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- half; semi-; incomplete; (after a number) and a half
to hang a personchild; son; (noun suff.); small thing; midnight; 11 p.m.-1 a.m.; seed; egg; 1st earthly branch trad. (半吊子/半弔子) 半 吊/弔 子 simp. (半吊子) 半 吊 子 Literally: “one who is half a diao”.
In ancient China, a diao (吊) was a thousand copper coins strung together. Half a diao (半吊) referred to five hundred coins, and became to be used metaphorically for someone who is deficient in skills or mental capacity. Compare 二百五 (èrbǎiwǔ).