5 Phrases that Rocked Chinese Social Media in 2016

5 Phrases that Rocked Chinese Social Media in 2016

ISo we’re just about to wrap up another year, as we eagerly await the new year festivities. Whatever you have planned, be it fireworks over The Bund or a quiet evening shared with friends, we hope you have a brilliant time! To get you in the melancholy mood that starts every new chapter, and following on from our 2015 post, here’s our round-up of the top 5 phrases that trended on Chinese social media in 2016. Why not try some of these out with your Chinese speaking friends on WeChat or Weibo?

   1. Was Donald Trump really born in Sichuan?

One of the more outlandish rumours on Chinese social media this year was that Donald Trump – “Chuanpu” (SI/TR:川普) to quote the most commonly used translation of his name by mainstream media outlets – was born in Sichuan. The “chuan” used in his name is that shared by the province “Sichuan” (SI/TR: 四川) and some online sources went as far as quoting that Donald Trump’s father had moved to Sichuan to start a business in 1946 just after the Second World War. Surely that can’t be as bad as the other Chinese translation of his name that did the rounds last year – “bed-breaker” (SI: 床破, TR: 床破).

   2. “Skinny blue mushroom”.

What do you do when your girlfriend is away and you’re feeling a bit lonely? Post about your heartache online, of course! That’s what happened to one man in Guangxi province this year as he tried to describe his feelings as “horrible, unable to cry”, but because of his heavy accent it sounded more like “skinny blue mushroom”. “Lanshouxianggu” (SI: 蓝瘦香菇, TR: 藍瘦香菇) ended on social media as people mocked the Guangxi accent, but the man’s girlfriend got the last laugh as she has since become an online live-streaming celebrity! We’ve not got mushroom for that…

   3. “Melon-eating masses”.

Have you ever witnessed a car accident or some other disturbance that brings traffic and pedestrians to a stand-still in China? The phrase “melon-eating masses” (SI: 吃瓜群众, TR: 吃瓜群眾) has unclear origins and surfaced online this year to describe such instances.

   4. “Pre-historic power”.

Back in August we brought you news of the Olympic sensation Fu Yuanhui on our social media channels, who made a splash after her facial expressions went viral following her bronze medal winning swim in the pool. “I have used all my prehistoric powers to swim!”, Fu exclaimed as she was being interviewed. ‘Prehistoric powers’, or “honghuangzhili” (SI/TR: 洪荒之力), then became a buzz word online for super-human feats of power. See some of her greatest moments from this year below:

   5. Are you a TCB “veteran netizen”?

Lastly, one phrase that we want to adopt for all you TCB old-timers who’ve been around since the beginning. “Veteran netizen” (SI: 老司机, TR: 老司機) was a phrase that trended this year online in China to describe people who have long had a presence online.

We’d love to hear your favourites from the above phrases from Chinese social media in 2016 on our social channels or use the contact form to get in touch. As always, expect plenty more Chinese-learning love from TCB in the new year and don’t forget to keep your Chinese ticking over through the holiday period.

See you in 2017!

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