開黃槍 (Pinyin: kāi huángqiāng) is a commonly used phrase in modern-day Chinese culture, often in a light-hearted and/or teasing way. It is a popular phrase used by younger generations of Chinese speakers. A deeper analysis of the current use of 開黃槍 allows us to understand how traditional definitions are reconstructed and modified to become compatible with contemporary societies and cultures.
開黃槍 (Pinyin: kāi huángqiāng) is a Chinese-originated phrase. Here is a breakdown of the phrase:
開 (Pinyin: kāi) is an Ideogrammic compound comprised of 門／门 (“door”), 一 (“latch”), and 廾 (“a pair of hands”). While 開 has many definitions, it is understood as “open” in the context of the phrase.
黃 (Pingyin: huáng): While it is typically defined as the color “yellow,” it can hold a very different meaning in popular slang. In the context of the phrase, it is understood to be: having pornographic connotations (黄片 [Pinyin: huángpiàn]) or very lewd.
槍 (Pinyin: qiāng). The etymology of this word is largely unknown. However, it is widely known that 槍 can be defined as the English
word “gun.” But over time, 槍 has extended to mean “singing style” and then eventually to “tone of voice.” It can be inferred that 槍 in the context of this phrase refers to the latter definition.
Dictionary Meaning, Application, and Examples
The phrase 開黃槍 in Chinese culture is typically used in unison with the phrase 不要 (Pinyin: Bùyào) which means “do not”
開黃槍 can be understood as “saying something/joking about something ridiculous.” In regards to “ridiculous,” it typically is ridiculous in the sense of sexual or immature jokes.
- When I go back to Asia to visit my family, I always have learned new slang and immature phrases/jokes I cannot wait to joke about with my uncles. However, my mom will always yell at me and say “不要在開黃槍抑或我會…” (Do not keep making immature jokes or else I will…) and follow up with a threat.
In Chinese popular culture, 開黃槍 (especially with the phrase 不要) is used quite often. In my experience, it is used quite evenly among the older generation and the younger generation. At times, it might be used more by the older generation to reprimand, scold, or warn unruly children to be careful of what they say.