In China, almost everyone hates the number 250 (èr bǎi wǔ) because it is synonymous with humiliation, meaning to scold the opposite person. They often call a fool or talk indecent, work not seriously, behave arbitrarily 250.
The number 250 is commonly used in modern-day China, but few know the origin of its meaning. According to some studies, this may stem from the following stories:
1. The story from the Warring States period
During the Warring States period, there was a guest lecturer named To Tan, who often wore a seal on the mainland, looked very majestic, and also had many enemies, finally killed in Qi.
Qi Wang was very indignant and wanted to get revenge for Tô Tần, looking for clues for a long time but failed to catch the killer. Therefore, he devised a plan, for the beheading To Tan and hung on the gate of the Imperial City (now Linzi District, Shandong Province). Then Qi Wang issued a notice with the content: Tô Tần is a mole, who killed him should be rewarded with 1000 gold, hoping that scholar would come to receive the reward.
After the announcement, four people claimed to be the ones who killed Su-Qin.
He said: “You are not allowed to impersonate!”
The other 4 still agree that they were the one who took action.
Qi Wang continued to speak: “What is the amount of gold divided among the 4 of you each each?”.
They answered in unison: “Each person has 250 taels”.
Qi Wang immediately pounded the table loudly and ordered: “Where are you, take those four” 250 “out and behead me.”
And so, the number 250 was passed down to the next life as a phrase referring to the stupid, greedy ahead and rushed to death. This is the story of the origin of the most common number 250.
2. The story from the Tang Dynasty
During the Tang Dynasty, Kinh Trieu Doan was a very powerful official, always had a guard at every patrol. Among them was a low-ranking official who opened the way, called “singing the five elements” (the man who shouted to clear the way). This person always held a long pole in his hand to “dispel” the pedestrians giving way to the mandarins.
Later, “the fivefold army” sang one more person, but the people of Chang’an did not call them “the two five soldiers” but called the “five plus five”. And each of the “plus five cypress” is called “the two juniors” (250).
The reason is simple: “The Five Hundred Elements” in “The Five Hundred Paths” (共 称 伍佰, read as ch gng chǔ wǔbǎi) has a similar reading to the “Five Hundreds” of 500 (五百, read as wǔbǎi) . And half of the 500 is 250.
This also clearly shows the indignation of the people of Truong An to the officials who often manipulate the monster. From that time until now, “250” has also been used to refer to those who are rude, impolite and willing.
3. Stories from folklore
Previously, there was a baccalaureate because he wanted to get a job, so he forgot to eat and sleep to practice knowledge. But the baccalaureate’s whole life cannot be successful, nor will the children have. When he got old, the baccalaureate started to ignore the fame and fortune. It was at this time that he had a son, but twins.
Recalling success or failure throughout his life, he could not help but sympathize and decided to name the two children respectively “Success” and “Failure”. Since then, he has always lived in a happy family atmosphere.
One day, the baccalaureate instructed his wife: “I went to the market to buy some things, and my grandmother urged two children to practice writing, the older wrote 300 words, the younger wrote 200 words”.
When the baccalaureate went home, he asked his wife, 2 children at home to work hard or not, the wife replied: “I wrote and wrote letters already. But Thanh Cong did not write enough, and That Loser wrote a residual amount, evenly divided, just 250 each!”.
4. Originated from Bai Cuu game (Bai Cau, a Chinese domino game)
Bai Cuu is a long-standing gambling game of the Chinese people, in which there are 2 types of cards: “double” (4 points) and “love five” (6 points), combined with a total of 10 points (called ” Bad “).
The “worst” is conventionally the smallest score in the Nine Cardinal, it cannot “eat” any card. Therefore, all players of Cuu Cuu often use the phrase “dich vu nguoc ngu” (referred to as “dich vu pentat”) to refer to useless people who cannot do anything.
In the long run, in the course of word of mouth, there have been many changes, the “dual sense” (二 板 五 èr bǎn wǔ) has become the “second-rate pentagon” (二百五 èr bǎi wǔ) with the meaning of satirizing people consider yourself intelligent and unreliable in your conduct.
5. According to ancient language documents
The ancients often used the unit of 500 taels and used paper to wrap silver. At that time, the 500 pack was called “1 silver room”, and 250 quantities was called “half silver room”. Because “half room” (table fēng) is synonymous with “half-crazy half-awake” (table fēng) so later, people have used the number 250 to mean those who are not mentally alert.