Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

Careful! Don’t Be Fooled by Fallen Porcelain

Oct. 26, 2018

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 (): 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?)

Examples:

Nǐ yùdào guò pèng cí de rén ma?
你遇到过碰瓷的人吗?
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.
那是个专门碰瓷的大爷。
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

See Answer Analysis

Most Popular Chinese Words You Should Know:
Show Humility And Learn “自黑 (Zìhēi)” for “Self-Mockery” (Beginner)
Learn the Meaning Behind the Phrase “吃土 (Chītǔ) Eating Dirt” (Beginner)
抬杠 (Táigàng) Argue & 放鸽子 (Fàng gēzi) Fail to Keep an Appointment

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name: 
E-mail: 
Country/Region: 
-select-

search no result

Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Submit

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Comments: 
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Get 11 FREE Mandarin E-books
Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:
Name:
E-mail:
Country/Region:
-select-

search no result

Tel:
By clicking Submit, you agree to our
Terms of Service
and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.