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土豪 [tǔ háo] seems to be a popular Internet slang term in the last couple years. The idea that I get is that it is a rich person who flaunts their money and is somewhat snobbish or spoiled. Is this right? Is there a more concise way to express this?

When I checked Youdao Dictionary it gave "local tyrant" as the definition. Apparently there is more than one meaning. Where does this word come from and how did it get to be a description for a spoiled rich person?

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nouveau riche

The Free Dictionary:

One who has recently become rich, especially one who flaunts newly acquired wealth.


  1. (often plural) a person who has acquired wealth recently and is regarded as vulgarly ostentatious or lacking in social graces

adj

  1. of or characteristic of the nouveaux riches

I believe 土豪 originates from 土豪金, but I could be wrong. I'll update later.

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    surely it's the reverse, 土豪金 came later – jf328 Jun 4 '15 at 15:22
  • "New wealth" is also a valid translation if you're looking for something less french – sqrtbottle Jun 7 '15 at 13:01
  • Common, French It up a bit ;) – Mo. Jun 7 '15 at 13:03
  • I think it's good enough for most translation contexts, however, 土豪 and 暴发户 are not completely the same. 土豪 can be 富二代 whose wealth is not 'newly acquired' and 土豪 doesn't have to demonstrate bad taste or lack in social manner. 王思聪 is definitely a 土豪 but he's definitely not a 暴发户/nouveau riche. – NS.X. Jun 7 '15 at 21:15
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"土豪" used to mean super rich people but without a good education. Nowadays however, in China we basically called every person who bought something slightly fancy "土豪" without any extra meaning, just for fun. So next time when your friend bought a pair of Air Jordan, you can called him "土豪".

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The derogative term 'new money' is somewhat appropriate, although perhaps not familiar to everyone. It used to describe a wealthy person who made their money later and was not from the landed gentry. For example, in the movie Titanic, the large American woman called Molly Brown was described as 'new money' by Rose's mother.

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"土豪" is used to describe rich people with low taste or education. "豪" means rich. "土" is a synonym of "俗". In my opinion, "nouveau riche" is the best translation of "土豪".

According to google, the definition of "nouveau riche" is:

noun: people who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste.

adjective: relating to or characteristic of the nouveau riche.

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Ha this is a challenging translation. On Twitter etc. people say "rich douchebag", which means a rich, arrogant and obnoxious person. For example there are various blogposts with titles such as "University XYZ is full of rich douchebag kids".

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