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I came across these two words recently.

Literally they mean sand sculpture and sand sculpture image.

They are now internet slang for unrelated concepts seemingly.

My understanding is that they are used to refer to some kind of meme, but I'm not quite sure what kind.

Memes where someone is doing something silly or foolish.

The word may have been chosen as the pronunciation is similar to 傻屌 so there may be some connection there.

Can anyone provide more detail into these two internet slang terms ?

  • 傻屌 = "stupid prick" – Wayne Cheah Apr 18 at 3:43
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In addition to meanings explained by other answers, 傻屌 are much more offensive and vulgar than沙雕.

沙雕 is generally used humourously to describe weird or stupid but funny behaviours or lame jokes, as with a lot of memes. It is still vulgar but I would not call it offensive (unless it is directed to a person as an insult and used to avoid censorship of 傻屌). You will see mainstream websites use 沙雕 (e.g. 沙雕网友) liberally (not in serious news, though).

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Wiktionary:

2.(neologism, Internet slang, humorous or offensive) Alternative form of 傻屌 (shǎdiǎo, “idiot; dickhead”).

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  • 傻 means stupid; 屌 is a slang version of penis, like “cock”.
  • 傻屌 shǎdiǎo (informal, slang)
    • adj. silly, foolish (usually in a joking way)
    • n. stupid person (usually in a joking way)
  • 傻屌图 shǎdiǎotú (informal, slang)
    • n. Image macro or other memes containing stupid person/activities (usually in a joking way)
  • 沙雕 shādiāo
    • n. (in formal paper dictionary) sand sculpture
    • n. adj. alternative form of 傻屌
      • Originally, the character 屌 appeared in the last of sequence on Pinyin input method. Then people use 沙雕 (at that time it was at the first of the sequence) to type 傻屌.
      • Internet censorship requires avoidance of swear words, which may also be a reason why people do not use the original spelling.

Further Reading: Jikipedia, Moegirlpedia

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