Chinese Character of the week – 糟糕:‘Oh no!How terrible’!

My favourite Chinese character of this week:

Zāo gāo 糟糕

‘Oh no!’ ‘How terrible!’

Have I had a bad week? Well, no, not really, but I did have a ‘糟糕’ moment related to trying (and I use that word deliberately!) to bake a cake in a toaster oven.

Although it seems like a pretty complicated (or messy!) character on first look, breaking it down into it’s two parts really helped me…

Zāo 糟 on it’s own has a number of meanings, one of which is to be in a mess/in a terrible state.

Gāo 糕 on it’s own however, means cake!

Since more than one of my 糟糕 moments have been related to cooking, it seemed a good enough reason to have this as my character for this week! (More on the joys of toaster oven cooking another time!!)