‘Add oil’ makes it to the OED (1)

Just a note that while the article on ‘jiayou’ being added to the OED states “jiayou” is believed to have originated as a cheer at the Macau Grand Prix during the 1960s, readers of early 1950s PRC-reportage will be familiar with the use of the phrase in stories centred on mutual encouragement of comrades, particularly related to campaigns to overcome nature/environmental hardships when opening up ‘virgin land’ or bringing film to the countryside.

I’ve often wondered if the phrase was a reflection of a vernacular term being taken up in CCP reportage, or if the term emerged to reflect particular modes of socialist modernization premised on incorporation of industrialization/machinery/oil & electricity into everyday life.

Tina Chen <Tina.Chen@umanitoba.ca>

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