Monday, 5 May 2014

Chopsticks - The Nimble Ones

A china bowl with chopsticks resting on top
Photo by David Mooring

CHOPSTICK

Noun. Late 17th century.
[from pidgin English chop quick (compare with CHOP-CHOP) + STICK noun, rendering Chinese dialect kuaizi literally 'nimble ones'.]

1 Either of a pair of sticks of wood, ivory, etc., held one hand, used by the Chinese etc. to lift food to the mouth. L17

2 In plural. A simple tune for the piano, played with the forefinger of each hand. L19

I am a teensy bit jealous of anyone that can use chopsticks. For me, the Chinese etymology of 'nimble ones' makes chopstick a complete misnomer - were they called fumble sticks, or slippery duck sticks, or surefire way to look like a total div on a date sticks, that would be perfect. But 'nimble ones'? No. I'm afraid not. As much as I've tried, failed and embarrassed myself by giving up and sheepishly asking for a fork halfway through my meal, I'm resigned to the fact that using chopsticks is one of those life-skills I'm just never going to have.

Are the 'nimble ones' nimble in your hands?

Would you be willing to offer me one-to-one tuition in the use, nay, art of using chopsticks?

Do please stick your chops into the comment box below.
(I have no idea what that's supposed to mean)

2 comments:

  1. Ahhh! You just made my day Eddie!
    I thought I was the only one who was unable to use those fumble sticks (best name ever!).
    Long live the fork!! :)

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    Replies
    1. And people that can use them are soo smug!

      Grr ...

      (not Chinese people, obviously, because that would just be daft)

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