How many “double double ” Chinese words do you know and use?

Posted by Grace Feng on June 12, 2012

How many "double double " Chinese words do you know and use?In the sea of Chinese words, there is a group of words that you really need to know and use. They are so well shaped and easy to remember. They are so musical that they can make your Chinese expressions sound more rhyming and interesting.

Then what are they? I wanna give them a cute name of “double double ” on this Learn Mandarin Online blog just like your everyday coffee or hamburger order :-). That is because they are a pair of doubled characters plus another pair of doubled characters, that’s why they are “double double “.

You might have popped out a few such words in your mind by now, if you haven’t, no worries, I’ll show you soon :

fēn fēn hé hé

分分合合 (on again off again)

In this very first example, and  are two opposite characters.  means “depart” and means “reunite”. If we echo each of them and combine into a new word 分分合合, it refers to the repetitive occurrence of the phenomena – departure and reuniting. Usually it refers to the relationship between two lovers, or a couple, or a family. Let’s have a look at following sentence then you’ll get a feel of it :

rénshēng zǒngshì miǎnbùliǎo fēn fēn hé hé。

Life is full of departures and reunitings.


tāmen liǎ yǐjīng fēn fēn hé hé hěn duōcì le。


They’ve been on again off again for so many times.

There are quite a few Chinese words that echo two opposite characters to describe the repetition of a certain phenomena. Aside from 分分合合, we also know the following:

zhēn zhēn jiǎ jiǎ

真真假假 (the true and the faking)


duō duō shǎo shǎo

多多少少 (more or less)


At the same time, similar characters can also be echoed into “double double”. For example:

duǒ duǒ shǎn shǎn 

躲躲闪闪 (evasive)


cháng cháng jiǔ jiǔ

长长久久 (long and stable)


qí qí guài guài

奇奇怪怪 (weird)


Do you know any “double double” Chinese words in your vocabulary? Welcome to share with me and other readers here in your comment.

Good night, my friends!



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10 Responses to “How many “double double ” Chinese words do you know and use?”

  1. nothing


    06-20-2012 6:10 am

    hey Grace, what about 差不多?


    • nothing


      06-20-2012 1:41 pm


      差不多 has no double characters, but its meaning is close to 多多少少 in certain context. For example,

      每次测量的结果多多少少都很接近. (The test results are more or less the same every time.)

      You can also say:




  2. nothing


    12-09-2012 6:41 am



  3. nothing

    Bobby Watson:

    05-05-2013 7:47 am



  4. nothing


    12-05-2013 3:39 am

    CEDICT has 169 such entries

    七七八八 /almost/nearing completion/bits and piece/of all kinds/
    三三兩兩 /in twos and threes/
    世世代代 /ages and ages/
    低低切切 /in a low voice/whispered/
    偷偷摸摸 /surreptitious/sneaky/
    元元本本 /variant of 原原本本/
    兢兢業業 /cautious and conscientious/
    冒冒失失 /bold/forthright/
    冷冷清清 /deserted/desolate/unfrequented/cold and cheerless/lonely/in quiet isolation/
    勉勉強強 /to achieve with difficulty/only just up to the task/barely adequate/
    勞勞碌碌 /tiring/difficult to get by/painful/
    勤勤懇懇 /industrious and conscientious/assiduous/
    千千萬萬 /lit. by the thousands and tens of thousands (idiom); untold numbers/innumerable/thousands upon thousands/
    半半拉拉 /incomplete/unfinished/
    卿卿我我 /to bill and coo (idiom)/to whisper sweet nothings to one another/to be very much in love/
    原原本本 /from beginning to end/in its entirety/in accord with fact/literal/
    反反復復 /repeatedly/time and time again/
    口口聲聲 /to keep on saying (idiom); to repeat over and over again/
    叮叮當當 /(onom.) ding dong/jingling of bells/clanking sound/
    吞吞吐吐 /to hum and haw (idiom); to mumble as if hiding sth/to speak and break off, then start again/to hold sth back/
    含含糊糊 /(of speech) obscure/unclear/(of actions) vague/ineffectual/
    吱吱嘎嘎 /(onom.) creaking and grating/
    吵吵嚷嚷 /to make an (unnecessary) racket (idiom)/
    吹吹拍拍 /to boast and flatter/
    呢呢癡癡 /docile/
    和和氣氣 /polite and amiable/
    咭咭呱呱 /(onom.) giggling noise/
    哐哐啷啷 /(onom.) crash/clank/clatter/
    哩哩啦啦 /scattered/intermittent/sporadic/on and off/stop and go/
    哩哩囉囉 /verbose or unclear in speech/rambling and indistinct/
    哩哩羅羅 /endless mumbling (onom.)/verbose and incomprehensible/talking endlessly/
    哭哭啼啼 /to weep endlessly/interminable wailing/
    哼哼唧唧 /whining/groaning/muttering/
    唧唧喳喳 /(onom.) chattering or giggling/
    唧唧嘎嘎 /(onom.) giggling noise/
    唯唯諾諾 /to be a yes-man/
    喜喜歡歡 /happily/
    嗶嗶啪啪 /(onom.) flopping sound/
    嘁嘁喳喳 /chattering/
    嘟嘟噥噥 /to mumble in whispers/to mutter to oneself/
    嘰嘰喳喳 /(onom.) chirp/twitter/buzzing/to chatter continuously/
    嘰嘰嘎嘎 /(onom.) giggling noise/
    嚴嚴實實 /tightly/closely/
    圈圈點點 /annotations made in a book/fig. remarks and comments/to have an opinion on everything/
    地地道道 /thoroughgoing/authentic/100%/to the core/
    坑坑窪窪 /bumpy/full of pot-holes/
    堂堂正正 /displaying strength and discipline/impressive/upright and frank/square/
    多多少少 /to some extent/more or less/
    大大咧咧 /carefree/offhand/casual/
    大大小小 /large and small/of all sizes/
    大大方方 /confident/calm/natural/poised/
    委委屈屈 /to feel aggrieved/
    婆婆媽媽 /kindhearted/motherly/effeminate/old-womanish/fainthearted/overly careful/overly sensitive/maudlin/
    子子孫孫 /one’s posterity/
    孜孜矻矻 /diligently/
    完完全全 /completely/
    家家戶戶 /each and every family (idiom)/every household/
    密密匝匝 /thick/concentrated/dense/
    密密實實 /thick/concentrated/
    密密層層 /tightly packed/closely layered/
    密密扎扎 /thick/dense/
    密密麻麻 /close and numerous/densely packed/thickly dotted/thick/dense/
    巴巴結結 /to manage with difficulty/only just getting by/in a difficult position/
    平平常常 /nothing out of the ordinary/unglamorous/
    庸庸碌碌 /ordinary/mediocre/
    彎彎曲曲 /curved/meandering/zigzagging/
    形形色色 /all kinds of/all sorts of/every (different) kind of/
    從從容容 /unhurried/all in good time/
    快快樂樂 /happy/
    忸忸怩怩 /timid/bashful/
    忽忽悠悠 /indifferent to the passing of time/careless/
    急急忙忙 /hurriedly/
    惡惡實實 /very fierce/
    慌慌張張 /helter-skelter/
    慢慢吞吞 /very slow/
    懵懵懂懂 /confused/ignorant/
    戰戰兢兢 /trembling with fear/with fear and trepidation/
    戰戰慄慄 /to tremble with fear/
    扎扎實實 /firm/solid/reliable/real/practical/
    扭扭捏捏 /affecting shyness or embarrassment/coy/mincing (walk, manner of speech)/mannered/
    抽抽噎噎 /to sob and sniffle/
    拉拉扯扯 /to tug at/to pull at sb aggressively/to take sb’s hand or arm in a too familiar way/(derogatory) to hobnob/to consort/
    拖拖拉拉 /to procrastinate/
    拖拖沓沓 /dragging one’s feet/
    指指點點 /to gesticulate/to point out/to point the finger of blame/
    掖掖蓋蓋 /stealthily/clandestinely/
    搖搖擺擺 /swaggering/staggering/waddling/
    擠擠插插 /crowded tightly/jam-packed/
    支支吾吾 /to hem and haw/to stall/to stammer/to mumble/to falter/
    敲敲打打 /to provoke with words/
    整整齊齊 /neat and tidy/
    斷斷續續 /intermittent/off and on/discontinuous/stop-go/stammering/disjointed/inarticulate/
    方方正正 /square-shaped/
    方方面面 /all sides/all aspects/multi-faceted/
    昏昏沉沉 /dizzy/
    時時刻刻 /at all times/
    晃晃悠悠 /swaying/wobbling/
    普普通通 /ordinary/mediocre/nothing special/
    朝朝暮暮 /from dawn to dusk/all the time/
    村村寨寨 /every village and stockade (idiom)/
    條條框框 /fixed framework (idiom); restriction of social conventions and taboos (usually derogatory)/regulations and restrictions/
    歡歡喜喜 /happily/
    歪歪扭扭 /crooked/not straight/staggering from side to side/
    歪歪斜斜 /shuddering/trembling/a trembling scrawl (of handwriting)/
    永永遠遠 /for ever and ever/
    沸沸揚揚 /bubbling and gurgling/hubbubing/abuzz/
    洋洋灑灑 /voluminous/flowing (of speeches, articles etc) (idiom)/
    浩浩蕩蕩 /grandiose/majestic/
    消消停停 /intermittently/
    渺渺茫茫 /uncertain/unknown/fuzzy/
    渾渾噩噩 /muddleheaded/
    源源本本 /variant of 原原本本/
    滿滿當當 /brim full/completely packed/
    滿滿登登 /ample/extremely abundant/
    熙熙壤壤 /variant of 熙熙攘攘/
    熙熙攘攘 /bustling with activity (idiom)/
    爽爽快快 /in short order/straightforward/
    猖猖狂狂 /wild/hurried and confused/hell-for-leather/
    畏畏縮縮 /cowering/cringing/
    畢畢剝剝 /(onom.) sound of knocking or bursting/
    痛痛快快 /immediately/without a moment’s hesitation/with alacrity/firing from the hip/
    瘋瘋癲癲 /deranged/erratic/
    磕磕巴巴 /stammering/stuttering/not speaking fluently/
    磕磕絆絆 /bumpy (of a road)/limping (of a person)/
    磨磨蹭蹭 /to dillydally/slow-going/
    祖祖輩輩 /for generations/from generation to generation/
    稀稀拉拉 /sparse and fragmentary/
    空空洞洞 /empty/hollow/lacking in substance/
    空空盪盪 /deserted/
    空空蕩蕩 /absolutely empty (space)/complete vacuum/
    糊糊塗塗 /confused/muddled/stupid/dumb/
    紛紛揚揚 /fluttering about (of leaves etc)/
    結結巴巴 /stammeringly/
    絮絮叨叨 /long-winded/garrulous/to talk endlessly without getting to the point/
    縫縫連連 /needlework/sewing and mending/
    罵罵咧咧 /to swear while talking/to be foul-mouthed/
    舒舒服服 /comfortable/with ease/
    色色迷迷 /crazy about sex/lecherous/horny/
    花花搭搭 /mixed/uneven in texture/
    花花綠綠 /brightly colored/gaudy/
    藏藏掖掖 /to conceal/
    虛虛實實 /hard to tell if it’s real or sham/
    裊裊婷婷 /(of a woman) elegant and supple/
    裡裡外外 /inside and out/
    跌跌撞撞 /to stagger along/
    跌跌蹌蹌 /to dodder along/
    跑跑顛顛 /to work hectically/to be on the go/to run around attending to various tasks/
    踏踏實實 /steady/steadfast/
    蹦蹦跳跳 /bouncing and vivacious/
    躲躲藏藏 /to not wish others to see/
    躲躲閃閃 /to evade/to dodge (out of the way)/
    轟轟烈烈 /strong/vigorous/large-scale/
    辛辛苦苦 /painstakingly/with great trouble/
    迷迷糊糊 /in a daze/bewildered/
    遮遮掩掩 /to be secretive; to try to cover up (idiom)/
    陸陸續續 /in succession/one after another/continuously/
    隱隱約約 /faint/distant/barely audible/
    隱隱綽綽 /faint/distant/indistinct/
    離離光光 /lackluster (look)/
    零零星星 /odd/piecemeal/fragmentary/
    風風火火 /bustling/energetic/
    馬馬虎虎 /careless/casual/vague/not so bad/so-so/tolerable/fair/
    高高低低 /high and low/uneven (in height)/uneven (of ground)/
    高高興興 /cheerful and optimistic/in a good mood/gaily/
    鬧鬧攘攘 /to create an uproar/
    鬱鬱蔥蔥 /verdant and lush (idiom)/
    鬼鬼祟祟 /sneaky/secretive/evil spirit/
    點點滴滴 /bit by bit/dribs and drabs/the little details/every aspect/
    鼓鼓囊囊 /full and bulging (of a pocket, pouch etc)/


    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      12-05-2013 5:14 am

      Wow, Alex, that’s an amazingly long and thorough list! I don’t know how you extract that list from CEDICT , it’s definitely a very helpful list!

      Thank you for sharing. :-)



    • nothing


      12-05-2013 1:07 pm



      • nothing

        Grace Feng:

        12-05-2013 6:07 pm

        知道得少, 但用得好, 比知道得多, 但不会用要好吧! 你虽然知道得不多, 但应用得很好, 这是最重要的了。 :-)


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