I have learned the Chinese names of some common ailments and they are surprisingly very descriptive and intuitive once you know the meanings of the individual characters.

For example: 糖尿病,高血壓,心律失常.

But what happened to 中風, and how did this become “suffering a stroke”?

  • As far as I can tell, you're only asking about 中風, right? (Please continue editing if I've misunderstood something.)
    – Becky 李蓓
    Mar 7, 2021 at 7:54
  • @Becky李蓓 Yes, you are right. I am only asking about 中風. Though you are welcome to add other ailments/conditions that are not defined by their individual characters like 中風.
    – cgo
    Mar 8, 2021 at 1:23

1 Answer 1




'中風' (suffer a sickness caused by 'something' in the wind)-- a term in Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine believed that it was a disease syndrome caused by external wind pathogens invading the human body.

Because "wind is invisible, move fast, and unpredictable", many symptoms are classified under '中風', but the most important one has two meanings. One refers to the pathological changes caused by cerebrovascular obstruction and bleeding, that is, Stroke in modern medicine

In the olden time, when someone fell ill suddenly without any apparent cause, people had to blam something invisible. The obvious choices were wind and evil spirit. A stroke had to be caused by something in the wind they thought.

For the same logic, when someone suffered a mental breakdown (發瘋 - get crazy), people might suspect the patient had 揰邪 (ran into an evil spirit)

  • 1
    Add a bit for "中 zhòng", got/suffered something, like 中奖, 中暑, 中彩.
    – Shaw
    Mar 9, 2021 at 3:40

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