6 Ugly Monkey

6 Ugly Monkey

Chinese character: 尖
Chinese character: 嘴
Chinese character: 猴
Chinese character: 腮

In the mountain without a tiger, the monkey is king. In the world without Snow White, can the monkey be beautiful? Is the monkey beautiful or ugly?


We learned the story of the Beautiful Monkey King, but more often than not, the monkey is thought of as a symbol of ugliness in Chinese.


The term 尖嘴猴腮 (jiān zuǐ hóu sāi), literally pointed (尖) mouth (嘴) monkey (猴) cheek (腮), is used to describe someone who has a mouth that looks like beak and thin cheeks that look like they belong to a monkey; in other words, ugly!


In the Chinese novel The Scholars (儒林外史, rú lín wài shǐ), there is a vivid expression used to criticize someone’s appearance:




Translation: Look at you, such an ugly person with a pointed mouth and monkey cheeks. You should urinate on the floor and use it as a mirror so you know how ugly you are!


I think the Evil Queen in the story of Snow White with her magic mirror is more kid-friendly.

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