Careful! Don’t Be Fooled by Fallen Porcelain

HSK 3 quiz
There is a popular Internet word “碰瓷 (pèng cí) touching the porcelain” which often appears on all kinds of websites and social media platforms. What does it mean? It metaphorically refers to a behavior or trick when someone pretends to be knocked down so he can ask for money.
(Four Must-Know Facts Before You Travel to China!)

碰瓷 (Pèng cí)

It originally comes from an old Beijing dialect of Mandarin. This word refers to a trick that takes its name from a scam, in which unscrupulous antique sellers would rig up damaged porcelain vases to look whole, wait for customers to “break” one by picking it up, then demand that they pay for the item.

Let’s break this word down so you can better understand it:

碰 (Pèng): v. collide, bump into.

瓷 (Cí): n. crockery, chinaware.

Origin Story:

A long time ago, in the late years of the Qing Dynasty, some elderly aristocrats held a “rare” porcelain (actually, it’s a fake.) in their hands, and walk down the streets with it.

These aristocrats would seek out a chance to be “deliberately” touched by a carriage passing by. This touch would cause the porcelain in their hands to immediately drop and fall into pieces. This trick would be used so that carriage owners would have to offer compensation for the price of the valuable porcelain.

The trick targets people in a hurry, so the odds of making them feel guilty for the action are higher. Over time, people called this behavior “碰瓷 (pèng cí).”

The phenomenon of “碰瓷 (pèng cí)” evolves with the development of society, such as “You stepped on my feet”, “You scraped my car”, “You knocked me down” — and has resulted in people taking these opportunities to ask for compensation. If one day you encounter something like this, call the police immediately and let them know you have not been tricked!
(If You Know the Meaning of “碰瓷 (Pèng cí),” Can You Guess What Does “碰壁 (Pèng bì)” Mean?)


Nǐ yùdào guò pèng cí de rén ma?
Have you ever met someone who pretended to be knocked down by you so they could ask for compensation?

Nà shì gè zhuānmén pèng cí de dàyé.
It was an old man who deliberately pretended to be knocked down so he could ask for money.

HSK 3 quiz
1. Please make a complete sentence by putting the words below in the correct order.

1. 居然   2. 个   3. 碰瓷的   4. 遇到   5. 我
A. 5-4-1-2-3
B. 5-1-4-2-3
C. 3-1-4-2-5

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top