"Kill" fruit?

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I recently heard someone, speaking Taiwanese, say that they were going to 殺 (kill) a pomelo. Apparently this is the normal way to talk about cutting pomelos. I asked around and it seems that in Taiwanese only pomelos are killed — all other fruit, as in Mandarin, are either cut 切 or peeled 剝.

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I often hear “殺” used for slicing up any kind of fruit in Mandarin.

Perhaps you associate with fructicidal machete wielding bandits??
My expert panel of 1 elderly Taiwanese speaker insists that it’s only used for pomelo. Me and my other expert panel of two Taiwanese have never heard 殺 used for any fruit in Mandarin

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No, just normal fruit knife wielding eaters of sliced fruit.

I checked online and found a couple of references to 殺ing watermelons but other than that not much - only references to 殺ing pomelo in Minnan hua. Some Taiwanese speakers might use it when speaking Mandarin, but it must be pretty rare - I just checked with a few more Taiwanese speakers and no one had heard of 殺 used for fruits except pomelo and then only in Taiwanese

Fruit knife seems to be the weapon of choice when 殺ing people here. Wonder if that’s related?

Don’t know what to tell you, man. It’s pretty common among Mandarin speakers where I am in Taipei. Not rare at all. I’d never even heard of it coming from Taiwanese (although I usually don’t pay much attention to such things).

I’m sure there must be some Taiwanese speakers in Taipei using it this way if you’ve heard it, but I can hardly believe it’s very common. If it were then 1. there’d be more examples of this usage in google searches and 2. I or one of the 4 Taiwan natives I expressly asked (3 of whom are 老台北人) would’ve heard of this usage

Got 28,000 hits for 殺水果, 9,000 for 殺鳳梨, 6,000 for 殺芒果. Of course, not all of those are clean hits, but still. 殺水果 is my normal usage for slicing fruit, and I picked it up from hearing friends and relatives use it. Maybe it’s because I live in the gang-infested borderlands of Wanhua… :open_mouth:

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Actually 殺鳳梨 (as opposed to 殺西瓜)comes up with lots of hits — so maybe you’re right and “assassinating” fruit, especially pineapples, is a thing in Taiwan (also one of my old Taipei “experts”, when asked specifically about pineapples, seems to have at least heard the expression 殺鳳梨) Personally I’ve never heard this usage outside Taiwan, and not in Taiwan eother until recently with the example of pomelos in Taiyu. Next time I buybacpipeapllecI’ll ask to have it “sha”d instead of 削、d and see what the reaction is!

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To be fair a lot of the hits are using it to be cute and interchangeably with 切。

Well, it’s a cute expression. :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s how you start choppong at a large fruit with a machete isnt it. Farmer speak.

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It came from the Taigi expression to 刣水果 thâi–tsuí-kó

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Perhaps it’s the new age, hipster equivalent of “I could murder a kebab”

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I hear it a lot too. just asked the wife to confirm it’s not just our farmer friends. she said common since she was a kid.

it seems more specific towards the initial cuts and with a knife. for example cutting the head and butt off the pineapple, is “殺”. after those, just preparing (cutting).

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So it seems there’s this flourishing subculture of talking about murdering fruit in Taiwan that me and at least some of my Taiwanese acquaintances have never been exposed to before. This sign outside a fruit stall at the market?

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It’s a cute expression and I’ll try and extend it’s use, e.g. from now on I won’t 剪頭髮, I’ll 殺頭髮

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Try not to kill the follicles… :open_mouth:

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