Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Word for the day: CHOP

Jemilla brought home a form for us to sign regarding getting a dental health check to be conducted at school. It included this line, "Please use a ball point pen; do not use chop." Now pens I understood fine, but what on earth was chop? Was it the vernacular for pencil? Was it connected to chopsticks? Chop suey? Doing something quickly (chop-chop)?

I had to find out.

A few minutes of googling gave me the following answer:

In East Asia, seals or stamps and their impressions are often used in lieu of signatures in personal documents, office paperwork, contracts, art, or any item requiring acknowledgment or authorship. Chinese seals are typically made of stone, metals, wood, bamboo, plastic, or ivory, and are usually used with red ink or cinnabar paste.

The colloquial name chop, therefore, refers to these kinds of seals or rubber stamps.

On a side note, did you know that the French word for stamp is le tampon? We often saw these sorts of signs in French-speaking West Africa where we grew up. I never quite got used to them though...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you are in one huge learning experience, very interesting to learn with you. I think the transition from South Africa to Australia was not this big :-)