EACH MONTH, WE’LL TAKE YOU TO THE MORE INTERESTING SIDE OF LANGUAGE, ALL IN AN EFFORT TO UNPACK WHAT IS ALL THIS
Jumping on the Bandwagon
As a variety of sporting seasons now enter the playoffs, you may suddenly see a multitude of your colleagues, acquaintances, and even friends and family becoming passionate about a locally successful team.
No, the people around you don’t suddenly like sports. Actually, they are just attracted to the excitement of others around them, which is called the bandwagon effect. The new fans probably never previously liked the team, but now they seem to be super-fans. Authentic followers may even often secretly hope their team will lose to quickly shed the new crowds.
Of course, this doesn’t only apply to sports. The origin of the phrase comes from a presidential candidate’s—William Jennings Bryan in 1900s United States—attempts to win wide public appeal by getting people excited with many speeches. It worked for a while, but ultimately didn’t win him the election.
Now you try!
Use this phrase any time describing a person(s) who do something simply to follow a trend.
“Donald Trump said that Korean tea is delicious and now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon saying it’s so good.”
“After Jordan retired, all the annoying bandwagoners stopped paying attention to the NBA.”
“Now that Steve Jobs is gone, I’d guess people will stop jumping on the Apple bandwagon.”
Say it in Chinese!
跟屁虫 [gēn pì chóng]
It’s a metaphorical expression to describe someone who always follows others out of showing flattery, but a lacks independence.
随波逐流 [suí bō zhú liú]
“Swim (sail) with the stream”
Follow the winds and waves, go with the crowd. It’s used to describe someone who has no own opinion or identity of their own and lacks the ability to tell right or wrong, only following the majority.