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Chinese slang term: 放鸽子

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放鸽子 (fàng gēzi) is a common spoken phrase that literally means "to release a dove". The meaning of the word "放(fàng)" in this circumstance means "to release", while "鸽子(gēzi)" refers to a dove, a kind of bird. In fact, the phrase "放鸽子 (fàng gēzi)" mainly means that one doesn't keep his promise.

“放鸽子(fàng gēzi)”在日常口语中非常常用,其字面意思为“release a dove”。 在这个短语中“放(fàng)”的英文意思为“release”,“鸽子(gēzi)”是指一种鸟,英文称为“dove”。但实际上,它最主要的意思是指某人不遵守约定。

 

The phrase is from a story. In ancient times, people mailed letters by doves. One time, two people agreed to write letters to each other, but one of them sent a dove without letters. Then another people said: "why did you just send the dove? And you haven't kept your promise." So the phrase is used with the meaning that one hasn't kept his/her promises.

关于这个词语有一个典故。在古代,人们都是用鸽子送信。有一天,有两个人约定相互通信,但是其中一人只放了鸽子,而没有书信。另一个人就说“你为什么只放鸽子?你违背了约定”。因此,“放鸽子”以后用于指某人不遵守约定。

 

The popular meaning of the phrase is used in the following situation: A makes an appointment with B, but B fails to keep the appointment. So A is "被放鸽子 (bèi fàng gēzi)." You can say "我被朋友放鸽子了 (wŏ bèi péngyou fàng gēzi le)", which means “my friend fails to keep the appointment”, to express that your friend didn't keep his/her words with you. The structures "放某人的鸽子" and "被某人放鸽子" are often used.

“放鸽子”是一个非常流行的词语。如果两方之间有约定,但其中一方没有遵守约定,那么另一方就“被放鸽子(bèi fàng gēzi)”了。例如,如果你的朋友没有遵守约定,你就可以说"我被朋友放鸽子了(wŏ bèi péngyou fàng gēzi le)”。经常使用的结构是“放某人鸽子”和“被某人放鸽子”。

 

Examples:

例句:

 

Zhēn shì bùgǎn xiāngxìn! Lǎoshī jūrán wèile kàn zúqiú bǐsài, fàng quánbān xuéshēng gēzi!

真是不敢相信!老师居然为了看足球比赛,放全班学生鸽子!

Unbelievable! The teacher stood all the students up because he wanted to watch the football game.

 

Nǐ zěnme néng róngrěn yígè dì yí cì yuēhuì jiù fàng nǐ gēzi de nánrén?

你怎么能容忍一个第一次约会就放你鸽子的男人?

How can you put up with a guy who stands you up on the first date?

 

Wǒ yòu bèi nǔpéngyou fànggēzi le.

我又被女朋友放鸽子了.

My girlfriend stood me up again. 

2016-06-21

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