Catch Phrase | 九漏鱼(jiǔlòuyú)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-01-05


“九” is short for “九年义务教育” (jiǔnián yìwù jiàoyù: nine-year compulsory education), and “漏鱼” is short for “漏网之鱼” (lòuwǎng zhīyú: a fish that escaped the net). This term, coined by Chinese netizens, literally refers to those who haven’t completed the nine-year compulsory education. It’s often used jokingly to mock those who are not well-educated and are found with spelling mistakes from time to time, especially those in showbiz.


A: 听说有一档选秀节目海选要笔试了。

Tīngshuō yǒu yīdàng xuǎnxiù jiēmù hǎixuǎn yào bǐshì le。

I’ve heard that a competition show will include a written test in the first round.

B: 真的吗?估计是要淘汰掉九漏鱼。

Zhēnde ma?Gūjì shì yào táotài diào jiǔlòuyú。

Really? I guess they want to weed out the poorly educated.