12 Fried Egg

12 Fried Egg

Chinese character: 荷
Chinese character: 包
Chinese character: 蛋

Yesterday we talked about 和諧彈 (hé xié dàn), a fictitious Harmony Bomb. I’m hungry now so I am reminded of another Chinese word that sounds similar: 荷包蛋 (hé bāo dàn).


荷包蛋 (hé bāo dàn) is fried egg.


You would probably not have guessed this: 荷包 (hé bāo) is actually a wallet. Character-by-character, 荷 (hé) is lotus and 包 (bāo) is a bag.


The expression might be used to say “fried egg” because Chinese fried eggs are usually cooked on both sides, similar to the American over-easy, over-medium, or well cooked, so it looks like a full wallet.


Other ways to say wallet are 錢包 (qián bāo), literally money bag; 皮包 (pí bāo), literally leather bag; and 皮夾 (pí jiá), literally leather folder.


蛋 (dàn) is egg.


It’s interesting that in Chinese egg, 蛋 (dàn), sounds identical to bomb, 彈 (dàn). I bet Chinese invented the practice of egging.

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