Word of the Week: Stable Bottom

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.

wěn dìng 稳腚

Homophone of “stability” (wěndìng 稳定), a pretext for censorship and control.

Starting with former president Hu Jintao, the Communist Party has gone to great lengths to “maintain stability” domestically. Using this rationale, protests are squelched, political dissidents controlled, and media censored.

Netizens joke that the only things “maintaining stability” are the seats of the leadership on the throne of power. “If you want ,” a netizen once wrote, “officials can’t have ‘stable bottoms'” (要想社会稳定,官员不能“稳腚”).

Netizens play up the anatomical imagery, such as in this Weibo post:

Xiangxianzhong001 (@项先中001): harmony, stable bottoms (May 1, 2016)

79824b13gw1f3ft42cxb5j20cs0fumys

和谐、稳腚 [Chinese]

See also stability maintenance.

Can’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.