Simple jargons for lantern riddles
  A brief introduction to commonly used forms for riddles

 
There are related forms applicable to lantern riddles for convenience. As the quantity of answers to the riddle is limited, those that reflect the questions of the riddle by chance are even scarcer. Hence, the trend of making changes freely to the form of the riddle to add categories and meanings to the answer of the riddle based on characteristics of the rules of Chinese grammar or fonts and pronunciation is naturally warranted.
Once the ˇ§formˇ¨ is determined, rules may be followed and not to be overstepped, just like those applicable to the rhythms of poems and songs. Since the Ming and Chin Dynasties, forerunners of riddles studied different forms and several hundred types of forms were established, adding more fun to
 
 

the word game of riddle guessing. Most people often think that answers to lantern riddles are difficult to be guessed because forms of riddles are complicated and hard to understand, thus reluctant to make an attempt. In fact, clues to naturally formed meaningful riddles are difficult to be traced

1. Grammatical:

This type riddle form is designed based on the characteristics of the Chinese grammar, which does not rigorously prescribe the order rules. The orders of the subject, guest term and verb may be freely changed and each carries a different meaning. For example, the phrase ˇ§it is difficult to be a manˇ¨ regardless whether the expressions are changed to ˇ§ man is difficult to beˇ¨ or ˇ§be a man is difficultˇ¨, the grammar is not violated even the meaning is changed. Hence, for this type of form of the riddle, primarily the order of words that make up the phrase is changed. There are several types described below:


ˇirolling curtainˇjˇXˇXThe answer to the riddle comprises of more than three words. Read answer of the riddle from bottom to top as if rolling up the curtain, hence named the ˇ§rolled curtainˇ¨ form.
ˇiegˇjGreen eye lad led Chiang Tong Certificate of title (Green eye lad refers to Suan Chuan, based on the form, the answer of the riddle is read as ˇ§Chung Chuan has somethingˇ¨ ˘w˘wdescribing that Suan Chuan has got the land of Chiang Tong)
ˇigoing upstairsˇjˇXˇXThe answer to the riddle comprises of more than three words. Move the last character to the first, as if going upstairs, hence named the ˇ§going upstairsˇ¨ form.
ˇiegˇjhost the bottle-throwing ceremony going-down-the-water boat (according to the form, it is read as ˇ§boat going down the waterˇ¨ , throwing the bottle represents the going-down-water ceremony for new boats)
ˇigoing downstairsˇjˇXˇXThe answer to the riddle comprises of more than three words. Move the first character to the last, as if going downstairs, hence named the ˇ§going downstairsˇ¨ form.
ˇiegˇjdraw a tiger is difficult, it is difficult to draw a tiger the behavioral style is not good (wind refers to tiger, read as ˇ§wind is not easy to beˇ¨ based on the form)

2. Increase/Reduce Type:

This type of riddle form is to increase or delete the characters of the answer to the riddle based on the meaning of the questions. Basically, this type of form utilizes the human body as the metaphor; from head to toe in the order of hat, tie, belt, socks and boots, which are quite easy to remember. The followings are commonly used:

ˇiHat RaisingˇjˇXˇXDelete the first character of the answer to the riddle as if removing the hat, hence named the ˇ§Hat Raisingˇ¨ format.
ˇiegˇjThe road is full of hundreds and thousands of holes ¤Ň road not being repaired (delete the first character ˇ§¤Ňˇ¨ based on the form)
ˇiBoots RemovalˇjˇXˇXDelete the last character of the answer to the riddle as if removing the boots, hence named the ˇ§boots removalˇ¨ formˇ¨
ˇiegˇj Where is the beauty found in loversˇ¦ eyes ˛\ (remove the last character ˇ§˛\ˇ¨ based on the form)

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