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2013-10-30 17:06:06 来源:志远总部 浏览:1000

One of the hottest buzzwords in China right now is no doubt tuhao, a sarcastic, light-hearted term referring to rich people of little education, bad taste or lacking self-awareness.

This is yet another example of smart Chinese Internet users applying their creativity to an aged phrase and giving it new life and meaning. The term, which literally means “country bully”, has been around since ancient times, when it was used to refer to rich and powerful rural landlords who defied laws and maltreated their tenants and peasants. In the age of class struggle, tuhao were among the worst enemies of the working class.

However, the meaning of the word changed significantly when it was adapted a few years ago by Chinese players of the wildly popular computer game World of Warcraft to refer to rich players who spend big money to buy powerful virtual weapons. Because they don’t improve their skills by playing, these players are considered silly, uncultured, and unprofessional.

But that is not the end of tuhao’s new life story. The renewed popularity of the term also coincides with the emergence of the Chinese “nouveau riche” — a generation of businessmen and women, property owners and entrepreneurs who have rapidly amassed large amounts of wealth in recent years.

Bad taste

Similar to the many rags-to-riches stories in human history, many Chinese billionaires who are on the global rich list do not come from well-educated or prestigious backgrounds. Rather, they achieved financial success through powerful connections, smart investments, and by riding out China’s economic miracle. Many of them don’t shy away from throwing their money around.

As we read stories in the international and Chinese media of rich Chinese investors snatching up red-hot property in Manhattan, London, and Paris, or raising eyebrows at international auction houses and yacht shows, we are often reminded of their lack of manners, taste and cultural sensitivity.

As a result, a term that was popularized in the gaming world has now also been introduced into daily conversation. Now, the term is widely considered to mean “vulgar, tasteless, rich people”.

Trendy, young Internet users, who see themselves as the opposite of tuhao — not wealthy, but well-educated and cultured — have further popularized the term by using it in various comic situations, at prominent news events, or coining new catch phrases with it.

For example, the phrase “let’s be friends, tuhao,” went viral after it appeared in an online joke about a conversation between a rich young man and a wise monk.

When Apple released its much anticipated iPhone 5S in September, Chinese Internet users accurately predicted the immense popularity of the new golden-colored models among Chinese consumers, and named it “tuhao Gold”, to mock the taste of rich Chinese people.