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I'm reading the book 喜欢你,我也是, and I encountered this:

张侃侃无语地摊摊手:“可我既不是医生,也不是白加黑啊!”

“对于生病的谈晋而言,你就是他的医生,就是他的白加黑。”叶莉亚边说边郑重地点了点头。

(A sample text containing this part is here.)

I understand 张侃侃 has received a text message from 谈晋 who says he has a cold. 张看看 says she's not his doctor and also not his 白加黑 (lit.: "white add black").

I didn't find a clear definition of 白加黑 in a dictionary; Baidu Baike suggests it's a kind of medicine (which is on sale at JingDong; image), so I'd guess this is a brand name that's so popular that it's used to mean 感冒药 ("cold medicine"). I'm hoping this can be confirmed, corrected, expanded upon, etc.

Question: Is 白加黑 ("white add black") slang for 感冒药 ("cold medicine")?

  • I'd guess this is a brand name that's so popular that it's used to mean 感冒药 ("cold medicine"). Yes. – user4072 Apr 27 at 7:47
  • When a brand name is genericised. – Michaelyus Apr 27 at 11:28
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白加黑

It is not so much a slang but a general term for cold medicine. When a brand is so popular, people would use it to describe the product itself, like 公仔麵 (instant noodle) and 花奶 (evaporated milk) in Hong Kong

白加黑:

enter image description here

公仔麵:

enter image description here

花奶

enter image description here

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The drug formulation was marketed under that name White Plus Black label in 1996 and apparently was sold to Bayer in 2008. Bayer then used the brand to launch their other stuff in China.

So yes, that is basically cold medicine in China, it was so dominant, that Baidu has an entry on it:

https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E7%99%BD%E5%8A%A0%E9%BB%91

Though your original link was actually for Bayer's Aspirina C, the effervescent aspirin + vitamin C tablet, marketed in China under the "white plus black" label.

Ingredients seem to be comparable to Nyquil Day+Nyquil in tablet form, basically acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine.

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