han Dynasty term for the area west of Yumenguan 玉门关, including what is now 新疆 and parts of Central Asia), then was named as 西瓜.
南瓜 is supposed to be introduced from the south, then got the name 南瓜.
BTW: 冬瓜 is not "东瓜",
冬瓜's name came from the appearance and color of its peel, which looks like the hoar frost in the winter.
because our country is 中国.it means the country which is the center of the world.so if you are in the center then the things came from other place they must came from east or west or north.so we named them by the direction they came from.and we do have 北瓜 although I just heard it from my grandma and I dont know what it exactly is