Magical Penis Wine

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Victor Steinbok reports:

This made the rounds on Reddit a few times. The screenshot of a 2019 Reddit thread popped up on my FB feed today. It might even come in white and red 😈

Source:  NV Debao Winery Magical Penis Wine

This is not a Chinglish label.  The three large English words at the top of the label are what the three Chinese characters actually say:

shén biān jiǔ


The first character means "divine; magic(al); spiritual; numinous".

The second character means "whip" or "penis of an animal; pizzle" — in this case it means "penis".

The third character means "alcohol, liquor; brew; wine".

There's also a:

sān biān jiǔ


(traditional Chinese medicine) “three penis liquor”, a brown-yellow alcoholic beverage made from three kinds of animal penis and used in traditional Chinese medicine to “enhance health”


So far as I know, the most popular shén biān jiǔ 神鞭酒 ("divinely [efficacious] penis wine) is:

géjiè shén biān jiǔ


"divinely [efficacious] gecko penis wine"

For an encyclopedia article (in Chinese) on this product, see here.

Shén biān jiǔ 神鞭酒 ("divinely [efficacious] penis wine) is listed in the most renowned traditional Chinese pharmacopeias.

On the problematic nature of the translation of the graph jiǔ 酒 as "wine", see the last three items in the "Selected readings".

Selected readings   


  1. Vanya said,

    September 23, 2021 @ 2:07 pm

    I remember “Three penis wine” as a running joke on the TV show “The League”. Didn’t realize it was an actual thing.

  2. Anonymous said,

    September 24, 2021 @ 7:09 am

    It appears that in Japanese 三鞭酒 was formerly used as ateji for the word "champagne" (シャンパン "shanpan" and other phonetic variations), and dictionaries still list this, although like a lot of ateji its usage is nowadays rare.

    This site lists some quotes from famous writers, mostly from the first half of the 20th century that use this spelling:

    The Japanese Wikipedia article on champagne claims this ateji derives from "Hong Kong and Shanghai" but gives no source for this. It also gives another ateji 三変酒, which from a Google search seems very rare but is found (as 三變酒 glossed シャンペイン "shanpein") in the source given, Nakamura Masanao's 1871 translation of Samuel Smiles' Self-Help (which uses the imaginative title 西國立志編, roughly "western countries establishing intention/will compilation" while the modern rendition is a more literal 自助論 "self help essay/discourse").

    The Mandarin word for champagne is 香檳酒 xiāngbīnjiǔ which sacrifices phonetic similarity for a semantic hint, 香 meaning "fragrant" and 檳 from the polysyllabic word 檳榔 "betel" which Dr. Mair has written about previously: In the Mandarin word the character 酒 "alcohol" is read with its usual value, while in the Japanese word it is silent (perhaps it could be called a determinative).

  3. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    September 24, 2021 @ 7:48 am

    If I'd been Mao, I'd've made the right half of "蚧" the simplified character for penis. Why doesn't anybody consult me about these things?

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