The picture here shows the evaluation instruction given to English-speaking native judges of the famous annually held "FLTRP" (外研社)Cup English Speaking Cup of Chinese college students。

"PK" looks like English, but its origin is in China, something like "AA", which can be understood without any distortion by Chinese people, but makes no sense to English speakers, who only know "go dutch" or "split bills".

What is the real meaning of PK? enter image description here

  • pk = vs. - usage is the same
    – Mou某
    Nov 5, 2017 at 13:28
  • alternative suggestion for "persist in" : adhere to ( originating from Chinese "V+N") using ichacha, 坚持+NP: 坚持原则 adhere to principles; English "persist in using, consistently use" may be possible
    – user6065
    Nov 5, 2017 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


PK: "Player Kill";

See the definition in urban dictionary.

PK Pronounced "Pee-kay"

Originally meaning "Player Killing," the term PK is now also colloquially used in China and Taiwan as a verb form of the word versus in situations where there may actually be no avatar/player killing. It is most used in 1v1 situations like 1v1 basketball, 1v1 starcraft, 1v1 league of legends, 1v1 chess, 1v1 eating contests, 1v1 footrace etc. PK can also be applied to situations where one team is against another in a 1 team vs 1 team scenario like in the NBA, soccer, baseball, etc.


What is the real meaning of PK?

Yes, PK is a kind of Chinglish (Chinese English).


  1. 对决,对抗;
  2. 击败,淘汰;
  3. 泛指两件对等事物的比较,对比。

(PK's common meanings include: 1. confrontation/battle; 2. knock out; 3. comparison).

这个词较初起源于MUD游戏中的Player Killer(PKer,指游戏中专门杀害其他玩家的人),后衍生出Player Killing(指随便杀人之意),引申为“玩家对战”。

(The word stemmed from "Player Killer" in MUD, then derived as "Player Killing", extended in meaning of battle between Players (Player VS Player).)

还有一种说法称,PK起源于足球里的罚点球,即Penalty Kick的缩写,引意为一对一单挑,只有一方能赢。但这一起源的认可度不及网络游戏起源说。

(Another version is that PK stemmed from "Penalty Kick" in soccer game, extended to meaning of one-on-one challenge.)

  • very nice. HOw about "AA"? This one shall be Chinese, right? Nov 7, 2017 at 2:10
  • @NanningYouth Yes, AA is Chinglish too. What's its origin seems not certain, including "Algebraic Average", "All Apart", "Acting Appointment". BTW I believe it's created by HongKang people.
    – user4072
    Nov 7, 2017 at 2:41

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