Shamelessly Ashamed: 「不恥」 or 「不齒」 Part 2

This is an update to a former post that you can check out here. The previous post described the use of the term 「不恥」(bu4chi3) in a short story by a Taiwanese author. I later came across the term again in 《馬橋詞典》 (A Dictionary of Maqiao), a book written by a mainland Chinese author:


The phrase containing it in Chinese reads:


(2) Sanerduo had done some pretty despicable things[…]

This appears to have the same counter-intuitive meaning as the text by the Taiwanese author, in which 「不恥」 (lit. not shame) means to consider shameful. I briefly considered the idea of “shameless” in English, or 「不知羞恥」 (to not know shame), but the subject of 「不恥」 seems to be 「很多人」 not 「三耳朵」.

This suggests that the use of 「不恥」 in place of its homonym「不齒」, which means “to be ashamed to be associated with”:


This could suggest that in both mainland China and Taiwan 「不恥」 and 「不齒」 are used to indicate the same thing. The only possible caveat to this is that the copy of the book that I read was a 2011 traditional character version and this may not have been the case in the 1997 simplified Chinese original. Anyone got their hands on a simplified Chinese version?

1 thought on “Shamelessly Ashamed: 「不恥」 or 「不齒」 Part 2

  1. Pingback: Shamelessly Ashamed: 「不恥」or 「不齒」 Part 3 | Translating Taiwanese Literature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s