1

做媒 (jyutping) zou6 mui4; (pinyin) zuo4 mei2 literally means "be a matchmaker"

However, there is a Cantonese slang 做媒 /zou6 mui42/ that means:

  • be a salesperson's decoy

  • a partner of a street peddler or shopkeeper who pretends to be a customer and lures people into buying

  • use an apparent stranger to perform a scam

  • [literal] to play the middle person (媒 as in 媒人/ 媒介)

A scammer's accomplice would be 同黨

My question is: What is the term in Mandarin for "a partner of a street peddler or shopkeeper who pretends to be a customer and lures people into buying"?

Example:

A restaurant's business is bad, so the owner's family and friends pretend to be customers to make the place look good to passersby. These people are all "媒" /mui42/. What they are doing is "做媒" /zou6 mui42/

My guess is 充場客, but it sounds like Cantonese too

3

Maybe, 托儿(read as 托r, not the one in 托儿所) is the one you are looking for? It's someone who helps lure customers into buying.

This use of 托 is relevant to the sense of 烘托 and 衬托(serve as a foil). E.g. 我衬托你 means I serve as a foil to you. So, 托儿 serves as a foil to 商家 in this case to promote products by pretending to be a real customer and etc.

3
  • Never heard of this term. Looking at how WiKi describes it, I think 托儿 is indeed 媒 in Cantonese / From Wiki: 粵語、四川話謂之“媒”
    – Tang Ho
    Sep 27 at 7:46
  • The funny thing is 托儿所 literal mean nursery or child daycare center
    – Tang Ho
    Sep 27 at 7:54
  • @TangHo 儿 here is 儿化音, not like 儿 in 儿童 or 托儿所. There are also terms in the specific areas like 医托, 酒托, 饭托, etc.
    – dan
    Sep 27 at 22:27
0

I would say "冒牌"- fake brand, is closer to 做媒 in Cantonese, except while it means the "matchmaker".

他是冒牌的 and 他是冒牌貨 both mean "he is a fake...." for the purpose of enticing sales, or carrying out a scam by faking his identity.

Unless the meaning has been expanded, in Mandrin, 托儿 means putting a child under someone/someplace (other than oneself/one's place) for care, such as 托儿所 and 托儿院.

8
  • 托(entrust )儿(child) is not the same as 托(serve as a foil )儿(piece/person), Check Wiki for托儿
    – Tang Ho
    Sep 27 at 21:06
  • Interesting article, but I, at least challenge one mistake in it - in Taiwan, it is called 冒牌 not "sakura" as it suggested, By definition, sakura is a cherry blossom is a flower of many trees of genus Prunus or Prunus subg. Cerasus. They are also known as Japanese cherry and Sakura. They generally refer to ornamental cherry trees, not to be confused with ch.... I've never learned that 托儿 = 冒牌, no matter how you read and write - it is not a standard if ever-present. By the way, I was born and came from Taiwan.
    – r13
    Sep 27 at 21:20
  • @TangHo See fanyi.baidu.com/#zh/en/%E6%89%98%E5%84%BF for the definition and uses of 托儿. Maybe Bidu made mistake too! :)
    – r13
    Sep 27 at 21:28
  • @TangHo Another one, from 大辭海 - dacihai.com.cn/…
    – r13
    Sep 27 at 21:37
  • Just because 托儿 means everything you refer to, it doesn't mean it can't mean anything else in another context. Maybe it is a mainland term (specifically in Beijing dialect) that Taiwanese do not use. I myself, as a Cantonese native speaker, have never heard of this term with this usage before
    – Tang Ho
    Sep 27 at 22:37

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