About

small cat250 is an independent creative collective.  As a Mandarin slang term, 250 (二百五 pinyin èrbǎiwǔ) is an insult meaning “simpleton” or “damn fool”. The expression is based on bàndiàozi (半弔子 or 半吊子). In ancient China, copper coins were grouped by stringing them together through the square holes in the center; originally 1000 was a unit of currency called a diao. Ban diao zi literally means half a diao (500 coins), which is a slang term referring to a person who is inadequate in skills or mental abilities. Since modest Chinese scholars may call themselves ban diao zi to humbly deprecate their own expertise, ban diao zi is not necessarily a pejorative term. On the other hand, Er bai wu (250) is half of a ban diao zi and it is an insult.

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