小心眼(xiǎo xīn yǎn)

Description
Dialogue

小心眼(xiǎo xīn yǎn). 小means “small”, the third tone; 心 is “mind”, the first tone; 眼, eye, the third tone.

Literally, “心眼” means “mind and eyes”, but here, “心眼” refers to one’s mind. So “小心眼” means “someone’s mind is small, he or she is petty and cares too much about small things”. In Chinese, it’s used to describe someone who is narrow- minded and mean.

For example, if your friend Jack held a secret grudge against you and didn’t talk to you for two years just because you said he went out of tune when he was singing, you can say “Jack 是小心眼!” or “Jack 的心眼很小!”.

Besides, 小心眼 can also be used to describe someone who is stingy with money.

Dialogue 1

Mark yì zhí bù ɡēn wǒ shuō huà, tā zài shēnɡ wǒ qì mɑ?

A: Mark 一直不跟我说话,他在生我气吗?

Mark has been avoiding talking to me. Is he mad at me?

bú huì de. tā bú shì ɡè xiǎo xīn yǎn!

B: 不会的。他不是个小心眼!

No. He is not a petty person.

Dialogue 2

wǒ men hé wánɡ lěi yì qǐ qù chī fàn bɑ!

A: 我们和王磊一起去吃饭吧!

Let’s eat out with Wang Lei!

wǒ bú qù. tā fēi chánɡ xiǎo xīn yǎn, měi cì chī fàn, tā dōu bù tāo qián.

B: 我不去。他非常小心眼,每次吃饭,他都不掏钱。

I am not going. Wang Lei is very stingy. He never paid the bill.

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