A mysterious Chinese character is being shared millions of times online – despite the fact nobody quite knows what it means.
It adds the word appears to be an example of onomatopoeia, a word which phonetically imitates a sound.
Boasting a popularity akin to the pointless yet fiercely viral debate about the white-gold/ blue-black dress, duang has reportedly been looked up almost 600,000 times on China’s biggest online search engine Baidu and has created a hashtag sparking 312,000 discussions among 15,000 users.
The Straits Times writes that some claim the word is a combination of actor Jackie Chan’s Chinese name “cheng” and the word “long” and was inspired by an appearance by the star in a shampoo advert in 2004.
Sporting a head of luxuriant tresses, Chan is quoted as saying: “Initially I didn’t want to shoot this advertisement… after filming, visual effects are added, the hair – duang! Becomes black and shiny.”
A decade on, Chan hasn't clarified the matter but he's run with it, announcing on twitter: “So ‘duang’ today!”
So "duang" today!March 3, 2015
The Nanfang writes: "A video was made that repurposed Chan’s words in the commercial to mean things he never said, all while emphasizing Chan’s use of “duang” to signify a sound effect used to present something in a positive light. It’s similar to the “sproing” sound a cartoon character makes from appearing so suddenly that he is still reverberating in place like a spring."
Still confused? Us too.
Will “duang”, like Kim Kardashian’s oil-slicked buttocks “break the internet” as some are predicting, or is it simply a case of what Foreign Policy magazine has termed “collective winter boredom”?