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Looking up 几号 in the Pleco dictionary returns a definition different from what one might expect from the usual meaning of the phrase. enter image description here

Is 几号 really used as a slang for heroin?

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  • 1
    Maybe. Never heard of it. This is just what slang means: only a limited group of people can understand.
    – fefe
    Dec 17 '20 at 9:57
  • If it's found its way into Pleco, you'd expect that the word would be somewhat well documented. What's the likelihood that the entry has a mistake?
    – grove
    Dec 17 '20 at 11:03
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Is 几号 really used as a slang for heroin?

Yes.

百度百科|海洛因(吗啡类毒品总称)

海洛因,系列吗啡类毒品总称,是以吗啡生物碱作为合成起点得到的半合成毒品,俗称几号、白粉、白面。


Here is a link to the Change Log Entry for this word in CC-CEDICT. It was submitted with the following evidence:

海洛因,系列吗啡类毒品总称,是以吗啡生物碱作为合成起点得到的半合成毒品,俗称几号、白粉、白面。
https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%B5%B7%E6%B4%9B%E5%9B%A0/544824

(slang) heroin (powerful and addictive drug)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%B9%BE%E8%99%9F

CC-CEDICT has a fairly strict vetting process. Entries are first submitted usually with a certain amount of proof of usage, references, etc. Afterwards there is a review process where editors will go over the submission - sometimes requesting additional evidence - or adding documentation that they themselves have come across while attempting to process the entry.

Of course mistakes can happen, but you'd be hard-pressed to find recent outright errors in CC-CEDICT.


Apparently 几号 comes from the fact that there is:

海洛因1号、海洛因2号、海洛因3号、海洛因4号

Different levels of purity in heroin.

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  • Very insightful, many thanks!
    – grove
    Dec 17 '20 at 16:43
  • As a Chinese, I really don't know this before! This is not used by normal people, I think... If you ask a random Chinese what is 几号, I believe everyone will answer you the date, like today is 19号.
    – bambooom
    Dec 19 '20 at 3:16
  • @bambooom I think there are plenty of words that are only known of in select circles. China's topolects are a good representation of that. The fact that 几号 has made its way on to 百度百科, though, also shows that the range of usage is probably much bigger than we could even imagine. I've found plenty of topolectal words that have been published in physical books that have zero online presence.
    – Mou某
    Dec 19 '20 at 13:04

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