This week we picked a few popular words that were coined by verbal stumbling gone viral or borrowed from anime.
“Hold zhù” (hold住) has its origins in a slip-up by Xie Yilin. The actress was attempting to introduce “what is fashion” in both English and Chinese on a popular Taiwanese entertainment show.
While describing an embarrassing moment, she said “It’s alright. I hold zhù.” The video was viewed more than a million times and “hold zhù” became an overnight catchphrase. It’s now used as a set phrase of encouragement.
Tŭcáo (吐槽) is borrowed from the Japanese tsukkomi, the “angry man” character in a comedy duo. People usually drop the word when they need to describe someone who is heaping verbal abuse and revealing too much in the process.
You’ll most often encounter it online in response to reviews of sucky movies or bad restaurants. Sometime it’s turned into a verb as tŭ.
Originally used to describe people who always seem to be 10 steps behind the current fashion, cūnpào (村炮) has evolved into an adjective to rib anyone for being behind the times.