Saturday, April 25, 2009
Alan and I are confused by this tattoo. We are not sure if it is correct or not, simply because we have never seen this idiom.
From the last three characters, we can sort of guessing this person wanted "death before dishonor". However, Chinese idiom for it would be:
凌辱 is used in both Chinese & Japanese to mean an insult, indignity, disgrace or violation, even to assault a woman. So we can sort of see how 凌 might imply "dishonor" and 不屈 does mean "fortitude" or "indomitable".
But we simply do not understand the grammar or syntax of 凌死不屈, since 凌 could also mean "pure; virtuous; insult; maltreat, encroach; soar; thick ice".
It simply sounds like the words "dishonor" "death" and "indomitable" run together.