I realize that the English word "creepy" is a slang with many different meanings. I'm referring to the way someone might describe unwanted sexual advances. For example,

  • That guy over there staring at me is kinda creepy.

I'm not trying to shame anyone, I simply teach a social swing dance class (in Chinese), and I'm trying to show what moves to avoid so as not to "creep out" your partner. This goes for both men and women. For example:

  • Don't slide your hand all over your partner's arm, it feels a little creepy.
  • When you spin a girl, make sure to let go at the right time and don't drag your hand around around her waist because it's creepy.

I've asked around, but all I got was "猥琐" and "恶心", which sound so serious to me. The English word is a little more euphemistic. Is there a more lighthearted way to say "creepy" in Chinese?

  • +1 for 猥琐. For the frightened kind of creepy you can also go with 毛骨悚然 [毛骨竦然]...
    – Mou某
    Mar 23, 2015 at 10:38

6 Answers 6


In your context, you may want to say the move 令人不舒服 or 令人不自在 (makes people feel uncomfortable).


"猥琐" and "恶心" maybe are not so serious than you first look. many girls and boys say these two words in an innocuous manner.


Personally i think '诡异' is the best translation. You can describe somebody or something is 诡异 refers to kind of wierd. It is not a serious word even little bit funny in daily conversations. Hope that helps.

  • '诡异' sounds more like "eerie" than "creepy".
    – monalisa
    Mar 23, 2015 at 17:19

it feels a little creepy.

有点儿尴尬, 有点儿不自在, 有点儿冒犯人家, 有点儿过了.

You can add 可能会 to be even lighter.

可能会有点儿尴尬, 可能会有点儿不自在, 可能会有点儿冒犯人家, 可能会有点儿过了.


My Chinese friend [born and raised in Shandong Province, just FYI] and I have discussed this sense of the word "creepy", and she says 毛骨悚然的 (máogǔsǒngrán de) is more formal/written. She suggests 瘆得慌 (shèn de huang <-- that's 4th tone followed by two 5th/light tones) or 瘆人 (shènrén) for a more conversational/spoken translation.


adj. creepy: Meaning "having a creeping feeling in the flesh". Would you really dance with such a one?

The words 流氓 and 色狼 spring to mind, but may be too harsh for your situation. I think the Chinese would not behave improperly.

  • That's not what creepy means. Mar 24, 2015 at 2:50
  • etymonline.com/…
    – Pedroski
    Mar 24, 2015 at 3:14
  • Your right. But that dictionary is for recording history and the origin or words, not modern meanings. Mar 24, 2015 at 3:22
  • I think you'll find it is easier to understand words that way. I often try to look at the etmyology of Chinese words too. It also mentions the modern meaning if you look. I don't have access to the OED from here.
    – Pedroski
    Mar 24, 2015 at 3:46
  • 1
    @Pedroski That's what's known as an etymological fallacy. Knowing the etymology of a word may help you to remember why it means what it means, but it does not explain what it means. Hussy comes from housewife but means something quite different; lord is from loaf-ward but has nothing whatsoever to do with bread. When you say “That guy's a bit creepy”, you're not talking about a creepy sensation under the skin. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:35

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