Saturday, May 28, 2011

from: Victor H. Mair
to: Tian
date: Wed, May 25, 2011 at 7:30 PM
subject: smatter

Hanzi Smatter circa 1700

A friend of Dr. Mair sent him a
photograph of Dutch chinoiserie tile panel from the late 17th-early 18th century, and asked him to help her identify some of the curious scenes represented on it. Dr. Mair, however, was immediately drawn to the cartouche in the upper left corner.

Here is what happened...
from: Fryeda K.
date: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 1:20 PM
subject: Tattoo

This idiot went to get "his name", but now gets "lots of laughs in Chinese restaurants".

So, the question is, what does it really say?


Although top character is , however it would not make any sense combining with .

Most likely it was a typo and intended tattoo is 精神, or spirit.
from: John C.
date: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 12:58 PM
subject Tattoo Translation

Hi there,

I got a tattoo a few years back saw the image in a shop alongside a few others, and decided to get it. It is supposed to be Outlaw, though someone I used to game online with from China told me it actually directly translates to Out of the Law. I can live with that if that is true. Though now that it is time to get my tattoos touched up due to fading, I want to double check before I get a new coat of ink put on it. Here is the attached image from when it was still freshly done.



躲藏 means "[in] hiding" and is "criminal".

However the translation of 躲藏犯 is equivalent of "snitch" or "rat". It is associated with someone has betrayed his duty and honor to exchange for freedom but in a life of hiding. Definitely not glamorous in either law enforcement or crime syndicates' eyes.