Archive for the ‘brand’ Tag

explanation of “so lucky you could die”

Just like in the US, many brands hold promotional contests to win free products, among other amazing prizes.  Probably best known for doing this are producers of bottled soft drinks like coke, sprite, iced green tea, and iced black (or lemon) tea.  Some producers use the tag line “zai lai yi ping” to announce the promotion, which is also the phrase they print on the inside of bottle caps to indicate that the bottle is a winner.


explanation of “very nice cologne”

A guy alerts his dorm mates that he has lost his “cologne.”  The dorm mates don’t even know he uses cologne, so they’re surprised, and ask what type it is.  He says, in English, “Six God”, which sounds like it might be some fancy foreign brand. In fact, he’s just referring to the very fragrant liushen bug repellent, which is both very common and very cheap.  Once everyone realizes exactly what “Six God” means, they’re speechless.

One reason that such a misinterpretation could realistically happen is that there is one broadly applicable Chinese word that can refer to cologne, perfume, and other similar fragrances.  This is xiang shui, which, broken down into its constituent parts,  simply means “fragrant water”.  Indeed, liushen could by some be considered a type of “fragrant water”.

There are some other culturally specific things to note about this text. Chinese college students often live six or eight to a room, which is why the “dorm mates” are answering one person.  In these living situations, they normally select a shezhang, or dorm room leader.

very nice cologne



舍长:SIX GOD啊,我只用那个。




liushen mosquito repellant

Dorm leader: I can’t find my cologne!  Quick, guys, help me find it!

Dorm mates: You use cologne?! What brand is it?

Dorm leader: “Six God”, that’s the only brand I use.

Dorm mates: Never heard of that… sounds awesome! What does it look like?

Dorm leader: It’s liushen bug repellant!  Who took it!?!

Dorm mates: ………………………..

香水, xiang shui- cologne (men), perfume (women)

啥, sha- what (subsitutes 什么 in some colloquial northern dialects)

牛逼, niu bi- awesome, badass (colloquial, somewhat crude)

花露水, hua lu shui- a mentholated green liquid used to stop itching and repel bugs