Oolong tea goes in the cup, that much is clear. But an “oolong ball”? It goes into the goal, of course, but unfortunately into the wrong goal! ” Oolong ball” 乌龙球 wūlóngqiú or “oolong goal” is the common Chinese term for “own goal”. Be it the land of tea drinkers or not, what in the heavens do fermented tea leaves have to do with ball sports? Well, China has the creativity of its Hong Kong football fans to thank for that. The English term “own goal” reminded them of the Chinese word “wūlóng”. And since in the Hong Kong-Guangdong region the regional expression 摆乌龙 bǎi wūlóng translates into “to mess something up” (literally “to wave an oolong”), ball sports enthusiasts quickly combined the two and christened the own goal “oolong goal”.
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