Wang Sicong taking a selfie
STREET TALK

Vulgar Love Words from Wang Sicong

Babe, do you get the new cheesy slang from China's most notorious playboy?

Now 33 years old, Chinese playboy Wang Sicong has worn many different hats since the time he used to spend 2.5 million RMB on a single night of KTV in Beijing: as a purveyor of gold Apple Watches and iPhones for his dog; an internet troll who provokes celebrities on Weibo; and a fu’erdai (rich scion) whose extravagant habits seemingly caught up with him two years ago, when a Shanghai court banned him from “luxury spending” over debts owed by his company.

Yet thanks to being the son of real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin, formerly China’s richest man, Wang has never lost his cachet as China’s most eligible bachelor, known as the “nations’ husband (国民老公 guómín lǎogōng).”

This shining image, though, may have now been irrevocably dented after Sun Yining, a 22-year-old internet celebrity, leaked chat records showing Wang sending her harassing text messages and coercing her to be his girlfriend. While mostly condemning of Wang’s poor notion of consent, netizens were simultaneously amused and creeped out by the language style, which included cringeworthy lines like, “Babe, I was treated with IV fluids today. What kind of fluids? It’s a night of missing you (宝,我今天去输液了。输的什么液,想你的夜 Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān qù shūyè le. Shū de shénme yè, xiǎng nǐ de yè).” (Note: “fluids” and “night” are pronounced the same way in Chinese.)

Wang’s texting style has been characterized as greasy (油腻 yóunì): sleazy, vulgar, and embarrassing. The sentence went viral within hours of the leak, and myriad netizens threw themselves into imitating this language style with their own homophonic puns:

Babe, I went to work today. What kind of work? My love for you is not ordinary.

Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān qù shàngbān le, shàng de shénme bān, wǒ ài nǐ de bù yìbān.

宝,我今天去上班了,上的什么班,我爱你的不一般。

宝,我今天打疫苗了,打的什么苗,我爱你的每一秒。

Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān qù yùndòng le, yùn de shénme dòng, duì nǐ de měi yí cì xīndòng.

宝,我今天去运动了,运的什么动,对你的每一次心动。

Babe, I got vaccinated today. Which type of vaccination? It’s every second of my affection.

Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān dǎ yìmiáo le, dǎ de shénme miáo, wǒ ài nǐ de měi yì miǎo.

宝,我今天打疫苗了,打的什么苗,我爱你的每一秒。

Babe, I misread the time. What time? I love you a little more every day.

Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān kàncuò le diǎn, kàn de shénme diǎn, měi tiān ài nǐ duō yìdiǎn.

宝,我今天看错了点,看的什么点,每天爱你多一点。

From “nation’s husband” to “greasy onion pie (聪油饼 cōng yóu bǐng, a pun on Wang’s given name and the word for green onion),” it’s hard to tell if Wang can claw himself back from his latest fall from grace. But at least he has revived a fine tradition of “vulgar love talk (土味情话 tǔwèi qínghuà).” Babe, do you get it?

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Zhang Wenjie is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese. She loves to share the lifestyles, voices, and concerns of China’s Gen Z. She is also fond of collecting and displaying the flourishing slang expressions in the Chinese language.

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