This might seem as an unserious question but i was really stunned the first time I had an argument with a Chinese guy in League of Legends and he said: "我艹你".

my first thought ofcourse was WTF!?! I grass you? what is he trying to tell me?

so my question is how does i grass you relate to i f*** you? :D

3 Answers 3


艹 -> 草 -> 操 -> 肏 all with pinyin "cao"

They're all Internet variants on the same word that proliferated through use of computer IMEs. 肏 (the proper character) didn't show up on some earlier IMEs, so 操 was chosen as an alternative for it. From there, 草 became used because it is often the first option that shows up on an IME when people are typing quickly (as is often the case especially in online gaming). From there, 艹 was chosen as a form of self-censorship that is somewhat common on Chinese Internet media.

There are other variants such as 卧槽.

  • so it is the sound cao that means f*** not the character grass? if so then why? how did the chinese come up with this cao for f***?
    – Nulle
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 4:42
  • I edited my post with a few more details regarding it.
    – user5808
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 4:44
  • 1
    艹 is just a "euphemistic" replacement.
    – imrek
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:00
  • 2
    You could always google "grass mud horse" for an instructive lesson.
    – user4452
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 22:27
  • 1
    卧槽 is a term in Chinese Chess, referring to the 2 special places where you put your Horse to checkmate the enemy's general, or referring to the move of putting your Horse at either of the 2 places. It is borrowed to mean "I Fuck" because the 2 characters sound very close to 我肏. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 22:58

@wuerling's answer is right.

There is another reason.

Consider similar situations in English:

shit --> shoot --> shucks --> sugar,

hell --> heck,

god --> gosh.

Minced oath substitutes or euphemistic expressions formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term reduce the original term's objectionable characteristics.

Extension of this phenomenon in Chinese:

肏 --> 操 --> 草 --> 艹 --> 擦(cā) --> 嚓.

So you can also see phrases like: 我擦,我擦嘞 online to express exclamation or amazement or shock or sometimes outrage.

This is also an attenuation of the pronunciation, less plosive.

Note that 擦 --> 嚓,changing 扌(hand 手) to 口(mouth)even attenuates the meaning from making a motion to just producing a sound.

For the purpose of academic discussion, 日, 干 (do) also mean f*** in this case.

Examples: 我日你。我干。


The explanations above are very reasonable, however, when getting to the meaning of 我艹你 it does not have the same meaning as "I f*** you." would have if you told anyone in English. It is more like "I am gonna f*** you up." Or a really strong form of 我讨厌你 (= I hate you. / You are so annoying.)

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