Catch Phrase | 放水(fàngshuǐ)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-09-07


“放” means “to release,” and “水” means “water.” Literally meaning “to release water,” this slangy Chinese term has several meanings. In Cantonese dialect, this term is a metaphor for “losing a sports game intentionally (rigging a game).” The more commonly used meaning is as a metaphor for “pumping money into the financial system” in the context of discussing banking policies. According to Chinese fengshui, money is associated with the water element.


A: 为什么美国股市一直涨?

Wéishénme měiguó gǔshì yīzhí zhǎng?

Why have the stock markets in the United States been bullish for so long?

B: 因为美联储一直放水吧。

Yīnwèi měiliánchǔ yīzhí fàngshuǐ ba。

Perhaps it’s because the Fed keeps pumping money into their financial system.