Singaporean Mandarin Database

This database contains a collection of Mandarin terms which have cultural, historical or sentimental value unique to Singapore. These terms may be used by Singaporeans in the past or at present. Some of the terms are read in print while others are used in our everyday conversations.

lóng

Unexpected mistake

Speech

生活用语

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Unexpected mistake

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Speech

生活用语

Speech

释义

名词

1. 无意间出现的差错或错误。 2. 形容糊里糊涂。

DEFINITION

Noun

1. The Mandarin term “乌龙” refers to mistakes or errors that were not expected.
2. The term also describes someone who is muddle-headed.

由来
  • 源于广东话(广州话、粤语),一般与“摆”结合使用。广东话里的“摆乌龙”指“搞错”或“糊里糊涂”。
  • 有些说法认为这个词源自一个民间传说。久旱之时,人们祈求青龙降下雨水,以滋润万物,但青龙没出现,乌龙却现身了,给人们带来了灾难。
  • “乌龙”也延伸至足球场上发生的糊涂事件。英语中的“own goal” ,指的是将球踢进自家的球门。由于“own goal”与广东话中的“乌龙”的发音相近,因此,20世纪60-70年代,香港人便把“own goal”音译为“乌龙”。
  • 广东话里的“摆乌龙”本有“糊涂”、“搞错”的意思。无论是民间传说,或是引申至足球场上的用意,这个原本的意思仍旧存在。
  • 在新加坡报章中,这个词早在1961年就出现在《南洋商报》的一则体育新闻中,报道指有一位球员摆乌龙,将球踢进自家龙门。目前,新加坡报章仍在广泛使用这一词语。
ETYMOLOGY
Originating from Cantonese, “乌龙”is commonly used with the verb “摆”. In Cantonese, “摆乌龙” means to “make an unexpected mistake” or someone who is “muddle-headed”.
One belief is that this term originated from a folk tale. In the tale, people prayed for a Green Dragon to bring rain and life back to the earth after a long period of drought. However, a Black Dragon (乌龙) appeared instead and brought disaster to the people.
The term is also used to describe unexpected mistakes on the football field. The English term “own goal”, where a player inadvertently strikes or deflects a ball into his own goal, has a similar pronunciation to the Cantonese term “乌龙”. Hence, from the 1960s to 1970s, Hong Kong people came to transliterate the English term “own goal” as “乌龙”.
The Cantonese term “摆乌龙” has the meaning of “being muddle-headed” or “to make a mistake”. Whether its origins lie in folk lore or a football reference, the meaning of the term is unchanged.
The Mandarin term appeared in Singapore newspapers as early as 1961, in a sports article published in the Nanyang Siang Pau. The article described a football player who had made an unexpected mistake and kicked the ball into his own goal. Currently, the term is still commonly used in Singapore newspapers.
例句
一般遇上这类乌龙事件,卢育宣都会感到又好气又好笑,日子久后,每次听到团中有老人说自己身上的东西不见了,她都会保持淡定,再三替他们检查随身包包和袋子,甚至找遍客房的每个角落,以确保客人并不是摆乌龙,将东西放在其他地方。(《联合晚报》,28/2/2019)
SAMPLE SENTENCE
When faced with such unexpected mistakes, Lu Yu Xuan would usually feel both angry and amused. In time, she learnt to remain calm every time she heard an elderly person in the group mention that they had lost an item. She would then check their bags and belongings, and even search every corner of the guest room to ensure that guests were not muddle-headed, and had kept their items elsewhere. (Lianhe Wanbao, 28/2/2019)
参考资料
REFERENCES