Freedamn is Just Another Word With Chinese Characteristics

A list of “English terms” has been circulating in Chinese social media in the past few days. The list is distributed in image format under the title, the hottest English terms in Twitter, first in Sina Weibo, then Facebook (via Co-China) and other social media platform. The intentional mis-spellings of the English terms are used as satires to describe the political culture in China. Below is a translation and brief explanation of the newly invented words:

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].

River crab is a common term for describing censorship in China. Image by Use with permission.

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

Innernet 中國互聯網 – Chinese internet [which is for internal connection].

Departyment 政府(有關)部門 – [Chinese Communist] Party within government department.

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].

Halfyuan 五毛 – Fifty cents [online commentators hired by the government to channel public opinion].

Canclsensor 審查 – [A type of] censorship by deletion.

The hottest English words from Twitter. By Gao Xiao Song from Weibo

Wall-e 防火牆 -

Yakshit 亞克西 – Yakexi [In Uyghur Yakexi means happiness. The Chinese Central Television Station broadcast the song Yakexi during Spring Gala Show in 2010, just a few months after the crackdown of Urumqi. The new spelling Yakshit means eat shit.]

Animale 男人天性 – Man's animal nature

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.]

Nuibility 牛逼 – Fxxking strong [Chinese slang].

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.

Stuck Market 股市 – a stock market that is stuck.

Livelihard 生活 – a hard living.

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.

Harmany 河蟹 – The original word is harmony, new meaning is censorship (river crab).

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


  • […] of the English terms are used as satires to describe the political culture in China,” writes Oiwan Lam, a media researcher in Hong […]

  • […] of the English terms are used as satires to describe the political culture in China,” writes Oiwan Lam, a media researcher in Hong […]

  • René Milan

    Very enlightening as well as entertaining. Intelligence and satire are always the best answer to dimwitted oppressive obstructionists.

  • Hmm, some of those terms could equally apply to western societies: suihide, propoorty. In the UK, we’ve just had bogus police commissioner elections (average turnout: 15%). I heard a rumour that there was a movement to get people to write ‘Ian Tomlinson’ (bystander killed by a police officer during G20 demonstrations) in as a candidate. Northern Ireland has people whose homes were compulsorily purchased, but who were in negative equity – they no longer have houses, but still have to pay their mortgages.

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  • […] Freedamn is Just Another Word With Chinese Characteristics | Global Voices カテゴリー: インターネット | タグ: Internet | 投稿パーマリンク ← China gets a new leader 保守派ずらりの常務委:胡主席「政権共倒れ」回避のためか → […]

  • […] One example, “Freedamn” (中國特色自由) defined as “freedom with Chinese characteristics.” Other examples, “Democrazy” (痴心妄想) and “Chinsumer” (在外瘋狂購物的中國人). See the entire list with definitions in the Global Voices article. […]

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