Daily Drip

加油 is Now in the Oxford English Dictionary


More like Oxford *mostly* English Dictionary.

The Chinese phrase 加油 jia you — literally, “add oil” — has just been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Or, well, there’s the “intention to publish in a future update.” Pretty much the same thing.

Jia you is a catch-all phrase of encouragement, which doesn’t quite have an exact equivalent in English. It’s somewhere between “keep going” and “you got this.”

Football game? Jia you. Finals week? Jia you. The final wing in a Wall of Fame spicy chicken wing eating contest? Jia you.

In tough times, we all have to add oil to keep our flames lit. But man, someone should tell that to these etymology researchers. Folks have been adding oil since long before 2005.

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan
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