The Riddles of the Hobbit – Part Three

Good news everyone, it’s riddle time!

First off, the Chinese and Pinyin versions, scroll down for the analysis:

Traditional
三十匹白馬站在紅色山丘上
牠們先大嚼特嚼
然後用力跺腳
最後就佇立不搖

Simplified
三十匹白马站在红色山丘上
它们先大嚼特嚼
然后用力跺脚
最后就伫立不摇

Pinyin
sān shí pǐ bái mǎ zhàn zài hóng sè shān qiū shàng
tā men xiān dà jué tè jué
rán hòu yòng lì duò jiǎo
zuì hòu jiù zhù lì bù yáo

Riddles of The Hobbit - Part 3

三十匹白馬站在紅色山丘上 (三十匹白马站在红色山丘上)
Thirty white horses standing on a red hill
牠們先大嚼特嚼(它们先大嚼特嚼)
First, they … umm?
然後用力跺腳 (然后用力跺脚)
Then they… erhm?
最後就佇立不搖(最后就伫立不摇)
Finally, they… stand and not shake?

OK, let’s break this bad boy down.

First line, seems pretty straightforward, 匹(pǐ) is the measure word 量詞(量词 liàng cí)for horses, and 山丘 (qiū shàng)is a hill.

Second line includes 大嚼特嚼(dà jué tè jué).

Now 大__特__ is a sort of pattern. For example, much more commonly used is 大吃特吃. It’s like “to eat and eat” or “to eat like a pig” I think. Basically, eat a lot and not give a damn. Try this example sentence on for size:

她今天大吃特吃是因為她被老闆罵了(她今天大吃特吃是因为她被老板骂了 )

tā jīntiān dàchītèchī shì yīnwèi tā bèi lǎobǎn mà le

You can use 大__特__ with other verbs, but I think really 吃(chī) and 玩(wán) are the mains ones. Still, if you search Google you will see a lot of other examples.

Right, so on to the third line. No need to scroll up, I got it covered: 然後用力跺腳(然后用力跺脚 rán hòu yòng lì duò jiǎo).

跺腳 means to stamp your feet, and the 用力 is basically added in to emphasise difficulty, like 推(tuī) “push” and 用力推(yòng lì tuī)”push hard!” or 他敲門(tā qiāo mén)”He knocked on the door” and 他用力敲門(tā yòng lì qiāo mén )”He banged on the door”.

Final line, 最後就佇立不搖(最后就伫立不摇 zuì hòu jiù zhù lì bù yáo)

佇立 (伫立)is to stand, or hang around.

搖 is 手(hand) + 䍃(vase-type thing) and means “to shake”, as in “don’t shake the vase!”

So let’s put it all together and see what we get.

三十匹白馬站在紅色山丘上(三十匹白马站在红色山丘上)
Thirty white horses standing on a red hill
牠們先大嚼特嚼(它们先大嚼特嚼)
First, they chomp
然後用力跺腳(然后用力跺脚)
Then they stamp
最後就佇立不搖(最后就伫立不摇)
Finally they stand still

Until next time!