The “Story Behind the Idiom” posts are my favorite to put up, they’re not only helpful in remember idioms, they’re usually pretty interesting to read. This one is a lower intermediate text.
At the end of the first paragraph, the protagonist says, ““我早就看出那个家伙不是个好东西。” This translates to “I always thought that guy was no good.” But why use the term “东西”, or “thing”, instead of “person”? In Chinese, when you refer to a person as 东西, or “thing”, this is a form of insult. In English, an equivalent might be the phrase “you worthless thing!” So we can understand from the use of the word 东西 in this sentence that the protagonist really doesn’t like the person he’s speaking about.
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斧子 – fǔ zi – Axe
邻居 – lín jū – Neighbor
言行 – yán xíng – Words and Actions
神情 – shén qíng – Look, expression
断定 – duàn dìng – To conclude
家伙 – jiā huo – Guy, chap
砍柴 – kǎn chái – Chop firewood
怀疑 – huán yí – To doubt, to suspect
根本 – gēn běn – At all, in any way
胡乱 – hú luàn – Careless, reckless
猜疑 – cāi yí – Suspicious