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wrong side out or up; anti- feed
simp. and trad.
alt. forms 返哺


Originally referred to a raven that would provide food to its mother after becoming an adult. Emperor Wu of Liang [6th century]:

靈蛇酬德慈烏反哺報親蟲鳥三才令人 [MSC, trad.]
灵蛇酬德慈乌反哺报亲虫鸟三才令人 [MSC, simp.]
Língshé xián zhū yǐ chóudé, cíwū fǎnbǔ yǐ bàoqīn, zài chóngniǎo qí shàng ěr, kuàng sāncái zhī lìngrén. [Pinyin]
The mystic snake holds a pearl in its mouth to show gratitude; the raven feeds its parents to repay their kindness. It's as such even in lower animals and birds, let alone the virtuous men.




  1. to take care of one's parents when they are old; to show filial piety
    他們心底反哺父母強烈願望 [MSC, trad.]
    他们心底反哺父母强烈愿望 [MSC, simp.]
    From: 2005: anon.,
    Tāmen hěn duō rén xīndǐ, dōu yǒu fǎnbǔ fùmǔ de qiángliè yuànwàng. [Pinyin]
    In their hearts, a lot of them have a strong desire to take care of their parents when they are old.
  2. to give back to a person or institution which has contributed to one's own growth
    農業支援工業工業反哺農業,…… [MSC, trad.]
    农业支援工业工业反哺农业,…… [MSC, simp.]
    From: 2005: anon.,
    cóng nóngyè zhīyuán gōngyè dào gōngyè fǎnbǔ nóngyè,...... [Pinyin]
    From agriculture supporting industry to industry giving back to agriculture ...

Derived termsEdit


Sino-Xenic (反哺):