A glimpse of hell - mean nicknames created by the Chinese Gymternet
1. Do not read this if you are easily offended by mean names, satirical jokes or dark humour.
2. The Chinese gymternet culture, and its internet culture as a whole, is very different from the ones on tumblr. Partly due to its insularity, certain terms used in the Chinese gymternet could come across to you as too rude or brass or unacceptable. However, please also take into account the difference in the cultural aspect as well. As a common dweller in the Chinese gymternet community, I can promise that 95% of the satirical teasings or mean names created by the Chinese has no derogatory intention. The truly degrading, racist or sexist nicknames have also been filtered out by me, so rest assured.
So now, if you are ready, please read on:
——————————————–The line to hell——————————————-
Part 1. Basic terminology to nickname-creation
A. 野鸡 (ye-ji) noun./adj. - pheasant; wild chicken (direct translation)
“Before anyone is worthy of being bestowed upon a nickname by the Chinese gymternet god, they are all wild chickens.”
The term “wild chicken” is not limited to the gymternet community - it is the umbrella term for all athletes who are either 1.not well known 2.not very good at the sport 3.both. Wild chicken can be used both as a noun and an adjective. Though initially carrying a negative and even derogatory connotation, the tone now is much more neutral. An example for the use of “wild chicken” with a neutral connotation would be -
“Who is that wild chicken on bars? She’s pretty good.”
When used as an adjective, it is normally used to describe a routine that is underwhelming. For example “Songsong’s vault is quite 野鸡.”
When used to describe man, use 野鸭, or wild duck, instead of chicken.
B. 女士/小姐 noun. - Ms/Mdm/Miss
Using an overly formal term to address an athlete is one of the most basic satirical trick used by the Chinese community. I’m not sure when and who first created this but oh boy does this thing spread fast! Similar to wild chicken, this term first carries a negative connotation, but some people liked it so much they start to call everybody, including the ones they love, with a Ms something something. More often than not though this term still carries a mocking tone to it.
Example: “Oh what a spectacular performance by Mdm____, she could have scored full marks in the 10-points scoring system!”
C. 好粉丝 noun. - Good fans
With its true meaning being “biased fans”, this word is often used to mock comments or other netizens for being…well…too biased.
Example: “Good lord, those good fans are saying ____ is capable of winning gold again, what a joke!”
With the 3 most basic terminology in mind, lets move to more specific nicknames for gymnasts and countries.
Part 2 - specific nicknames and its origin (names not written in any order, just writing them down as I remember them)
1. Victoria Komova - 擦擦，擦地，擦四步 （scratchy，ground-wiper, wipe-4-steps)
Origin: 擦 (pronounced as tsah), means “to wipe” or “to scratch”. The name 擦擦 came after YOG in 2010 when Komova scratched her feet on the ground during bars final and then backed 4 steps during floor final - the Chinese netizens then begin saying that Komova is wiping the floor with her feet and there goes the “wipe-4-steps” and the “ground-wiper”. While used as a mocking nickname initially, most people now, even her fans, still refer to her as “scratchy” or “擦擦“.
2. Kyla Ross - 敦煌飞仙 (Buddha’s heavenly leap)
Origin: It is extremely hard to translate the proverb 敦煌飞仙. The term “敦煌” is related to Buddism whereas 飞仙 means something like “flying to heaven”? It’s a buddist term and I’m not able to capture the exact meaning as well… anyway, the term came after Kyla’s super awkward fell during her 2015 Jesolo floor routine, and then one of the netizens who didn’t really like her wrote “OH MY HOW BEAUTIFUL, ITS LIKE A BUDDHA’S HEAVENLY LEAP”, and then suddenly everybody started to use it lmao. It is initially used to address Kyla Ross’s fall, but has now extended to all kinds of lurching kind of fall on floors. It definitely is still used to mock people though.
3. Riley McCusker - 鸡翅膀 - Chicken Wing
Origin: Her 2016 floor choreography is just really weird and has hand movements like a “flapping wild chicken”, and if you have read the things I wrote above you will know being related to a “wild chicken” is NOT good for your image on the gymternet lmao.
4. Nastia Liukin - 青蛙，娃娃 - frog, froggy
Origin: It’s due to the cowboying on her double front. One of the disgusted netizen commented that her posture during the double front is like a “leadping frog” and thats it lol. It is also notable that Nastia is a pretty controversial figure in the chinese gymternet, with large groups of fans and haters. The haters all address her as froggy and the fans will call her 公主 - princess.
5. Deng Yalan - 种地小姐 - Miss peasant
Origin: So last year it became clear to the fans that Deng got addicted to a K-pop star and ended up semi-quitting her gymnastics career. Then there is this huge whooha regarding what she’s gonna do dropping gymnastics and her education at such a young age in the future. Then somebody digged out her family’s background and realized that her family is not very well-off in the first place and they live in the rural areas. So disappointed fans begin calling her Miss peasant to mock how she somehow ruined her own fledgling gymnastics career.
6. Huang Qiushuang - 面膜小姐/黄面膜 - Miss Face mask/Facemask Huang
Origin: When Huang retired from gymnastics she opened a micro online shop to sell face masks. Such micro online shop in China is known for their dubious quality as many products are made without proper channels and regulation, and so yep people begin to call her Miss face mask for selling “fake products”. Whether the products are truly fake is unknown til today.
7. Zeng Siqi & Chen Siyi - 旅游小姐/拍手小姐/提包小姐 - Miss vacation/Miss hand-clapper/Miss bag-carrier
Origin: Siqi only did beam (and fell) during the 2013 individual world championship, whereas Siyi didn’t do a single apparatus during the 2015 team final, so mean netizens begin mocking that “all Siyi did is to hold others’ tea cup and clap her hands and carry bags”, and then they became Miss hand-clappers. Dowell is also sometimes addressed as such too due to her lack of participation in 2013′s WC.
8. Liu Jinru - 搞笑艺人 - Comedian
Origin: Because her dance and wobbles and fell are all quite…clumsy looking? Then some people said she looked like a comedian trying to make people laugh with all her wobbles and mistakes and now everybody begin calling her that.
9. Larisa Iordache - 影后 - movie queen
Origin: Prior of Olympics in 2012 rumour has it that Larisa is injured or something like that, and then she showed up to the competition almost fine (she fell on beam and floor but her difficulties are all back), and Chinese netizens were like “WASN’T SHE INJURED” when she showed up with a crazy difficulty beam routines, and there you’ve got the name!
10. Diana Bulimar - 布尼玛老太婆 - Witch Bulimar
Origin: This and the next one is probably the most offensive out of all terms SO PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED. Its also kind of hard to explain… so it all started with a superrrrrrrrrrrr Bulimar hater who also happens to be super active in the Chinese gymternet. Boy did he HATE Bulimar. And then since Romania’s struggling with the depth of talent pool the renowned hater started the “Bulimar is a witch and she cast a cremation spell on team Romania so that the entire gym program will be cremated” thing, and he talked about it in like every single fucking post lol, and it gradually got picked up. Bulimar is also known for having a “floor music of curse” back in 2012, as whoever is doing beam when Bulimar is using the 2012 floor music will either wobble or fall on beam.
11. Romanian team - 火葬国 - Cremnation
Origin: Its the same as above, 火葬国 sounds super offensive as it means “country of cremation”, it’s a very bad joke and I apologize if anyone is offended… So anyway according to this hater Didi cast a cremation spell on the country’s gymnastics program so that it will all burn to ashes, and because hes so active everybody got brainwashed and start to address the team as “cremation team”.
12. Other Romanian gymnasts cept Didi, Lari and Cata - 字母女士，Miss Alphabets
Origin: So it goes like the Romanian fans are super upset about how the new comers are unable to match the ability of Didi, Lari and Cata, or even do something that is memorable. And so in the cruel world of Chinese gymternet community such gymnasts do not deserve a distinctive nickname - they ended being called Miss H, Miss I, Miss O and Miss G, things like that.
13. Team China - 宙国 - Team Universe
Origin: This may sounds nice but it is not - it is used to mock overly nationalistic chinese fans who thinks team China deserve to win everything and anything, so much so they own the universe lmao, so they instead call these fans as “fans of team universe”.
14. Maria Paseka - 845
Origin: The degree that Paseka is able to turn on her Amanar in 2012. She got better afterwards but the name sticked with her for life.
15. Mattie Larson - 冷宫怨妇 - Unwanted bitter women
Origin: Not a very good translation, but its hard to be translated :/. 冷宫 is a place in ancient China where the emperor’s least popular mistress are kept, whereas 怨妇 means very bitter women. The term started after her falls on floor in the 2007 team final, and rumours had it that Marta had enough of her and is never gonna use her ever. So in that sense I guess the nickname captured what happened pretty well :/.
16. Zhang Nan - 巨星 - Super star/Icon
Origin: Netizens just don’t understand why Zhang Nan is so well-liked by the judges, even when the fans think she did her skills poorly in some cases. And then somebody said the famous line that “because she’s a super star” and then KABOOM everybody used it to mock her. There are also variant terms such as Zhang Nan’s late-as-always Ono on bars, called the “star turn”, and a falling LOSO mount on beam, called the “star mount”.
Deng Linlin - noun. - a unit used to measure the extent of one’s leg separation.
Example: Liukin’s cowboying on her double front is so bad its like 1.5 Deng Linlin.
And….thats about all that I can think of, against, please don’t be offended if some of your favs are on the list, most of these terms are meant as bad jokes, and some of them have shifted in their connotations so much even the fans start to use it. To conclude, I wish all of you have a nice laugh after reading this! I mayyyy do a second issue of this if I have more :)