Gee, the things found in dictionaries

Another interesting story mentioned on Danwei is a tale of a dictionary, prostitutes, and chickens:

A scandal has erupted in Shenzhen after a primary school dictionary was found to have included the slang definition of the Chinese word for chicken, which means prostitute. What a scandal! Living in the wholesome boomtown of Shenzhen, no one would ever guess that there are such things as prostitutes.

The Shanghaiist links to an English-language article on this (Book clucks and quacks with sex talk). Here’s an excerpt:

An online survey conducted on the People’s Daily Website found that nearly 64 percent of the respondents considered the dictionary harmful to children, and more than half said the editors should be punished.

The others didn’t think the second definition was a big deal.

The Chinese word for “prostitute” is “jinu.” Its first syllable is pronounced the same as “ji,” making it a widely used slang reference for a female sex worker.

The book introduces itself as a modern dictionary especially designed for students.

An editor surnamed Zhang at Nanfang Press, however, told the Beijing Youth Daily that only one edition of the dictionary was published and any future editions will drop the sexual references.

The dictionary is now difficult to find in Chinese’s bookstores and online shops. But collectors who do locate a copy also might want to check out the reference for “duck.”

The dictionary goes on to define “ya” as a male prostitute.

Here’s j?:
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