Zhuangzi glossary



The name of the fish, 鯤 kūn, means minnow or egg. In either case, it is tiny, as opposed to the fish in this story, which is represented as unknowably large. I like "Roe" for its added suggestion of anonymity in English.

It is etymologically connected to 崑崙 Kūnlún (6:03, 13:05), the far western mountains that Zhuangzi uses to represent what is beyond the known world, and to the 混 hùn, "muddled" (13:08, 14:01), which is homophonous with 渾 hūn, which is also "muddied" and part of the name of Mr. Allfull in the last episode of the Inner Chapters (7:07).