Getting 'naked'

Updated: 2011-12-02 07:35

By Hu Yijun (胡逸君) (China Daily)

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 Getting 'naked'

The character "裸 (luǒ)" has become popular in China. "裸婚" (luǒhūn) means couples marrying without holding wedding ceremonies in order to save money. Shen Jingwei / For China Daily

There are an increasing number of interesting Chinese words with the character "裸". Why is everyone in China getting naked?

越来越多的词汇与 "裸" 相关。难道中国人都是裸着的吗?

Have you heard a lot about "naked" (裸 luǒ) things recently? From "裸考(luǒkǎo)" to "裸婚 (luǒhūn)" and "裸捐 (luǒjuān)" to "裸辞 (luǒcí)", it seems like almost everything is getting "naked". Is that because Chinese people have become very open about sex? Of course not! In most cases, "naked" is figurative, not literal.

The character 裸 first came to our view with the word 裸奔 (luǒbēn), streaking, in the reports about sports celebrations. Then, as modern life makes people feel a serious lack of things, many found it suitable to use this vivid character to describe their situations.

In this article, we are going to introduce some fashionable words with 裸 and help you get your Chinese "naked".

Is "裸考" (luǒkǎo) a new way to prevent cheating on exams by forcing the students to be naked? Actually no. "裸考" refers to two kinds of students: those who have to take exams without any bonus points (students who have won in academic competitions or are minorities will be awarded bonus points added to their scores), and there are those students who haven't prepared enough for the exam either by doing the homework or by studying.

So these are two commonly heard quotes:

I'm really unlucky because I have no extra marks for my exam.

Wǒ kě dǎoméi le, wǒ shì luǒkǎo a。


I haven't studied at all; I just come to buy some soy sauce.

Wǒ luǒ kǎo, jiùshì lái dǎ jiàngyóu de。


"裸婚" (luǒhūn) is related to another hot topic - marriage. Many 剩男(shèngnán, left-over single boys) and 剩女 (shèngnǚ, left-over single girls) are eager to marry, but the large amount of money required for wedding ceremonies, for houses, for cars, and even for rings scares them from entering marriage.

As a result, "裸婚" came into being to indicate the couples who marry without purchasing houses, cars, or holding wedding ceremonies; some even don't bother buying rings for each other! People who choose to have "裸婚" need only 9 yuan ($1.4, 1 euro) - the cost of an official marriage license.

"裸捐" (luǒjuān) refers to all-out donation which started from the example of Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Many Chinese entrepreneurs want to follow in his footsteps and donate all the things they have earned when they pass away. The most famous Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao once promised:

I will donate all my wealth, instead of half of it, when I leave this world.


Zài wǒ líkāi zhège shìjiè de shíhou, jiāng búshi juān chū yíbàn cáifù, érshì xiàng císhàn jīgòu juān chū zìjǐ de quánbù cáichǎn。

This saying brought "裸捐" to its peak for a while.

"裸辞" (luǒcí) is latest word that can be applied to people who quit their job without having found the next job. "裸辞" is becoming a fashionable phenomenon among white-collar workers. Whenever they feel tired and dissatisfied with their current job, they just hand in their resignation and leave, thinking no more about their future.

Courtesy of The World of Chinese,

(China Daily 12/02/2011 page19)