My boss is Chinese and calls a coworker and I this 活宝 . The automated translation services tend to say Living Treasure Two Big Live Treasures or Living Baby. She swears there is more to the definition than that and has other implied, positive meanings. I would love to have a better translation if possible?

5 Answers 5




Wu dialect means ridiculous person or funny person

It can be a derogatory term if you use it to describe a ridiculous person. It can also be an endearment term if you use it to describe a fun person or funny person.

I would translate 活宝 as:

  • "fun one" or "funny one" (endearment)

  • "buffoon" or "clown" (derogatory)


Your dog that always does stupid thing and make everyone laugh, is a fun one (活宝)

A stupid old man told people to drink cleaning product to cure flu and make people laughing at him, is a clown (活宝 sarcastic)



buffoon / clown / ridiculous person

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    "...other implied, positive meanings...." So, how about "cute" as used in the modern-day sense? Apr 29, 2020 at 5:04

I would say in English it is probably equal to "Someone who likes to goof around".


There is no negative meaning in this condition, it means you can always make atmosphere good or happy. In the Chinese version of HarryPotter novel. "活宝" is used to describe fred and george.


活着的宝贝,傻乎乎的人. A alive baby, a little funny

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