二百五 - a stupid person

From SinolinguA

 èrbǎiwǔ
二 百 五

Lit: two hundred and fifty

Eng: a stupid person/not mature or poised

铜钱是古代中国常用的一种货币,为了方便使用,人们常把1000枚铜钱用线串在一起,称为“一吊”。因此,500个铜钱就是“半吊”,有不满串、不成吊的意思。“半吊子”常用来形容说话随便,举止不稳重的人。而250个铜钱就是“半吊子”的一半,因此用“二百五”来形容一个人时就是说这个人比“半吊子”还差一半,指那些不通情理、愚笨轻浮的人,含有贬义。

When copper coins were used in the ancient China, 1000 pieces of copper coins were stringed together as "1 string of copper coins" - used as a currency denomination. Therefore, 500 pieces would make "half a string", indicating "not enough to make 1 string". The term "half a string" is used to refer the people who are not solid or mature enough. 250 pieces of copper coins are only half of the "half a string", which is even less adequate in order to make a full string. So the derogatory term "二百五" is now used to refer to people who are unreasonable, trivial, or stupid.

Example:

1. 有时候我最好的朋友可真是个二百五。昨天他居然用他的车来压我的脚!

2. 做事之前先想一下,不要当二百五。

 


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