Green Hats

Mr. Lee wears a green hat. Do not wear a green hat in China.
Don’t wear a green hat in China, or in the case of Larry, put a green hat on another man’s head. “Wearing a green hat” (戴绿帽子 or dài lǜ mào zǐ) is an expression used in China when a woman is cheating on her husband or boyfriend. This expression is said to date back to the Yuan Dynasty; when the relatives of prostitutes were forced to wear green hats or the husband of a brothel madam was required by law to wear a green or that male brothel workers in the Tang Dynasty wore green hats, or the story of a hard-working, country man who went to work one day wearing the green hat of his cheating wife’s lover; to the amusement of his coworkers. Whatever the history, when you’re in China and your girlfriend or wife gives you a green hat; now you know, and knowing is half the battle. The other half is learning Chinese, which can help you to do.

Leave a Reply