The story appears on

Page B4

November 26, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Feeling frustrated? Pick a catchphrase

SKYROCKETING food prices, some increasing three times or even five times in a year, have inspired people to coin buzzwords to vent their frustrations. And it's probably no coincidence that many of them are related to vegetables, whose prices have risen among the most steeply.

Among the most prevalent buzzword is suan ni hen, translated as "crazy garlic." It's a phrase used to say, "I am in your power." And indeed, many people find themselves in the power of prices they can't control.

Another popular phrase comes from qie zi, or "eggplant," which the Chinese use instead of "cheese" when trying to get people to smile during photo-taking. Nowadays, the phrase has been altered to "no eggplant," since the price of the vegetable has soared.

Then there's dou ni wan, which means "the beans are teasing you (with a high price)."

And finally on the food front, you ni zhang is making the rounds. It roughly translates as "cooking oil price, rise as you will." And then there's ping shen me, which means "what the apple!" and jiang ni jun for "ginger checked you during the match."

There's even a literary bent to some of the buzzwords.

Mei Chaofeng was the name of a famous martial arts character in Chinese martial arts author Louis Cha's novels. The name's pronunciation mei chao feng is similar to the words for "coal is going super crazy," and is used to refer to the rising price of coal.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend