Chinese language vocabulary 汉语词汇 OMG! Chinese Buzzwords! (32)

炒冷饭(co lěng fàn)
Rehash, repeat old content, flogging a dead horse

Shanghai locals are mostly rice eaters. So, if there’s any leftover cooked rice, they tend to 炒冷饭, meaning to “stir-fry the cold rice,” usually by adding a spoon of edible oil, a pinch of minced green onion or even an egg. As a result, 炒冷饭 is a common meal among many Shanghainese.

But when the phrase is used figuratively, it means to rehash old materials, repeat old content or reproduce an old idea. It’s like flogging a dead horse or putting old wine in a new bottle in English.

So, this colloquial term has a connotation of cliché, banality, bromide and lack of excitement.
Despite the fact that many Shanghainese do eat 炒冷饭 from time to time, few like it in speeches and writing. Locals also tend to use a vulgar alternative to express their dislike of this type of 炒冷饭: “Why do you always eat today’s fresh rice, but fart yesterday’s gas?”

华约(huá yuē)
Tsinghua University-led enrollment alliance
This non-governmental term refers to one of China’s independent enrollment alliances featuring science departments, which is led by Tsinghua University and also includes Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China Science & Technology University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Nanjing University, Zhejiang University and Remin University of China. Apart from enrolling students from the college entrance examination, the universities will jointly organize a written examination and share candidates’ performance results according to their enrollment standards.

北约(běi yuē)
Beijing University-led enrollment alliance
Similar to the Tsinghua University-led enrollment alliance, this is another independent enrollment alliance featuring liberal arts, which is led by Beijing University and also includes Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing Normal University, Nankai University, Fudan University, Xiamen University and the University of Hong Kong.

软瘾(ruǎn yǐn)
soft addiction
The term, unlike addiction to drugs or alcohol, refers to compulsive habits, behaviors or repeated sentiments which may bring about a short-term sense of satisfaction. Procrastination, excessive TV watching and frequent microblog refreshing or e-mail checking are among the most common examples.

豆芽家庭(dòu yá jiā tíng)
beanpole family
It refers to an extended family of several generations with each having only few members. It is also known as a verticalized family in Britain. High divorce rates have partly contributed to this phenomenon.

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