Reader and Protagonist

Chapter 90.3 – Reddit is confused by Chinese idiom

Chapter 90.1 <— click on the link to read it. Thanks to renimon20 for the donation.

Reddit is so confused

[IMAGE] These stairs count the calories that you burn instead of riding the escalator from GetMotivated

You can that the stairs in the picture have Chinese characters and their English translations on it.  What does the “add oil” in there mean? Reddit users speculated that it might mean “elbow grease” or “pour it on” or even “pump up the jam.”

A Chinese-speaking user explained it this way:

“Add oil” is a literal translation of a Chinese expression (you can see the Chinese written next to it). It means “keep going” or “hang in there”. (source)

And another explanation:

加油!Literally means add oil, but it really means for someone to gas up, or refill their energy. In other words, keep going! (source)

It seems to be a common phrase at sports events, according to this:

oh I always thought it was a figure of speech (to add oil to the fire). At world weightlifting championship i’d always hear the chinese team chant for their athletes with “(insert name here) jiayou!” (source)

Other users also weighed in about similar expression in their language:

In Swedish we have a similar saying which is literally translated to something like “put on another coal.” but it’s slightly different in that it means “go faster”. I assume it comes from when trains ran on coal. (source)

🙂 Thanks for reading.

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