「乖巧」在當代辭典中之釋義，或「懂事聽話」 、或「聰明伶俐」 ，或「懂事聽話而又聰明機伶」 ，然而「懂事聽話」並不必然「聰明伶俐」，「聰明伶俐」亦不必然「懂事聽話」，「乖巧」是否兼具「懂事聽話」又「聰明機伶」二義，頗可質疑。教育部線上辭典，包括《國語辭典簡編本》、《重編國語辭典修訂本》及《異體字字典》等三種皆存列「乖巧」一詞，是當今官方之標準釋義，但三部辭典之釋議，繁簡出入不同，唯皆做「褒」義解。
Obedient？Keen and Clever？The Reserch of 乖巧. lexical development and changes──
Discussion on 乖巧. Interpretation of Modern Dictionaries
Professor, General Education Center
Chang Jung Christian University
In modern dictionaries, the phrase 乖巧 is defined as obedient or keen and clever. However, obedience does not imply cleverness, nor does being clever suggest obedient behavior. Whether the phrase 乖巧 really has the two meanings is a topic to be debated. The official online dictionary published by the Ministry of Education, as well as multiple other credible dictionaries have all included 乖巧 within their contents, but only listed definitions with positive connotations.
In the historical text ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, in its 68th chapter, there was a passage that described how the two sons of Cao Cao fought to become heir to their father’s empire. In the passage, the younger son, Cao Zhi was depicted using the phrase 乖巧. From context, it becomes rather evident that the phrase was used in a derogatory fashion, accentuating the sly and devious nature of Cao Zhi that contrasted with his brother’s earnestness.
When did the meaning of 乖巧 change from negative to positive? How did it happen, and is it related to the switch in meaning that also occurred in the word 乖? These questions hold much significance in the study and interpretation of historical text. I will attempt to answer them in this thesis and shed light upon the evolution and progression of 乖巧.
Key Words: Semantic, Dictionary,乖巧