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猪八戒说,“你这个弼马温!" baidu.com: “弼马温”不过是辟马瘟的谐音而已。

Someone else told me, 弼马温 might really be 弼马翁。

弼马温 was 孙悟空's job in heaven. baidu.com here has: "这样能有效的趋避马瘟。"

"古人们在马厩中养猴子"

Was Sun Wu Kong's job really to agitate the horses to avoid them getting horse fever? Did the ancient Chinese really keep monkeys in their stables?

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  • As I know, it means the person who is in charge of raising horses. 孙悟空 had been cheated to take that job and finally he found out that cheating and became very angry. The idea comes from 西游记. – dan Jun 3 '18 at 0:00
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The ancient Chinese did keep monkey in their stables,

But they actually keep female monkeys, as they believe their menstruation can prevent horse fever (馬廄畜母猴辟馬瘟疫,逐月有天癸流草上,馬食之永無疾病矣)

By assigning Sun Wu Kong to a female monkey's title, it is probably a subtle joke from the author.

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  • Is there any evidence that this was efficacious? Did it stop horse fever? – Pedroski Jun 7 '18 at 21:07
  • Can't find related scientific support, probably just folk wisdom. Also this might not be a very common practice since not many history document mentioned this. – William Chong Jun 8 '18 at 3:13
  • The old Chinese were quite clever. 屠呦呦, who won a nobel prize for medicine, said they first looked in ancient books to find anti-malarial plants. – Pedroski Jun 8 '18 at 9:59

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