Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yin-Yang vis-a-vis YING-Yang

At one of our family dinners at a Milpitas Chinese restaurant (The King Wah Restaurant), the waitresses taped a slip of paper with our order on the table. As I can't read Chinese, my son's mother-in-law asked for a printout in English.

That came in mighty handy when I wrote a posting of the restaurant for my restaurant blog.

It was while referring to the list during the writing that I saw it. They called the "Yin-Yang Fried Rice" "Ying-Yang Fried Rice."

Ahem. We all know that Yin-Yang refers to two opposing parts juxtaposed to form a whole ... like night and day, male and female, hot and cold, and so forth. You can see it at work in the Korean flag.

But most people arbitrarily say "Ying" instead of "yin," and in doing so, don't realize what they are really saying.

You see, although "Ying-yang" can be considered an alternate pronunciation of "yin-yang," it has a rather different meaning in English and American slang. "Ying-Yang" means either the human anus, or the male penis ... as in "up the Ying-yang." Look it up; there are even citations in English literature using the phrase in that context.

So, next time you are tempted to use the phrase in everyday conversation, please drop the "g" in "Ying."


casch said...

LOL!! I have actually heard people saying it that way! In fact, I wondered if I was saying it incorrectly. Nice to know I was right!! :)

Craig Miyamoto said...

Carolyn, I've stopped correcting people who say it in public. It was too embarrassing for them.