Today’s Monday Mandarin Meanings breaks a bit with tradition, as it has nothing to do with insects! Instead, it pertains to something almost as fascinating as insects:
This is èrhú, the Mandarin word for, well, erhu. I chose this because this semester, I have begun to learn how to play erhu in a Chinese instrumental class, taught by 魏老师 (a real erhuist!). Some day I hope to post a video of me playing, but I’ll wait till I’m a bit better – this will be much appreciated, I’m sure.
Èr means “two”. This is because the erhu has two strings, with the hairs of the bow placed between them:
I believe that in this case, hú means “wildly”, which may be a reference to the sometimes wild playing style of the erhu – the instrument is also called the Chinese fiddle.
In closing, 大家春节快乐！Happy Chinese New Year everyone!