在大陸改革開放之前，共產黨一連串的革命、運動，讓整個中國社會充滿了動盪。最權威的《牛津英語詞典》(The Oxford English Dictionary) 也用了 20 個左右、源自中文的詞彙，或音譯或借譯，記錄了這一段動盪的歷史：
running dog [走狗] n. (chiefly in the phraseology of Communism and Socialism) a person who is subservient to a foreign power, esp. to one that threatens revolutionary interests; (later, in generalized use) a servile follower, a lackey.
Long March [長征] n. spec. the year-long retreat of the Chinese Communists across south-western China during the period of Nationalist government; also (not always with capital initials) in other contexts.
Maoism [毛澤東思想] n. The Marxist–Leninist theories of Mao Zedong, developed and formerly practised in communist China, having permanent revolution as a central principle, and emphasizing the importance of the peasantry, small-scale industry, and agricultural collectivization.
Sanfan [三反] n. Used attrib. to designate an official campaign conducted in China in 1951–2 against corruption, waste, and bureaucratism in State affairs.
Wufan [五反] n. Used attrib. to designate an official campaign launched in China in 1952 against bribery, tax evasion, theft of state property, skimping on work and cheating on materials, and theft of state economic information.
thought reform [思想改造] n. a process of individual political indoctrination used in communist China; (also in extended use) changing the way a person thinks.
ganbu [幹部] n. In the People's Republic of China, an office-holder in an (esp. Party or military) organization; a cadre.
the Hundred Flowers [百花齊放] phr. name given to a period of approximately six weeks in the summer of 1957 when certain elements of the Chinese population were invited to criticize the political system then obtaining in Communist China.
(both) red and expert [又紅又專]: phr. (in China) designating a loyal communist who possesses professional or technical expertise.
reform through labour [勞動改造]: n. the use of intensive programmes of physical labour as a means of reforming criminals; the system of forced labour resulting from this; esp. (in China) the theory or policy whereby criminals and dissidents are made to work as part of a programme of political re-education. Freq. attrib. (usu. hyphenated), as reform through labour camp, reform through labour farm, etc.
Great Leap Forward [大躍進] n. an attempt begun in 1958 by which the leadership of the People's Republic of China sought to stimulate industrial and other forms of production by the use of advanced techniques, and thereby transform China rapidly into a modern socialist state; also ellipt. as Great Leap, and transf.
walking on / with two legs [兩條腿走路] n. (in modern China) the complementary use of resources that might otherwise be in opposition, i.e. industry and agriculture, heavy and light industry, centralized and local industry, coastal and interior-based industry, Han and minority nationalities, Party and non-Party members, etc. The policy of 'walking on two legs' was introduced by the government of Mao Zedong as part of 'The Great Leap Forward' of 1958.
ta tzu-pao / dazibao [大字報] n. In the People's Republic of China, a wall poster written in large characters that expresses a (political) opinion or other message. The posting of ta tzu-pao is no longer encouraged in China.
cultural revolution [文化大革命] n. a sudden change in the culture of a people or society; spec. (usu. with capital initials) an extreme reform movement in communist China, begun in 1966, which sought to combat revisionism by the restoration of pure Maoist doctrine.
Little Red Book [紅寶書] n. the name by which the book Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong (published in English in 1966) is colloquially known; also in extended and allusive use.
Red Guard [紅衛兵] n. In China: (a) a name given to any of the armed units of rural people in China during the Second Revolutionary Civil War (1927–37); (b) a militant youth movement in the People's Republic of China which carried out attacks on intellectuals and other disfavoured groups as part of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (1966–76); (c) a member of either of these groups.
struggle meeting [批鬥會] n. in Communist China: a meeting at which those who have aroused official or public disfavour are criticized or denounced.
capitalist roader [走資派] n. esp. during the Cultural Revolution in China, a term for Party officials, e.g. the secretary of a provincial Party committee or the chairman of a people's commune, who were alleged to have capitalist tendencies. Used of people of various views who are out of favour with the Chinese leadership.
State Council [國務院] n. the highest administrative and executive body of the People's Republic of China.
Gang of Four [四人幫] n. a nickname for four leading members of the Cultural Revolutionary Left accused after the death of Mao Tse-tung of counter-revolutionary conspiracy and Marxist revisionism, and discredited in October 1976 by the Communist Party Central Committee of the People’s Republic of China.