Chinese word for uncouth rich to get into Oxford dictionary

Oxford dictionaryDama, meaning rich middle-aged women, was first used when thousands of Chinese women began buying record amounts of gold this year. Reuters

China's new buzzwords – "tuhao", meaning uncouth rich people, and "dama", meaning rich middle-aged women - could make their way into the Oxford English Dictionary next year.

"If its influence continues, it is very likely to appear on our updated list of words," Julie Kleeman, project manager with the dictionary's editing team, said about tuhao.

Kleeman told the Beijing Youth Daily that tuhao has some similarities with the English word "bling", which refers to expensive, ostentatious clothing or jewellery.

Both words have existed for long but later on took a new meaning.

In Chinese, "tu" means uncouth and "hao" means rich. It has traditionally been used to refer to rich people who throw their weight around in China's rural areas.

In recent years, people in the anime, comics and game circle borrowed the term to describe those who spend money in an irrational manner.

Tuhao is now often used by the online community to refer to people who have cash but lack the class to go with it. The word gained credence in September with the launch of Apple's new gold-coloured iPhone, an item loved by China's nouveau riche.

The colour became known as "tuhao gold", Shanghai Daily reported.

Kleeman mentioned two other Chinese words - "dama" and "hukou" - which may make it into the dictionary.

Dama, meaning rich middle-aged women, was first used when thousands of Chinese women began buying record amounts of gold this year. They were the driving force in the global gold market between April and June, when prices had slumped.

Hukou means household registration, a serious issue in China, has become a hot word in recent years because of its links with corruption cases.

"We have nearly 120 Chinese-linked words now in the Oxford English Dictionary," Kleeman said. Among them is Guanxi, literally meaning "connection", or the system of social networks and influential relationships that facilitate business and other dealings.

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