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Just came across this comment on Reddit:

Basically use more swear words. And the official hanzi.
-official/more rude (replaced to be more pg)
幹 (淦)

Calming that 淦 is a swear substitute for 幹.

I can't say that I've ever seen this usage myself.

Is 淦 used as a swear substitute for 幹?

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  • It is a trend for Chinese netizens substituting some common words by uncommon characters though.
    – Alan Zzz
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 22:33

4 Answers 4

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因为"幹"(fuck)是一个脏话,所以网络上为了避免直接用这个脏话,而取一个音相同的字(类似英语里用faack代替fuck)。但是读gan4的汉字有这么多,为什么单单选中"淦"了呢?

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我也不是很清楚,我怀疑跟"淦"的本义有关:

水入船中,必由朕(舟缝)而入。淦者,浸淫随理之意。

"浸淫"应该就是泡在水里的意思,但现在一提"淫"首先想到的是obscene,跟"幹"有点相关,所以选这个了。

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Yes, when 干 is used as a dirty word.

It is very often to see 淦 on Bilibili or other popular Chinese social media. As 干 is too savage and even is banned by some websites, people began to use 淦 instead of 干. 淦 is not a well-known character. Many people pronounce it as jīn. Young people may think it funny, so they use it.

Actually, the Chinese people often use another word to replace a dirty word. You can see this situation a lot.

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淦,读音为 [gàn]. 基本意思是水渗入船中 (infiltration of water into boat)。出自《说文》段玉裁注:“水入船中,必由朕(舟缝)而入。淦者,浸淫随理之意。” 引申为捕鱼或打渔。出自《史记 五帝本纪》:“舜耕历山,淦雷泽,陶河滨,作什器于寿丘。” (See 百度百科). It has no modern use as I am aware of, but in the name of Gan River (淦水).

幹, 读音为 [gàn]. 基本意思是"做" - "幹大事", "好好的幹一番", "幹什麼?". Besides the basic meaning, It is being used as a swear word that literally means "Fuck".

干 has multiple meanings, it has 3 pronunciations [gān、gàn、hán]. The meaning associated with each pronunciation and its typical uses is:

[gān] = 乾 (dry), "乾杯", "乾淨", "乾燥", "乾脆".

[gàn] = 幹 (ancient weapon, body support), "樹幹", "軀幹", "主(支)幹".

[gān and hán] - A Chinese surname (rare).

Note 1: It seems, in mainland China, 幹 and 乾 have both been replaced by 干. You can no longer find "幹" in the Chinese dictionary in China now. And "乾" has reverted to one of its old uses that refer to "male" in 八卦 (such as 乾坤) with the pronunciation is [qián].

Note 2: In Taiwan, if you use 干 in place of 乾, it might be deemed as a misuse of words, but understandable.

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It means fuck.

Someone types the 干 (gan) but type the wrong character and others see it.

They think it interesting so they use 淦 too.

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