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Jiayou is a Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 figure of speech
Figure of speech
A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile,...

 or idiom
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

, meaning "be stronger!"

jiā means "to add", and yóu means oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 or fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

. Therefore jiayou literally means "add oil" or "add fuel", as in refuelling a motor vehicle; by anology jiayou is used to encourage someone to put more effort into a certain task.

Jiayou is often used during sporting events, games, and competitions. It has its origins in competitive Wushu
Wushu (sport)
The sport of wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was created in the People's Republic of China after 1949, in an attempt to nationalize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts...

, in which spectators often chant for their favorite player. For example, "He Jing De, Jiayou! He Jing De, Jiayou!" When people say "Zhōngguó
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, jiāyóu" (most notably during the 2008 Beijing Olympics) it can be loosely translated as "Go, China, Go!" or "Root for China!"

Jiayou can be used in non-competitive contexts as well; for example, "Sìchuān
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 jiāyóu!" is used to encourage victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
2008 Sichuan earthquake
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 Msand 7.9 Mw occurred at 14:28:01 CST...