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:
Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān qù shàngbān le, shàng de shénme bān, wǒ ài nǐ de bù yìbān.
Babe, I went to work today. What kind of work? My love for you is not ordinary.
Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān qù yùndòng le, yùn de shénme dòng, duì nǐ de měi yí cì xīndòng.
Babe, I got some exercise today. What kind of exercise? It’s when my heart beats for you.
Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān dǎ yìmiáo le, dǎ de shénme miáo, wǒ ài nǐ de měi yì miǎo.
Babe, I got vaccinated today. Which type of vaccination? It’s every second of my affection.
Bǎo, wǒ jīntiān kàncuò le diǎn, kàn de shénme diǎn, měi tiān ài nǐ duō yìdiǎn.
Babe, I misread the time. What time? I love you a little more every day.
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?
Cover image from VCG