Friday, February 6, 2009

Chong - Don't Let It Bug You

Chong means insect, bug, or worm, and you may be relieved to know that you won't see Chong by itself on many menus. Where it's important is that it is a radical for a lot of seafoods and a few other things, like egg 蛋, as I mentioned in the previous post. And that makes sense, because crabs and crawfish and lobsters and prawns and squids and clams are all kind of sea bugs. (I have a New Englander friend who has always called soft-shelled crabs "fried bugs.")

As a radical it usually appears on the bottom, although not always.

I recognize the bug radical because it's simple enough to remember, and because it looks kind of like a bug to me. The square can be eiher a round body or two bulging eyes, and it has twisty stick legs.

The Pinyin spelling is chóng, or chong2 (second tone).

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