Grass Mud Horse


“The grass mud horse I think first emerged in like a videogame. They play it very smart. They use words that sound very–like they use the word grass mud horse in Chinese, which is a normal name for like a llama, but it shares the same pronunciation as like f*ck your mom in Chinese so it was kind of in–it was kind of like cursing but kind of not directly kind of way. So if you say it:

Chinese: 草泥马
Phonetic: Cǎonímǎ
Transliteration: grass mud horse
Translation: llama

grass mud horse in Chinese it basically means

Chinese: 操你妈
Phonetic: cào nǐ mā
Transliteration: f*ck you mother
Translation: f*ck your mom

or f*ck your mom.”


Informant (ZZ) is a student aged 19 from Shanghai, China. He attended high school in the U.S. and currently goes to USC. This piece was collected during an interview over dinner in the dining hall. He first learned this from a videogame, where a llama was a character, and he has also seen it online. To him, it “represents the great creativity in the Chinese language.”


In addition to the sentiments expressed by (ZZ), this insult/joke also demonstrates a desire to circumvent government censorship. Much like 2B, the Chinese netizens seek to create new folklore as a result of Chinese internet censorship.