肚皮舞 (dù​pí​wǔ​)

The other day I discovered that the Mandarin word for belly dancing is 肚皮舞 (dù​pí​wǔ​). As I knew the meanings of the individual characters, I could guess the meaning of the word, even though I hadn’t heard it before. 肚 (dù​​) is stomach or belly, 皮 (​pí​​) is skin, and 舞 (wǔ​) is dance.

I don’t remember seeing 肚 (dù​​) written down before, though was familiar with the phrase “我肚子饿” (wǒ​ dù​zi​ è) = I’m hungry (lit. “I belly hungry”). According to the MDBG Chinese dictionary, 肚 (dù) means belly, 肚 (dǔ​) means tripe, and 肚子 (dù​zi​) means belly / abdomen / stomach.

Related words and expressions include:

  • 肚臍 [肚脐] (dù​qí) / 肚臍眼 (dù​qí​yǎn​) – navel
  • 肚子痛 (dù​zi​tòng​) / 肚痛 (dù​tòng)​ – stomach ache / belly-ache
  • 大肚子 (dà​dù​zi) -​pregnant (“big belly”)
  • 爆肚 (bào​dǔ​) – deep fried tripe
  • 眼饞肚飽 (yǎn​chán​dù​bǎo) – to have eyes bigger than one’s belly (“eyes greedy belly full”)
  • 鼠肚雞腸 (shǔ​dù​jī​cháng​) – small-minded (“rat/mouse belly chicken intestines”)
  • 將軍肚子 (jiāng​jūn​dù​zi​) – beer belly (“general’s belly” – complimentary)
  • 香羊肚 (xiāng​yáng​dù​) – haggis (“fragrant sheep belly”)

Another word for stomach is 腹 (fù​) – abdomen, belly, stomach.ng

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This entry was posted in Chinese, English, Language, Words and phrases.

4 Responses to 肚皮舞 (dù​pí​wǔ​)

  1. Jayan says:

    OK, I have to ask: what on earth were you reading when you learned this word?? :D

  2. bronz says:

    爆 can also mean “explode” so people also say

    笑爆肚 (laugh explode belly), which pretty much means what we might refer to as ROFL :)

  3. Simon says:

    Jayan – I learned it from a Chinese friend, who has done a bit of belly dancing.

  4. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Japanese writes “stomach” お腹, using the alternate character above. However, the word is onaka, from o- (honorific prefix) + naka “middle”.

    お腹が空いた onaka ga suita is “hungry”. The verb 空く suku means “to be empty, unfufilled”.

    To say you’re not hungry, it’s お腹がいっぱいです “(my) stomach is full”, using a common construction for saying that something is filled (compare the translation for “My hovercraft is full of eels”, for instance).