‘This is so skrrrrr’–creative translanguaging by Chinese micro-blogging users

Yi Zhang, Wei Ren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the use of a popular online expression ‘skr’ by Chinese micro-blogging users on Weibo. Used originally as a hip-hop term for the sound of cars drifting tires, ‘skr’ was exploited by Chinese micro-blogging users for other meanings and functions. Data were collected from Weibo users’ postings over a month. Using the Search function, we examined micro-blogs with ‘skr’ embedded in the text of the Weibo postings. A total of 1,861 instances of ‘skr’ were collected. Based on linguistic and communicative functions, the analysis identified eight types of literacy practices of ‘skr’. In the decreasing order of frequency, these eight types include phonetic substitution of Chinese, affective exclamation, adjective as appreciation, hip-hop element, intensification device, searchable hashtag, metonymy, and onomatopoeia. The results of the present study suggest that the relocalisation of ‘skr’ demonstrates Chinese online users’ creative and discursive literacy practices, and how the meaning and functions of an American hip-hop oriented term may shift when the expression enters a different lingua-culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022


  • Skr
  • digital communication
  • micro-blogging
  • translanguaging

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