章鱼

zhāngyú - octopus

When I went through my phase of learning animals in Chinese, I struggled to learn the word for octopus despite it being one of my favourite animals, because there seemed to be so many different ways to say it. Alternatives include, 八带鱼 and 八爪鱼, which might be easier in that they start with the character for eight. All the words end in the character for fish, which shows you how much the Chinese knew about taxonomy. Apparently, 花枝 can also mean an octopus on a menu, though can also refer to a beautiful woman and actually means 'flowering branch'.

我们今天在饭店吃了章鱼。
Today we had octopus at a restaurant.

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