Chinese Riddles and Slang
Riddles are a special form of Chinese folk literature, known as metaphors in old times. Guessing game is an activity which was popular among public, it not only benefited the people's intelligence but also entertained them. Riddles were spread in written as well as in verbal form. Nearly every person was equipped with several or even dozens of riddles.
Generally, the riddles are classified into two types: lamp riddle and language riddle. The former is of written form and the latter verbal. Many riddles can either be written or spoken.
Riddles (conundrum) are composed of a riddle and an answer: the former is a question and the latter is the answer. It is, generally, considered that guessing riddles are very difficult. But as a matter of fact, to give a question shows greater talent of a person.
Chinese slang is also called xiehouyu (or two-part allegorical saying). It is one of the language cultures which spread utmost and extensively, among the Chinese folk. It amasses with and humor in one place and sometimes makes people smile and alert after reading. The allegory has embodied a concentrated reflection of people's wisdom and ability.
The most outstanding characteristic is homophonic and metaphoric, such as "like a clay idol fording a river-hardly able to save oneself (let alone anyone else)", "using a rolling pin to blow a fire-totally impenetrable". All of them win universal admiration.
Another trait of xiehouyu is associative compound. It extends and prolongs its concept through an association, like "the weasel goes to pay his respect to the hen- not with the best of intensions".