Have you heard the term “late-night poisoning”?
It’s like this:
Imagine it’s the middle of the night and you get home after a hard day of work.
As you collapse into bed, you flip open your phone to watch something funny before you go to sleep but suddenly you spot… one of your friends has posted a picture of the 5-course Michelin-starred meal they ate that night!
The phrase “深夜放毒 (shēn yè fàng dú)”, or, “late-night poisoning” refers to when you should be sleeping but are kept awake by someone’s message or post of something you’d want (usually something food-related).
In other words, they’ve poisoned your sleep!
Let’s take a moment to look at the component parts of the whole expression, namely “深夜（shēn yè）” and “放毒（fàng dú）”.
late at night; in the small hours of the morning
wǒ zuó tiān gōng zuò dào shēn yè.
我 昨 天 工 作 到 深 夜。
Yesterday I worked well into the night.
Here are some other expressions that refer to late at night; can you try using them in a sentence? Write your attempts below!
a. 半夜三更 (bàn yè sān gēng): in the depth of the night; lit. midnight
b. 夜深人静 (yè shēn rén jìng): in the dead of night; lit. late night when all is still
c. 月黑风高 (yuè hēi fēng gāo): lit. a moonless night when the wind howls
“dú” is a general word for poison, drugs, or poisoning of all kinds. It’s pretty versatile, meaning you might see it pop up anywhere from “Snow White” to a criminal court!
Nouns: poison; toxin; drug; narcotic
Adjectives: poisonous; noxious; malicious; cruel
Verbs: to poison; to drug
Tā fǒu rèn zì jǐ xī guò dú.
他 否 认 自 己 吸 过 毒。
He denied he had used drugs.
tā de xīn cháng zhēn dú!
他 的 心 肠 真 毒！
He’s so cruel!
We can all agree that sending someone pictures of a scrumptious meal when they’re about to sleep is inhuman, right? Well, that’s certainly not going to stop some people from doing it, so let’s talk about what to do when someone does you wrong.
This expression is usually used jokingly – you wouldn’t say it if you were really upset, but nonetheless if someone does this to you, you can’t let them off easy! Below are some ways you can talk about it next time someone starts your stomach grumbling at 12am:
Nǐ bié shēn yè fàng dú le, zhè shì zài lā chóu hèn.
你 别 深 夜 放 毒 了， 这 是 在 拉 仇 恨。
Stop making me jealous, you’re really pushing my buttons!
Zuò wéi yí gè chī huò, lǐ lín měi tiān zhǔn shí shēn yè fàng dú.
作 为 一 个 吃 货， 李 林 每 天 准 时 深 夜 放 毒。
As a foodie, Li Lin “poisons us” like clockwork every night.
以毒攻毒 (yǐ dú gōng dú): to fight fire with fire
Of course, there’s always the option to “以毒攻毒 (yǐ dú gōng dú)” – literally, “to fight poison with poison” – so when your phone dings and picture of someone’s salivating-inducing lunch pops up, now’s the time to dig through your photo album and send back a picture of that New York-style cheesecake you had last week! Let the flame wars begin…
Have you ever “poisoned” someone late at night? There must have been a good reason for it… tell us about it in the comments below (or link to your blog post with your tasty brunch pics!)