“one ox, two oxen. one fox, two foxen.”

jenny lawson


Happy Chinese New Year in the year of the Ox- 2021!

Celebrated at the second new moon following the Winter Solstice,

Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar,

this festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of a long-awaited spring! 




image credit: fairycake fair, tokyo station, japantimes.com

64 responses »

  1. ha! i don’t think i actually knew that oxen indicated plural. i just thought it was the full name which people then shortened to ox. Like Aussies call kangaroos roos. So thank you. I learned something. And Happy Chinese New Year to you. Being in China for the festival was very exciting and rather noisy (lots of fireworks).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, if English were only a bit more consistent, then the plural of fox might be foxen. By coincidence, the German language has plural noun (with no singular form) that sounds like foxen but is spelled Faxen. It means ‘faces’ in the sense of making faces, so “mach keine Faxen” can mean ‘stop making faces’, but is also used to mean ‘don’t do anything stupid.’
    This also has to do with oxen, because in the opera “Der Rosenkavalier” by Richard Strauss there is a character called Baron von Ochs (= Ox) who in the third act makes a clumsy attempt to seduce a person he thinks is a girl called Mariandl (little does he know). When “she” tells him she doesn’t drink wine, he says, or rather sings: “Mach keine Faxen.” — The melody of this immediately started going through my head as soon as I read your post about oxen and foxen, but it took me a while to remember which opera it was from.

    Liked by 2 people

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