Open Your Ears and Close Your Mouth: Don’t be “贫嘴 (Pínzuǐ)”!
Cheryl.Li        Jul. 25, 2018

Nobody wants to hear a blabbermouth go on and on, right? Well, sometimes the ice must be broken and the silence defeated so for those of us who like to “yap” and “yammer on,” there is a Mandarin Chinese word “贫嘴 (pínzuǐ)” for us.


贫嘴 (Pínzuǐ)” can be used as both a verb, like the English “yap or gab” and as an adjective, similar to the English adjective words “talkative or garrulous.


贫嘴 (Pínzuǐ)” can be used in a playful manner to describe someone who enjoys joking around as a way to lighten the mood and it is often used in an endearing way. For example, if a guy says something that is careless and makes his girlfriend angry, he may realize his mistake and try to make up for it. As he’s nervously trying to lighten the mood and make her happy again, he begins overtalking and speaking nonsense, making his girlfriend laugh at his silliness. She says to him:


Nǐ jiù ài pínzuǐ


You are so garrulous.


(Pín) = an adjective, meaning poor, impoverished, needy.


(Z) = a noun, meaning mouth or lips.


So, why is it a “poor mouth,” anyway? One possible reason is that when you blabber, your words are no longer efficient and worthwhile.


Usage of “贫嘴 (pínzuǐ)” as a verb: somebody + “贫嘴 (pínzuǐ).


Mark jiù’ài pínzuǐ.


Mark is really garrulous.


This sentence can also be expressed as: somebody’s (zuǐ) + (pín).


Mark de zuǐ kě zhēn pín.

Mark 的嘴可真贫

Mark is really talkative / garrulous.


Usage of “贫嘴 (pínzuǐ)” as an adjective:


Wǒ bù xǐhuān nàxiē pínzuǐ de rén.


I don’t like people who are garrulous.


So, the next time when your friend is blabbing on about something unimportant, and you want to remind them that they are annoyed, you can use “贫嘴 (pínzuǐ)”!




1. Tom felt upset when his mother told him:


Bié pínzuǐ le. Hǎohǎo xiě zuòyè. Bù xiě wán bùnéng chūqù wán.

别贫嘴了。 好好写作业。 不写完不能出去玩。


What did Tom’s mother say?


A. Tom can’t go out unless he stops talking and finishes his work

B. Tom needs to go out to do his work

C. Tom doesn’t want to do work with his mother



See Answers


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