7

I was listening and they said stuff like 大作 and 小作。

My friend thinks it's an adjective and it can be used as so: 一个很作的女孩子。

9

“作”, when as a verb in this context, means "to make trouble".

“作”, when as an adjective in this context, means "loving to make ridiculous troubles (being likely to be a trouble-maker)".

“大作” means to make big troubles, usually causing bad consequences.

“小作” means to make small troubles, normally not really harmful.

"她是个很作的女孩” means she is a trouble-making ridiculous girl.(For example: She wants gifts every month and will be very angry if not; she gets upset ridiculously when you contact some other young girls, etc..)

By the way, with this meaning, officially, it should be pronounced as "zuò" even though most normal native speakers pronounce it as "zuō".

1

Are you sure, do you have context of what they said? How is 作 pronounced, as zuò or zuō?

大作(zuò) is most often used as a noun meaning "masterpiece"

0

作 I believe is a very Shanghai-ness saying, describing a personality which is a mixture of pretentiousness, snobbishness, and a self-centred awareness. Whereas 做作 describes the pretentious aspect of the character, on its own it has got subtle nuances that attract popular modern usage due to its room for visual imagination.

In modern everyday uses it can be used very negatively indeed, but most of the time like most other derogatory words have been thrown around casually.

A similar word in English can be "b****", in which the referred individual carries similar personality overtones though the imagery b**** is more aggressive.

-1

作 in this certain context means exaggeration as adj. And it is the abbr. of 做作

This word is the derogatory sense.

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