Origin: China, Weibo 微博
Meaning: person who has suddenly become very rich
I’ve heard this word thousands times. Back in 2013 my Chinese friends overused this word.
The first meaning you find on the dictionary is: “local tyrant”. In fact this word was used in the past (since the Song Dynasty) to address to people whose wealth came from the land properties, until 1947 when the Land Reform changed everything. It is a word composed by the character 土 tǔ, which means land, and 豪 háo, meaning a person who has lot of power and endowments.
Since 2013 it started to become really popular on Chinese SNS and people started to use it in colloquial language too. Everybody uses it to describe a person who has (suddenly) become rich and who has terrible taste, showy and vulgar, or even when somebody has got more money than sense. It is usually referred to people who dresses poorly and shows off their wealth. It has a negative connotation, but it can be used ironically too. For example, it is common to use it between friends to make fun of some of them, especially when they want to offer dinner/lunch, or show off a little bit more than the others or even buy something really expensive or showy.
The interesting think is that it can refer to objects too. I’ve heard many Chinese using it to describe showy, bling and kitsch objects.
Need to know: You can find it on Oxford Dictionary too 😉
In Use: “与土豪做朋友” ( to make friends with a “tuhao”) “为土豪写诗” ( to write a poem for a “tuhao”). I’ve choose these two sentences because it seems like it started to become fashionable after someone wrote them!
Interesting things: check this China Daily article…! http://language.chinadaily.com.cn/news/2013-11/21/content_17120416.htm