Anyway, in this story, a gentleman named Buzi (卜子 – bǔ zi) asks his wife (卜妻 – bǔ qī) to make him a new pair of pants (裤子 – kù zi), but he doesn’t give her very clear instructions.
Some language stuff
First, a note on the use of 为 in the title 《卜妻为裤》. 为 has so many meanings in Chinese, in this case the definition used is “to make”.
A couple key words that will inform your understanding of the story:
讲究 jiǎng jiu – You may have learned this one already, but if you don’t know it, it’s crucial to understanding the plot. 讲究 means to be meticulous or fastidious about something. The phrased used here is 不讲究穿着 – “to not be fastidious about what one is wearing”.
破烂 pò làn – This means ragged, ripped or torn. 破, by itself, usually means “broken”, in this story, it is used to mean “tattered”.
照 zhào – We usually first learn this character in the word 照片, “photograph”, and 照 is also present in a lot of words that have to do with light, like 照亮 zhào liàng, to illuminate or shine upon. But that is not the definition of 照 being used here. In this case, 照 is short for 按照 àn zhào, to be based on, or 仿照 fǎng zhào, to imitate or follow.
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