I found this joke on bliubliu.com:

那不直的时候呢 (爱情笑话)
Nà bù zhí de shíhòu ne (àiqíng xiàohuà)

Nán: Wǒ yīzhí jiù hěn ài nǐ a!
Nǚ: Nà bù zhí de shíhòu ne?

I want to make sure I've understood the joke correctly.

The man says 我一直就很爱你 meaning I have always loved you (I think).

However, the woman thinks the man is using the 一。。。就。。。 grammar construction, and consequently thinks that the man means that when 直 occurs, his love follows. This is why she asks about when 直 is not happening.

As far as I can tell, it doesn't make sense to talk about happening or not happening, and the woman's question is nonsense. But maybe I'm missing something.

Question: Have I understood this joke correctly?

  • 2
    The girl is just playing words, most of the times it doesn't make sense, only a funny effect. But occasionally, this sentence also makes a indecent suggestion as the answers pointed out. But it is not necessary, when you play words, you can make no sense.
    – sfy
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 16:04
  • Agree with @Jacob, this kind of joke is pretty perspective. Different people might take it differently until the time it became commonplace.
    – dan
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 2:53
  • See my comment on Jason Swift's answer-- I used to write adult jokes in comic, this joke is definitely a dirty one .
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 4:46
  • @TangHo, I agree that your interpretation is the most fascinating one. However, let's make a hypothesis here. If you say this joke to a large audience, I don't think all the people could get that meaning without any explanations. Each might have their own thoughts about it. Some might just take that joke simply plays the word "一直" itself. The fact is that joke is still not that common yet.
    – dan
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 5:11
  • 1
    A joke depicting a conversation between a pair of lovers, It is natural to expect some king of sexually suggestive punchline, you are underestimating the perceptiveness of the common people.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 5:28

3 Answers 3


直 here is short form of 挺直 (erect)

The woman was jokingly suggesting the man was saying " Whenever I get an erection, I love you very much" (meaning he only loves her when he is horny)

You are correct to think [一。。。就。。。] structure is in play. Just didn't have the mindset to connect '直' with 'erect' (of male penis)

It is a playfully dirty joke

"我一直就很爱你" should means "I have always been loving you deeply"

The woman twisted the meaning of '一直' (always) to '一'(whenever) '直'(erect)" and interpreted the sentence as "I love you very much whenever I get an erection"

  • 1
    I think the other answer about sexual orientation is more likely how most people will take this joke. 直 and 弯 are very popular joke material in the recent years, and considered quirky/funny in Chinese culture as opposed to erection which is gross/vulgar.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 6:46
  • 1
    @NS.X., Both are likely. I wouldn't say either meaning is taken by "most people". There is probably an age difference as well.
    – jf328
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 10:52

直 could mean heterosexual(informal).

This comes directly from "straight" in English.

  • The joke doesn't work if you interpret 直 as' heterosexual' . Men do not occasionally become heterosexual or homosexual, but men do occasionally having an erection.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 4:22
  • @TangHo "Men do not occasionally become heterosexual or homosexual" you're right and that's why it is a joke. Jokes don't necessarily follow common sense. Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 5:25
  • No, funny jokes need to follow common sense, saying" I love you whenever I am heterosexual" is not funny because it doesn't make sense
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 5:31
  • 2
    @TangHo I (a native Mandarin speaker) sensed the joke in the same way as Jason. The interpretation 直 as erect is logical, but I think this is old-fashioned, unlike the profoundly popular "直 as straight (opposite to homosexual)" Internet usage. And, for saying "I love you whenever I am heterosexual", no, the point is not like that. In English the point should be similar to this one -- I love you, straightforwardly. -- But when you're not straight?
    – Stan
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 11:27

The phrase “一直就” means “always” and this part you have already understood.

It could also be considered as “一…就…”=“if…then” and the girl assumed at once that the boy said “if he was straight then he loved her.” So she punned that “what if you are NOT STRAIGHT?”

A “straight/bent” joke~

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