If you hear someone say, "The Korean soap opera I'm watching is so full of dog blood!" (我看的韩剧太狗血了! wǒ kàn de hán jù tài gǒu xiě le), don't worry—it doesn't mean the characters are chowing down on dog meat. Actually, this phrase has nothing to do with dog slaughter; these days, "dog blood" has come to mean cliché, cheesy or melodramatic.
This slang originated with the Peking Opera, whose stories often some shysters who claimed they could expel evil spirits by spilling bowls of dog blood. Given that this won't do much more than get the SPCA on your tail, "spilling dog blood" (洒狗血 sǎ gǒu xiě) came to mean being pretentious.
Now the term has evolved to describe hackneyed plots in popular books and movies (called "dog-blood plots", 狗血情节 gǒu xiě qíng jié). To wit: heartbroken lovers who dash outside into thunderstorms; a heroine who falls in love with her fiancé's best friend. You can even apply this to real life, when you run into some high-octane drama or serendipitous coincidence: "Life is like a dog-blood soap opera!" (生活就像狗血剧! Shēng huó jiù xiàng gǒu xiě jù!)
Translated from: theworldofchinese
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