The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.
Hint at sensitive topics as if one were addressing a higher power. The saying originates from chatter about Li Yuchun, 2005 winner of China’s Super Girl singing competition. Li attracted a cult following not just for her musical talent, but for her androgynous appearance. Li became the object of online satire and adoring praise. She is sometimes referred to as “Brother Chun” (春哥 Chūn Gē). She become so popular that netizens began depicting her as a savior figure using Christian and Buddhist iconography.
In 2010, netizens began posting a series of prayer-like comments invoking Brother Chun:
Brother, I’m going on a blind date tomorrow. You understand…
Brother, I heard you have real power. My probability test is tomorrow. You understand…
Over the years, “you understand” has become a verbal wink to fellow netizens, replacing reverence for Brother Chun’s omnipotence with respect for the reader’s power of comprehension: