Democrazy, and other censor-swerving Chinese coinages

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Chinese internet users employ a number of mechanisms to avoid the censors. Including punning neologisms – in English.

Among the “hottest terms” in social media, according to a list published at the Global Voices website, are these:

Freedamn 中國特色自由 Freedom with Chinese Characteristics.

Smilence 笑而不語 Smile without saying anything [A facial expression of self-censorship]

Togayther 終成眷屬 Homosexual rights to get together [marry].

Democrazy 痴心妄想 Crazy desire [for democracy].

Shitizen 屁民 People who only have the right to shit [without citizen rights].

Chinsumer 在外瘋狂購物的中國人 Chinese consumers who shop like crazy outside the country.

Emotionnormal 情緒穩定 stable emotion [often used to describe the emotion after interrogation]

Sexcretary 女秘書 Woman secretary [who also provides sexual service to the boss].

Corpspend 撈屍費 fee for taking the corpse out of the river. [When someone is drowned in China, no one will handle the corpse unless you pay for the cost, which is extremely high. Occasionally, there is news about family members jumping into rivers or lakes to look for their drowned relatives because they could not afford to pay the fee.]

suihide 躲貓貓 hide and seek [violence during police custody. There are many unnatural deaths taking place in police stations, labour re-education camps etc. In 2009 a youth died in police detention in Yunnan, and the police station said he had an accident when playing hide and seek. Since then the term has been used to describe police violence.]

Antizen 蟻民 people who are like ants [being stepped upon].

Gunverment 槍桿子政權 government rule by means of guns.

Propoorty 房地產 a property market that leads to poverty.

Stupig 苯豬 stupid pig

Z-turn 折騰 Going Zip-zap [In 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao used the term Bu-Zhe-Teng to describe his policy. Many translate the term as “don't be sidetracked”, which is not exactly accurate.]

Don’train 動車 High speed train [There have been quite a number of scandals related to high speed trains in China. The Wenzhou train accident revealed the fact that the locally developed signal system has some major defects and many people have lost confidence in taking the Chinese train.]

Foulsball 中國足球 Chinese football [usually badly performed].

Gambller 干部 Chinese government officials [The sound Gambler is similar to the Mandarin pronunciation of 干部 or Gan-Bu. The new word, gambller, is used to capture the corrupted character of the officials.]

Goveruption 政府 Government in combination with corruption.

Profartssor 叫獸 The original word is professor. New term refers to monster who only knows how to talk loudly.

More by Toby Manhire

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