Is there a Chinese equivalent of "damn it"? Most people use it when they are frustrated. Reverso gives:


But it sounds wrong for this context.



6 Answers 6


These days a single 草 (lightened pronunciation of the taboo 操) suffices, perfectly, as a non-offensive variant of its origin.

For example:

Oh, damn it! → 哦,草

There's a reason the emoji 🌿 prevails in Chinese online communities, like this Telegram sticker:

  • Isn't 草 closer to fxxk?
    – dan
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:47
  • @dan As I said, the meaning of "to f**k" (taboo) originated from 操 which still keeps it. On the other hand, 草 has since evolved into a more general, non-offensive interjection. While it's still possible to use 草 for that meaning, it's rarely seen nowadays.
    – iBug
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 13:50
  • @iBug Precisely, the original word should be 肏, while the 槽 in 卧槽,操 and 草(艹)are all indirect substitutions. Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 8:51
  • maybe 草 is closer to Darn it! as they both avoid actually saying the word while express the feeling nevertheless.
    – Li Wang
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 9:16

Google translate gives:


Which is quite close and sounds close to the actual meaning. Collins dictionary gives:

该(該)死! (Gāisǐ!)


My dictionary interprets it as 该死(的);可恶(的).


I would translate "damn it!" to "见鬼!". "见鬼" is a mildly vulgar expression, in which "见" is "see" and "鬼" is "ghost".

  • Yes, if you really did 见鬼, it is very unlikely you would exclaim 草!!!, you would probably scream 唵嘛呢叭咪吽!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 2:59

Local Chinese here, living in Foshan, Guangdong.

Popularized across Chinese social medias like Douyin 抖音, WeChat 微信 and QQ, the forms of "Damn It!" I have seen are:

  • 妈的!
  • 奶奶的!
  • 卧槽!
  • 槽!

There are many uses to these words, most of them being vulgar but widely used in community (Don't use these words in formal occasions)

Usually we only use 妈的 and 奶奶的 when angry, and 卧槽 and 槽 can not only be used to express anger but also express emotions of surprise, happiness, anything else really, it really depends on the tone and punctuation used. e.g:

  • 卧槽? Questioning, Curious
  • 卧槽!? Surprised
  • 卧槽... Shocked

槽, or other forms of it (操,草,艹, same pronounciations) can be used as 卧槽

In Guangdong the Cantonese sounds like 丢 but third tone.


Actually, it does translate into 该死. But nobody says that, people only say 妈的 or 草 which means f**k or sh!t.

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