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Samizdata… er… Chinese word of the day: Baizuo

The word baizuo is, according to political scientist Zhang Chenchen, a Chinese word that ridicules Western “liberal elites”. He further defined the word “baizuo” with the definition “People who only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”. The term has also been used to refer to perceived double standards of the Western media, such as the alleged bias on reporting about Islamist attacks in Xinjiang.

The use of the word “Baizuo” could be an insult on the Chinese Internet.

Wikipedia

Noted 😀

34 comments to Samizdata… er… Chinese word of the day: Baizuo

  • George Atkisson

    I love it. What better way to confuse our Progressive “Betters” than to use an obscure foreign word that they must look up in order to be insulted.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Brilliant! This is a word that deserves to be widely adopted into everyday parlance. Blair? Clegg? Campbell? Mandelson? Soubry? Heseltine? Adonis? Baizous, the lot of ’em.

    Incidentally, here’s an amusing little spot-the-difference quiz, guaranteed to rile baizou types. One of the following is the currently-favoured full acronym for the various sex-and-gender-identity minority groups. The other three are the names of towns in Greenland. Can you tell which is which?

    1: Qasigiannguit
    2: Tasiilaq
    3: Lgbttqqiaap
    4: Ilulissat

  • Brian Mashall

    The success of spoken English around the world is partially attributable to that it adopts foreign words and incorporates them into the expanding lexicon and thus enriches itself. This one is a word that English really needs.

  • Paul Marks

    The Chinese have nothing but contempt for the Frankfurt School of Marxism and French Post Modernism – the Western obsession with race, gender, sexual orientation (and so on). Seeing it as the West destroying itself – which is irritating for the Chinese leadership as they want to be the ones who destroy the West (hard to kill or enslave people who have already committed suicide).

    Of course a Classical Marxist, such as Karl Marx, would despise Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff – Karl Marx had nothing but hatred and contempt for “niggers” (he used the English word) and so on. But it is not really Classical Marxism in the case of the Chinese – it is just their common sense.

    The ideas that dominate the Western education system and “mainstream” media are STUPID – and there is nothing Chinese people, regardless of their politics, despise more than STUPIDITY.

  • Paul Marks

    The fact that Westerners think that the Frankfurt School Marxism stuff is “liberal” is a classic example of Western stupidity and ignorance.

    Watching Western “Equalities Ministers” (once Mrs May now Amber Rudd in Britain) and other such, go through the Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff (even using the language “racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, “Islamophobia” and on and on), WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT IT IS, gives rise to both amusement and contempt among the Chinese.

  • Bharata Vishwanath

    which is irritating for the Chinese leadership as they want to be the ones who destroy the West

    no, i would say thay wish to dominate & exploit, not destroy. this actually make china more not less dangerous.

  • Jon Choi

    Literal meaning is someone who runs away, someone who retreats or flees from an enemy 😉

  • Ferox

    Can someone knowledgeable in the language provide a pronunciation guide, preferably in the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)?

    I can foresee using this word in conversation 🙂

    EDIT: Never mind, found it – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=baizuo

  • Roué le Jour

    Paul
    Agreed. Back in the fifties we knew who the commies and capitalists were and so did they. Now we have commies who are unaware they are communists and fascists who believe they are anti-fascists. Given that debate is impossible without agreement on terms, it’s tempting to think that this is a deliberate strategy to prevent any such debate.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    ‘Baizuo’ is also used because it echoes another term ‘baichi’ – mandarin for idiot. Usually only native speakers are aware of this connection.

    I dunno abt the PRC, but generally the chinese don’t want to destroy the West. Dominate and exploit, certainly. And not just the West, but the whole world.

    There’s no explicit chinese philosophy that calls for world domination, and the PRC seems focused on the Asia-Pacific region to be subserviant to it. The rest of the world, eg South America n Africa, probably doesn’t really exist on its radar except as a resource rich area to extract wealth and tribute from.

    Governing these places is probably the last thing the chinese want to do. Too much headache.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I wonder what Chinese variants of the sounds ‘P’ and ‘C’ we can find, as in ‘You are so PeeCee!!’ The audience will think it is praise!

  • Mr Ed

    That’s Oxfam’s rebranding sorted.

  • Alisa

    You seem to have missed the ‘idiot’ connection, Ed – Oxfam are not idiots.

  • Mr Ecks

    Anybody know how you say “well-off, middle-class, cultural Marxist, London Bubble scum” in Mandarin?

  • What an appropriate way to mark Chinese New Year.

    This is the Year of the Dog.

    Woof, woof.

  • Wan Min Leung

    Literal meaning is someone who runs away, someone who retreats or flees from an enemy

    No, figuratively not literally. White left

  • Mary Contrary

    This article, from the wikipedia references, provided some interesting context, when you distance yourself from the authorial self-delusion.

    As there’s a spoken version, you can also hear someone pronouce it.

  • JohnW

    You can buy a lot of influence when you measure your wealth in trillions – just ask Al Gore.

  • Runcie Balspune

    This is the Year of the Dog.

    “Dog” is the masculine, like “Man”, you know, therefore it should be the Year of the Canine, Justin told me so, and he’s the best PM in all peoplekind.

  • CharlieL

    I also would like a good pronunciation of this word. Would love to run it by my mandarin speaking neighbors (one second generation, one raised in Hongkong).

  • Frank S

    Pretty neat definition. Catchy word can catch on. Much better than the literal translation ‘white left’.

  • Long ago, reading an interestingly-annotated Chinese consular dictionary of the last century, I came across a Mandarin word that (IIRC) was pronounced Pyeh. It had two meanings, but they were clearly meant to be two representations in English transliterations of its single meaning:

    1. It is inconceivable that

    2. I am unable to understand

    I see it as being said by high mandarins (or communists) to their lowly underlings – and as a concise summary of what western baizuos say to people who dissent from their PC dogma (and in that case, it is definitely an undifferentiated conflation of the two meanings). Baizuos speak a load of Pyeh – that is, they just ‘know’ they are so smart that 2 proves 1.

    While we may not want Chinese living standards, it seems the PC have degraded the west to the point where we once again need some Chinese concepts. We very probably reinvented gunpowder from knowing they had it and we certainly reinvented porcelain from knowing they had it. Now we need to reinvent their contempt of baizuo in the west.

  • Alisa

    Thanks for that link Mary, very interesting.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    @Niall,

    I don’t think that’s the right meaning.

    It’s usually combined with another word. We usually say ‘狗屁’ ‘gou3 pi4’ (dogfart) or ‘屁话’ ‘pi4 hua4’ (fart speak).

    Just means ‘nonsense’.

  • James Higham

    I care about immigration but I’m not baizuo. I care very much that it be regulated and Muslim crims deported.

  • John B

    Is it not perhaps Chinese pronunciation of an English word that has existed for some time: BOZO?

  • Frank S

    Pronounced ‘bye-tswaah

  • Molly

    I care very much that it be regulated and Muslim crims deported.

    So why not deport all crims? Send every one of the fuckers to Australia, isn’t that what the place is for? I don’t see the difference between getting mugged by a boozed up scouser or a towelhead.

  • Paul Marks

    “To run away – to flee from an enemy” – it is worse than that Sir.

    The Western “liberal” (who is anything but a liberal) actually HELPS the enemies of the West – because he or she regards the West as evil, and Westerners (including their own families) as evil.

    It is not cowardice – it is much worse than that.

  • Snorri Godhi

    “Brilliant!” is what i was going to say, but Zerren Yeoville said it first.

    I make it a point to find or remember something to laugh about every day, and this post made my day.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Nice one, with fascinating parallels to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “The Intellectual Yet Idiot”

    Ref : https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577

  • Before Nassim, Conquest spoke of “intellectuals without intellects”.