Chinese-born English words will go big

( People's Daily Online ) Updated: 2013-12-12 16:30:45

China's new hot words "Tuhao" and "Dama" may be included in the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The words have caught on in China, and they are now spreading around the globe. To date, about 120 words of Chinese origin have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary and have become part of the English speaker's language.

Chinese buzzwords normally reflect social changes and culture, and are increasingly gaining traction in the foreign media. Tuhao and Dama are both old words but have taken on new meanings.

Tuhao used to refer to a rural landlord who liked to bully his tenants or servants. Now it is used for a Chinese person who spends money thoughtlessly or who is rich and likes to flaunt their wealth. The BBC explains it as "nouveau riche". Simply expressed, a Tuhao is rich but lacks taste.

Chinese-born English words will go big

Children learn traditional Chinese culture in Changsha 

Chinese-born English words will go big

Speaking their language 

A Dama is a middle-aged woman, and first came to public attention as a term for the thousands of Chinese women who purchased large numbers of items of gold when the gold price slumped between April and June.

Various loanwords from Chinese

"The Chinese words Ganbu (cadre), and Guanxi (connections) were officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary many years ago; Tofu (bean curd), Peking duck (roast duck), and Chow Mein (stir-fried noodles) are now everyday terms in English countries; Cheng-guan (City management) and Dia (delicately pretty) have also made an impact," said Professor Ran Qibin from the College of Chinese language and culture of Nankai University.

In recent years, a group of English words of Chinese origin has proliferated; some relate to Chinese culture, such as Confucius (Kongzi, politician, and philosopher of ancient China), Laozi (a philosopher of ancient China), Tao (a philosophical and religious tradition), Tao Te Ching (a Chinese classic text), Feng Shui (an area of Chinese metaphysics), and Mandarin (China's official language). Some come from sports and entertainment, such as Kungfu and Taichi (Chinese martial arts), and have become known through the popularity of Chinese action movies. In the fields of politics and economics, Lianghui (the Chinese government's two annual meetings) is gradually being adopted by more international media agencies after it was first used by CNN news, and the Chinese currency unit Jiao (similar to a US 10 cents ), and Yuan (like the US dollar) are also to be found in English dictionaries. Sometimes Yuan is used as the name of the Chinese currency.

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