Name of the Week: Surely Must Die (Facebook)

Name of the Week: Surely Must Die (Facebook)


The  comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens or 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.

The new Lexicon home page lets you browse by categories like Party and State, Society and Culture, and Resistance Discourse. It’s easier than ever to discover new words and learn the meaning behind them. We welcome reader feedback on the redesign.

Surely Must Die (Facebook)

Fēisǐbùkě 非死不可

Words of warning. (Source: Language Log)

Words of warning. (Source: Language Log)

Transliteration of Facebook; literally “cannot not die.”

This transliteration of the name Facebook, created from classical Chinese, appears as early as 2006. Whoever coined Feisibuke may have had a premonition about the social network’s fate in China—after violent clashes in Xinjiang in July 2009, Facebook and Twitter were blocked by the Great Firewall.

The Baidu forum “Facebook Bar” (Fēisǐbùkě bā 非死不可吧) includes information using VPNs to access Facebook and other methods of scaling the wall.

Chairman MiaoCan’t get enough of subversive Chinese netspeak? Check out “Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang,” our ebook of dozens of new terms and classic catchphrases, presented in a new, image-rich format. Available for pay-what-you-want (including nothing). All proceeds support CDT.

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