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Popular Daily Chinese Word: “雷 (léi)” & “山寨 (shānzhài)”

Jan. 7, 2010

"雷 (léi)" & "山寨 (shānzhài)"   

 "雷 (léi)"  


What does this word mean? 

It has been one of the most popular Internet words since 2008. With the original meaning of thunder, the word "雷 (léi)" has been given another meaning on the web. Now it means that one is shocked by some bold actions, or by strange or even embarrassing things. It is said that this word is originated from the word "雷倒 (léidǎo)," which is the dialect of "浙江 (zhèjiāng)" province of China.

How to use the word?

You can say "我被雷到了 (wǒ bèi léi dào le )" or "好雷人啊 (hǎo léi rén a)" to express "I am shocked." So there are many circumstances for you to use this word. For example, after watching a video in which a bear dances like a ballet dancer, you can say "我被雷到了 (wǒ bèi léi dào le )" to express "I am shocked by this bear."

"山寨 (shānzhài)"  


The Backgrounds of  "山寨 (shānzhài)"

The Chinese word "山寨 (shānzhài)" literally refers to remote mountain villages that are mostly beyond the reach of administrative control. Recently, however, the word has been used to describe people who imitate celebrities, or describe products or works of art or pop culture that have borrowed ideas from famous brands products or works. "山寨 (shānzhài)" has become a culture of its own, symbolizing anything that imitates something famous.

The Popularity of "山寨 (shānzhài)" Culture

"山寨 (shānzhài)" has become an accepted name for the replicated products of brand goods after "山寨 (shānzhài)" cell phones produced by small individual workshops in southern China became popular in the mainland market over the past two years. Besides "山寨 (shānzhài)" electronic products, of which there are many, there are "山寨 (shānzhài)" movies, "山寨 (shānzhài)" stars and even a "山寨 (shānzhài)" Spring Festival Gala, a copy of the 25-year-old traditional show presented by CCTV on Chinese Lunar New Year's eve.

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