The line cane from the song "pride of mine". I understand that 他们说 mean they said and 他写歌词 mean he wrote the lyrics, but i dont understand the 找枪手.

3 Answers 3


他们说他写歌词找枪手 = they said he wrote his lyrics using a ghostwriter



枪手 is still mostly referring to '代人應試者 (substitute test taker)' nowadays but is often referring to substitute for any other task as well. In this case, it is a ghostwriter (代笔)

It is alright to hire people to do a job in your stead, but using 槍手 means you are taking credit for things you didn't do


枪手, or "gunman / gunslinger", comes from an allegory, (meaning a visible symbol representing an abstract idea), of the American "Wild West" where gunslingers, as legends go, went around the "young & wild" country in fast draw gunfights.

Sometimes these gunslingers were hired to fight someone else's enemies, i.e. as "hired guns" So, 枪手, means "hired guns" in the context of the sentence in question, hired to surreptitiously write songs for other people.

Do not confuse with the narrower meaning of the word 杀手 who is nothing but a hired assassin / killer; certainly not to write songs or take college exams.

  • I had the same idea about 枪手 = hired gun. But a hired gun is more close to a "hired help/ fighter" than a ghostwriter, See my edit history
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 26, 2021 at 3:09
  • I was actually taking the opportunity to explain, from my very general knowledge, the historical context of where the 枪 of 枪手 comes from. Actually the word "hired gun" has a much wider meaning than just a "hired killer", like a ruthless lawyer for example. And in these days of the Internet there are Bloggers who are hired to perform character assassinations, especially of politicians. That is why I said in my answer a distinction should be made between 枪手 & 杀手. Dec 26, 2021 at 3:44

枪手 (a hired gun) is a talented person, who is hired to perform a task of his strength to benefit the person who hired him. He will then collect monetary reward agreed by the two parties but the credit (reputation) of the good work.

The deal is usually illegal, such as "代考" - taking examine for the other, or an embarrassment to the hiring party if the deal is exposed, such as "代稿(筆)" - composing an article/book for a well-known writer; "代詞", which is the hired gun does in the OP's case, 他写歌词找枪手 - He found someone to compose the lyric for him (but release the song without name the hidden composer).

The most absurbed work the 枪手 has dealed with is "代哭(代孝子)" - a person or a group of persons hired to "cry-out-loud" in the burial ceremony of a deceased, pretending the loving off-springs :)

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