Weibo ciphers and argots

By Helen Wang, published

Almost overnight, everybody on Sina Weibo becomes part of a “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” reality show – they look for traces of truth in every rumor, and in their hands lies a secret code book...

More on the weblink, including these ones...

Jia Baoyu: 贾宝玉, the principal character in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber = 贾庆林 (jia qing lin), one of China’s 9-member Politburo and whose illegitimate son has been rumored to die from the Ferrarri crash.

Jiang Xiaoyu: 江小鱼, the principal character in Gu Long’s (古龙) kung fu movel The Legendary Twins (绝代双骄) = 江泽民 (jiang ze min), past President of China before Hu.

Hu Yidao: 胡一刀, the principal character in Louis Cha’s (金庸) kung fu novel Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain (雪山飞狐) = 胡锦涛 (hu jin tao), President of China

Greeting card: 贺年卡 (he nian ka) = 贺国强 (he guo qiang), one of China’s 9-member Politburo

Now you get the story? Overnight, Master Kong and Jia Baoyu has become part of the top 10 most-searched terms on Sina Weibo. Everybody knows it is not because a sudden popularity of instant noodles or Chinese classics.


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