Chinese Urban Dictionary: Caihongpi

By Mia Li, June 19, 2019

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Caihongpi / cǎi hóng pì / 彩虹屁 n. rainbow fart; over-the-top compliments fans needlessly heap on their idols

A: Look at this gorgeous photo of Huang Xiaoming.

B: This is a picture of the back of his head.

A: He is so good looking that the back of his head makes me cry.

B: That's a good caihongpi.

Is there anything more important in life than one’s choice of a pop culture idol? In the age of pop culture ultra-consumerism, the answer is no. Your fandom choices and celebrity idols showcase your personality, serve as a powerful way to relate to others and define you as a person. 

So it follows that once you’ve chosen an idol, you must defend them at all costs. If their reputation falters, you could lose credibility as a pop culture consumer – or, worse yet, as a person. When your idol makes a mistake or commits a social faux pas, you need to know how to spin it into a success. Any weaknesses they show must be presented in a positive light by you, their loyal fan. 

Statements made to transform a celebrity’s questionable qualities into virtues are referred to as caihongpi. Literally translated as ‘rainbow fart,’ the term is meant to imply that even your idol’s flatulence looks and smells like rainbows. (Do rainbows smell? We leave that up to you to decide.) Common caihongpi include calling your idol ‘innocent’ if they lack experience, ‘truly talented’ if they are not good-looking and ‘hard-working’ if they have no talent. 

In addition to spinning shortcomings into virtues, caihongpi can also come in the form of over-the-top compliments. Instead of “My idol has beautiful eyes,” one might say “I wonder when the angel will come to my idol asking for those eyes back.” 

To praise an idol’s looks, one can say “The biggest regret of my idol is that she can’t kiss her own lips,” or “My idol is so gorgeous that he broke the camera,” or “The only person better looking than my idol tonight will be my idol tomorrow night.” The more over-the-top, the better the caihongpi is, and the sky is the limit.

Let’s face it – life is hard. We need idols because they fill our lives with intrigue and passion. Caihongpi is just a way of expressing that passion. Don’t let anything bring your idol (or you!) down, and pile the caihongpi on!


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