Getty Images EntertainmentJustin Bieber.
North American pop stars is that they’re global icons. So, naturally, people around the world have fun with them.
Like in China.
In a post highlighted on Kottke, ethnographer Christina Xu collected a number of Chinese nicknames for pop stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj.
The results are hilarious and telling. Many of them are transliterations, where the letters of a word are imported into a new language.
Nicki Minaj: 麻辣鸡 (má là ji). “A slant transliteration of ‘Minaj.’ Means spicy chicken (ma la is a spice combo commonly used in Sichuan cooking),” Xu says.
Justin Bieber: 碧波姐姐 (bī buó jie jie). “Sister ‘Bi buo,’ a hyper-feminine transliteration of Bieber,” Xu says.
Kanye West – 侃爷 (kǎn yé): “A transliteration of Kanye,” Xu says. “In Beijing dialect, this means someone who brags a lot with no actions to follow it up. (I actually love Kanye, but this is still damn good wordplay.)”
Go to Xu’s Tumblr for her full list. The Kanye one is clearly the most hilarious.
Other Chinese celebrity nicknames are “Fruit Sister” (Katy Perry), “Lord of Butt” (Jennifer Lopez), “Pikachu” (Leonardo DiCaprio) and “Queen of Starbucks” (Britney Spears).
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