Wiktionary gives one usage of 鸟 as "(dialectal) to pay attention; to heed; to take notice of"

Which dialect, or what region is this, and how does it look in one or two sample sentences?

  • I guess this is "bird watching" :-)
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 12:57
  • One I can think of is 鸟瞰, meaning look down from above or have a bird's eye view.
    – dan
    Aug 23, 2017 at 13:07
  • 鸟瞰 "bird view" for bird's eye view/aerial view makes sense, but it's still not using 鸟 by itself to mean "to pay attention; to heed; to take notice of." Or is Wiktionary just wrong?
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 14:24
  • @ 伟思礼 : In fact, Jacob's answer is right. I up-voted. His answer get me to recall 鸟 can mean 屌, which is a oral vulgar term for dick in English. We used 不屌你 for 不理你. As 鸟==屌,it becomes 不鸟你 later, which is the same meaning as 不屌你/不理你. No change in pronunciation, it's still pronounced as " niǎo ", As for why 鸟==屌, it's because that thing looks like a bird '鸟', doesn't it? lol ^o^-
    – dan
    Aug 24, 2017 at 2:28
  • Jacob said something that is true, that it has that meaning. But it is wrong because it doesn't answer the question. If a word has two meanings, A and B, and someone asks about A, telling him it means B is NOT answering the question.
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 24, 2017 at 6:29

3 Answers 3



Pls refer to 釋義 No. 10. ==> 〈俗〉 理會,答理
The above meaning matches that in English. It is an expression used in Mandarin.
Ex: 不鸟你。 ==> 不理你


The reason 鸟 is used in conversations(not writings) simply because its pronunciation is derived from 理.

  • That's a pretty good answer, but … niǎo is pronounced similar to ?
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:45
  • If you can read fluent Chinese, I suggest you to browse the second link. There you can see a clearer explanation
    – user13501
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:45
  • I'm not at reading ability yet. I did get a vague idea from Google Translate, but I don't remember a mention of the pronunciation.
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 16:03
  • In short, 理 is gradually pronounced as 鸟 from time to time. There is no why, simply because it's easier to pronounce.
    – user13501
    Aug 23, 2017 at 16:05
  • 鸟 implies that look down or contemptuously. (so that your position or social state is lower). 不鸟你 means that he won't to look at you, even contemptuously. Aug 24, 2017 at 0:33

鸟 has some vulgar meaning.

我不鸟你 means I don't care about you.

鸟人 means douchbag

Traditionally, it is a dialectal usage in north of China. It appears many times in the classical book <<水浒传>>, and becomes well known by the whole country.

The truth is 鸟 means 屌.

  • I am aware that it can be used in a vulgar way. I did not ask about that.
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 14:21
  • @伟思礼 But you can not find another meaning.
    – sfy
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:03
  • I posted the alleged other meaning in the question! Are you claiming that Wiktionary is wrong, and it can never mean "pay attention to"? If so, why not just say that?
    – 伟思礼
    Aug 23, 2017 at 15:38

I think the usage of the word 鸟 originally comes from the word 嬲 which is pronounced the same as 鸟. If you look up the dictionary, you can find that 嬲 means to make fun of(戏弄) and to torment or bother(纠缠).

In Cantonese, 嬲 is pronounced as nau, which means to be angry with. It's a verb that expresses an emotion. Though this word literally means emotional,but it is usually used to express anger.

我好嬲啊! =I am so angry!
我嬲你啊。= I am angry with you.

(These are Cantonese, which is used in Hong Kong, Guangdong province, Guangxi province, Hainan province in China, and some other regions and countries all over the world.)

我不鸟你了=我不理你了 These sentences are the same. They all convey a negative emotion which means that I am speechless, I don't want to talk to you anymore, etc, and indirectly means that I am mad at you. I think it's just because 嬲 is more difficult to write and recognize, so people just replace 嬲 with 鸟.

PS: 鸟 is not polite compared to 理 in the sentence 我不鸟/理你了.

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