Chinese words about eat 吃
Chinese value food so much that usually, when meeting someone, besides the usual “你好吗?” they’ll ask “吃了吗?”
Besides the obvious “吃饭” here’s a list of top used phrases with 吃:
1. 吃苦 (chī kǔ): to bear hardships
This phrase is used frequently in Chinese. Though literally meaning to “eat bitterness,” it’s meaning is to be able to endure trying times. I’ve often heard parents reprimand their children and finish with a “你一点都不会吃苦.” It means that they can’t or don’t know how to bear hardships.
2. 吃香 (chī xiāng): popular
Literally, this means to eat something fragrant or delicious. It’s used mostly to describe something that popular with a slight implication that whatever the something is, it has an advantage over the other products.
3. 吃惊 (chī jīng): the be surprised
Not only can you eat bitterness and fragrant food, but also shock! Literally, 吃惊 translates into “eating shock” in English. However, it just means to be surprised and can be used in any situation where there’s an unexpected result that surprises you.
4. 吃亏 (chī kuī): to be at a disadvantage
The Chinese phrase this with the literal translation being to “eat loss.” 亏 is to lack something. It is used in situations where you’re at a disadvantage. For example, if I were in China and didn’t know how to bargain when I was at a market, then I would definitely 吃亏 because I’d end up paying a lot more than I should.
5. 吃力 (chī lì): exhausting; difficult
Literally meaning to “eat strength,” it would make sense that if you eat up your strength, you’d be exhausted. This phrase means that it would be difficult or tough for you. For example, lifting a 40lb. box for a 5 year old girl would be very 吃力.
The action of eating can be found throughout the Chinese language but doesn’t literally mean someone eating food, but perhaps experiencing surprise or being popular.