The Cantonese slang term for "gas mask"

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In case you were wondering, it's "zyu1 zeoi2 豬嘴" (lit. "pig snout").  You can see pictures of them here and here.

Since the police have fired thousands of canisters of tear gas at the protesters, "zyu1 zeoi2 豬嘴" ("pig snout [gas masks]") — not to mention yellow helmets to protect your skull from being cracked by the police and hired thugs — have become almost essential items of apparel if you wish to venture on the streets these days.

The yellow helmets evoke the imagery of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, also called Umbrella Revolution, which was marked by seas of yellow umbrellas held by protesters five years ago.

Here are famous images of PRC emperor Xi Jinping (still a mere president at that time) being made to pose with a yellow umbrella in various dorky, embarrassing settings.  Yellow was also the color of countless ribbons and banners, which inspired numerous memes, during the 2014 resistance movement.

The umbrellas of 2014 have morphed into the helmets and gas masks of 2019, symbolizing the escalation of the resistance of the people of Hong Kong to the revocation of their treaty-granted rights and the intensified ferocity of the Chinese Communist Party to suppress them.



"The umbrella in Hong Kong" (10/19/14)

"Translating the Umbrella Revolution" (10/3/14)

"The backstory to seven of the most popular protest slogans in Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement" (10/23/14)

[Thanks to Bob Bauer]


  1. austimatt said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 7:13 am

    Thanks Victor. How does this compare to more formal Cantonese or standard MSM expressions for gas mask?

  2. Victor Mair said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 10:02 am


    It's "fángdú miànjù 防毒面具".

  3. austimatt said,

    September 8, 2019 @ 5:55 am

    Thanks Victor!

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