Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Keep tidy.svg

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.

Basically just a literal translation of the world's oldest profession. As Chinese has no direct equivalent idiom, this is arguably just a SoP entry. Tooironic 08:31, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Seems like an RFV issue to me. If it does exist, it seems (to me) to be idiomatic. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:34, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
But it doesn't - or, at least, not beyond a literal translation of the original English. In Chinese it is just a sentence. We don't have entries for a mouth as sharp as a knife and heart as soft as tofu (刀子嘴豆腐心) or dogs can't help from eating their own shit (狗改不了吃屎). Tooironic 09:52, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not that I don't believe you, it's that no administrator wants to delete something on the basis of one person's input. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:01, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Keep. It has 800 thousand google hits, so obviously someone out there uses it. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:12, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Delete. Well, here is my input. I agree with Tooironic's observation. I've also had a cursory look at the first 2 pages of google hits, none of which used this term to idiomatically / euphemistically refer to prostitution. Most of them are associated with the question 'WHAT is the oldest profession in the world', answers of which vary from doctors/policemen to, of course, prostitutes. There are also several 'humorous' references to the Bible - engineers being the oldest profession as creating the universe must've been a huge construction project.
This does not, however, prevent this term to be seen as a protologism. The fact that it now exists in wiki could lead to its idiomatic use in the future. Jamesjiao 20:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
To respond to Opiaterein's point that it has "800 thousand google hits", there are also 46,500 hits for "Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all time" (27 mil without quotations) and 27,000 hits for "Chinese is the most spoken language in the world" (887,000 without quotations). This does not good criteria for a wiktionary entry make. Of course you might argue that 800,000 is a significant number - but as Jamesjiao points out none of them seem to be using it idiomatically/euphemistically the way we do in English. Tooironic 00:56, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Also the should be a dead giveaway. Anyone who speaks Chinese knows that , when used in its possessive/attributive form, is almost never used in dictionary words (read: very, very rarely). Tooironic 01:09, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Deletehippietrail 04:13, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • When I went through creating these entries, I made sure to get at least one native speaker to verify the entry, that it was used in that language. The person I talked to said it was. If it isn't, delete it. I coupled the native speaker's input with the google result to mean it was valid. I didn't know I was being lied to. Mike Halterman 09:40, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
This is a perfectly natural phrase in Mandarin. There is no doubt about it. I can't speak for your friend, but not everyone has the same capacity for linguistics as the people who contribute to this website. He or she might not have been able to analyse a phrase for its properties in the same fashion as some of us, native speaker or not. I mean no offence, it's all by experience. Jamesjiao 12:22, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
(replying to Tooironic's comment about "dogs can't help from eating their own shit" here) Tooironic, I don't know if you realise it or not but that is an invalid comparison. Here's why: this translation for world's oldest profession gets many Google and so may or may not be valid. However, Google "dogs can't help from eating their own shit" (with quotes in order to filter out invalid hits) and the only results you'll see are a scant few Wiktionary pages. That is to say, "dogs can't help from eating their own shit" is not an expression used in English, it is simply the literal translation of a Chinese expression. 50 Xylophone Players talk 21:07, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
  • delete The original contributor probably simply plugged the English phrase into something like Google translator. To be sure, there are plenty of valid Google hits for the phrase as a whole, meaning that the phrase shouldn't have a problem meeting the requirement for attestation. The second requirement is that the phrase should be idiomatic. This is not as clear cut for the Chinese version of the phrase. The reason that it is not clear cut is that it has become more fashionable within recent years to import Western idioms into Chinese. One example of this would be 压倒骆驼的最后一根草straw that broke the camel's back). The Chinese translation for world's oldest profession does not seem to be such a case (yet :). While I did come across some Chinese internet posts that explained how prostitution is the world's oldest profession (matching the English inference), there were plenty of other instances where doctor, shaman, murderer and other professions were mentioned.[1] What that suggests to me is that prostitution is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind to a native speaker when hearing this phrase. In fact, I couldn't find any solid evidence that anything in particular comes to mind, when a native Chinese speaker hears this phrase. -- A-cai 21:46, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Deleted. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:21, 12 February 2010 (UTC)