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Chinese expression “没心没肺 no heart no lungs” and “没头没脑 no head no brains” has nothing to do with deformity

Posted by Grace Feng on June 2, 2013

Chinese expression "没心没肺 no heart no lungs" and "没头没脑" no head no brains" has nothing to do with deformityIf someone is mentioned by others with the word of 没心没肺 méixīnméifèi, it has no indication of one being deformed in any ways. It’s actually a Chinese expression that describes one as “not sensible”, “not considerate” or “not caring”. 心肺 xīnméi (heart, lung) in Chinese culture usually symbolizes the place where one’s conscience and feelings reside.

If  没心没肺 méixīnméifèi (lit. no heart, no lungs) is used in serious tone, then it’s serious criticism. If it’s used in a more relaxed, half kidding tone, then it’s not a serious accusation. I’ll show you the difference in the following two examples:

 

nǐ zhèyàng duìdài zìjǐ de fùmǔ, zhēn shì méixīnméifèi!

你这样对待自己的父母,真是没心没肺!

You’re a person with no conscience, treating your parents that way! (serious criticism)

 

xiànzài de xiǎoháizi zhǐ huì méixīnméifèi dì wán。

现在的小孩子只会没心没肺地玩。

Kids nowadays care about nothing else but playing. (in a kidding tone)

 

没头没脑 méi tóu méi nǎo (lit. no head, no brain) is another word that constructed in the similar way . 没头没脑 méi tóu méi nǎo means “doing things without careful thinking“. For example,

 

wǒ shénme yě méi wèn jiù méi tóu méi nǎo dì gēn tā zǒu le。

我什么也没问就没头没脑地跟他走了。

I blindly followed him without asking any questions.

 

tā zǒngshì méi tóu méi nǎo dì fàn tóngyàng de cuòwù。

她总是没头没脑地犯同样的错误。

She stupidly kept making the same mistake.

 

Is it clear now? If yes, please go ahead make some sentences with these two words. Try to construct sentences in different tones and read them out loud to practice. Have fun!

 

 

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7 Responses to “Chinese expression “没心没肺 no heart no lungs” and “没头没脑 no head no brains” has nothing to do with deformity”

  1. nothing

    白睿:

    06-04-2013 6:06 pm

    How is this one Grace: 这办公室里所有的女同事,他都没头没脑的追求,可是每个都看不上他。他真是个屌丝!

    Oh, there are a couple of your English phrases which might be better expressed. Such as:
    “Kids nowadays care ABOUT nothing else buy playing.” And your last English example is a little clumsy. We would tend to say “She brainlessly (or ‘stupidly’) kept making the same mistake”.

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      06-05-2013 2:50 am

      白睿,

      Your sentence is a very good example for the use of 没头没脑, the only place that I recommend to change is to replace “可是每个都看不上他” with “可是没一个看得上他”.

      There’s nothing wrong with your sentence in grammar, but it’s much more comfortable to say it the other way.

      Thanks for checking my English translation! I’ve changed them in the post accordingly.

      I’m surprised that you recommended to use the word brainlessly. My first translation was “She kept making the same mistake brainlessly.” But then I was not sure about the word “brainlessly” since I seldom use or hear this word in real life. So then I changed it to a phrase that I hear quite often:”with no brain”. Obviously I made a wrong decision. Thanks! :-)

      Grace

      Reply

  2. nothing

    白睿:

    06-05-2013 5:57 pm

    Hi Grace, thank you for correcting MY mistakes! :D Actually, it is much more natural to say ‘stupidly’, but I wanted to retain the same word you used. I think it is something that you might see written down rather than spoken aloud.

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      06-06-2013 4:36 am

      So “stupidly” is more natural. My son kept telling me that it’s an “s” word that I should not use. :-D Thanks 白睿!

      Reply

  3. nothing

    Learn Chinese Online:

    06-27-2013 6:28 am

    We can make it more shorter and specific.

    我跟随了他以盲目的信念

    I had followed him with blind faith

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      06-28-2013 4:48 am

      Or to be shorter even more? :-)

      我盲目地跟随了他.

      Reply

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