"This is a courtesy republishing of an original article we posted on our sister site's blog at ChineseLandRush.com."
Welcome back to our blog for the next Chinese Domaining Masterclass topic!
We hope you enjoyed the last article, which was all about the number seven. Before we dive into our next topic, which will remain analyzing individual numerics (for now!), let’s recap some important points from the last article:
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s introduce our next number!
3: 三, Pinyin: Sān
The number 3 in Chinese is considered “the limit,” “coming to the end of tolerance,” and “trying repeatedly” in old Chinese culture. This is due to an old saying, ““事不过三” (shì-bù-guò-sān), meaning “nothing should occur more than three times.” The English equivalent to this meaning would be “three strikes and you’re out.” Usually when people say this, they are giving you a warning, meaning “don’t make the same mistake again.” Also, 3 is traditionally a generic number which signifies a “small group.” There are many Chinese idioms that use the form “three people…” however, the idiom doesn’t necessarily mean exactly three people, it just means “more than one person.”
As mentioned before, the Mandarin word for three is “san.” The Cantonese word for three, is “sei.” The most common sound-alike for three is “a life.”
3721: Derived from a Chinese folk saying “I don’t care if 3 multiplied by 7 makes 21,” meaning “I don’t care if this is good/ right/possible/intended, I’m doing it anyway.” 3721 was the first system used in China as a localization tool that resolved what looked like Chinese character URLs into real websites, and is now considered to be China’s most notorious malware.
384: The movie star Sebastian Stan is now commonly referred to by his fans on Sina Weibo as 384 (pronounced “san-ba-si”), because the number is a homophone to “Sebas…”: a lot faster to type and shorter to pronounce.
Unit of Innate Meaning
When Chinese people talk about the number 3, it can be understood in many different ways in various situations, rather than having just one universal meaning.
From a historical perspective, there are some famous books and old sayings that relate to the number 3: