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大老鼠冲着胆小先生嚷嚷

What does 冲 mean here? It comes before 着, so it's a verb.

I asked a Chinese person about this sentence, they said "这种文字没有然后意义阿". Why? And why to you this sentence does make sense?

It comes from: http://chinesereadingpractice.com/2020/05/08/chinese-childrens-stories-mr-coward/

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    冲着 means "towards". The person probably didn't read the whole passage of the ref. The name 胆小先生 is a little confusing in the sentence if I read the sentence alone. – River Oct 15 at 19:53
  • 冲着 is more like 'rush towards' – Tang Ho Oct 15 at 20:02
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    @River I don't feel 胆小先生 is odd. It's apparently a nickname, though I don't read the whole story at all. – dan Oct 15 at 23:22
  • @dan I read it wrong at first. It's fine. I agree it is not that odd. – River Oct 15 at 23:27
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    @musialmi you should note that 冲 has two pronunciations chong1 and chong4, which reflect different meanings. In your case, it reads chong4. You can check dictionary definitions for more details. – dan Oct 16 at 7:43
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冲着 in this case means towards. 'Toward' itself can be regarded as an action, even though it may not be in the literal sense of 'movement'.

冲 indeed generally means physically rush. However, in case of 冲着, it is never physical, but directional. Compared to 对着, 冲着 implies a sense of urgency and harshness.

A simple example:

我对他喊 vs 我冲他喊

Both means 'I shout to him'. The later can be used in scenarios such as calling for help or shouting angrily. The former is neutral by itself.

In your specific case, 大老鼠冲着胆小先生嚷嚷. 嚷嚷 is complaining/scolding/make a fuss. 冲着 here is used to emphasize the negativity of 嚷嚷.

Maybe the below example would help you understand why 冲 (physically rush) can convey a negative sense in conversation.

When we want to describe someone's way of talking to others is aggressive, we may say that they 说话(the way they talk)很(very)冲.

Rush is an action about advancing quickly and often with little regard of consequence or surrounding. It's not hard to connect the dots and figure out why it could be compared to aggressiveness

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The character 「衝」 was used early on for a meaning like 「衝擊」 (to charge at someone/something, to assault someone/something). By extension, 「衝着XY」 simply means direct [a type of emotion] towards [X], [Y]-ing where

  • For the majority of the time, a type of emotion is usually aggression
  • X is the object towards directing this emotion
  • Y is the actual manifestation of this emotion (being angry, shouting, ...)

大老鼠衝着膽小先生嚷嚷

Big Mouse directed his aggression towards Mr. Timid, yelling out.

This English translation is quite verbose, however, and normally this would be translated as

Big Mouse yelled at Mr. Timid

where directed his aggression towards is reduced to at.

Examples:

  • 丹尼爾衝着馬克發脾氣
    • (Literally) Daniel directed his aggression towards Mark, becoming angry.
    • (Idiomatically) Daniel was angry at Mark.
  • 麗麗衝着瑪麗大喊大叫
    • (Literally) Lily directed her aggression towards Mary, screaming loudly.
    • (Idiomatically) Lily screamed loudly at Mary.
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These 3 sentences all translate 冲着 as 'at'. You could do that too.

那话是冲着我来的吗?
Was that remark directed at me (冲着我)?

这时,他冲着她又叫又骂起来。
Then he started shouting and swearing at her (冲着她).

他抓住她的胳膊,冲着她大喊。
He had her by the arm and was screaming at her (冲着她).

大老鼠冲着胆小先生嚷嚷。
Rat shouted at Mr Timid (冲着胆小先生).

(Rat you rat! Leave him alone!)
你这只卑鄙无耻的老鼠!放开他!

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