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The correct meaning of 無奇不有 would be: full of extraordinary/bizarre things. But why don't the individual characters not add up to the intended meaning?

This is not the only idiom that I found difficulty in understanding the word per word meaning.

4

無 - no

奇 - strange (thing)

不 - not

有 - exist

無奇不有 = no strange thing does not exist (nothing is too strange to exist)

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  • in 平平無奇: 無 = 'not (adv)' , 奇 = 'extraordinary (adj)' = ordinary ; in 無奇不有: 無 = 'no (preposition)' , 奇 = 'strange thing (n)'
    – Tang Ho
    May 13 at 19:28
  • I was thinking about 'No strange not have' and got perplexed. Thanks for this.
    – cgo
    May 14 at 1:56
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无奇不有: 什么稀奇的事物都有。

无奇不有
not rare not there
There are all kinds of rare, strange and wonderful things.

But why don't the individual characters not [sic] add up to the intended meaning?

"Pigs might fly." says nothing about pigs.

Or "You can add up the parts, but won't get the whole" because idioms don't work that way.

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