The seal form of this character is apictograph of the ox,characterized by two prominent horns.Man’s slave for life,the cow or ox has been exploited to the bone for labour,meat,milk,leather,glue,manure,etc.


Why Use a Poleaxe to Kill a Chicken?

This story is taken from Analects of Confucius.

Yan Yan(言偃),a student of Confucius,was the magistrate of WuCheng(武成).Once when Confucius went there he heard the strains of zithers and the sound of singing.Deeming it extravagant to enact lavish ceremonies in such a small town,he said with a sardonic smile:“Why use a poleaxe to kill a chicken?” YanYan defended himself,saying that he was doing what his teacher had encouraged him to do,and thereby would govern WuCheng better.Then Confucius recognized the reason in Yan Yan’s words,and said that he had only been joking.

Later,the metaphor “killing a chicken with a poleaxe” began to be used to describe making a fuss over a trifling matter,or wasting one’s talent on a petty endeavor.








“Analysis of Chinese Characters by bilingual”is opened for the convenience of Chinese and foreign friends who are interested in Chinese characters. We’ll push a Chinese character every Mondayanalyze its originand related culture. If there is any improprietywelcome to correct us.





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