A friend sent me a screenshot of her message history in Cantonese, and she was describing a couple and saying how they're like 'primary chicken' or 'secondary chicken', I think in a negative light. Anyone knows what this means? I have tried the Cantonese slang dictionary with no success obviously...


2 Answers 2


It's "primary school chicken" (小學雞), not "primary chicken". The term refers to someone who's as childish or as immature as primary school pupils. It has the derivative "secondary school chicken", which means someone who behaves only slightly more maturely than primary school students.

  • Thank you for your answer! Do you know why the word 'Chicken' is used? From what I understand, 'chicken' is slang for 'prostitute'
    – dayuloli
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 3:07
  • 2
    @dayuloli 雞 is used in several Cantonese slang phrases and it doesn't necessarily have the connotation of "prostitute". E.g. 雞腸 means English, 雞婆 (also used in Mandarin) means a nosy person, 雞咁腳 means "in haste", 好雞 means "very poor (at doing something)", "very weak" or "incompetent", 咪走雞 means "don't miss the chance", etc.. EVCHK claims that the term 小學雞 was used because when you look down on the school ground, the pupils are just like a flock of chickens. I'm not sure if this explanation is correct, however. (I don't buy it.)
    – user4086
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 4:31
  • Thanks for the explanation and the link! Whether the explanation is correct, the EVCHK website will be useful for me anyways!
    – dayuloli
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 5:20

小學雞 literally translates to primary school (小學) chicken (雞) It depends on the context. Formally, it generally means a person who isn't sophisticated or of a low level. Informally, if someone says it to you, they are saying that you're stupid.

If you think about it, it's like you've been left behind in school and you're still in primary school

大學雞 literally translates to university (大學) chicken (雞) It depends on the context. Formally, it generally means a person who has achieved a higher level. It is almost a compliment but sort of sarcastically. Informally, if someone says it to you, then they're kind of jokingly saying, "nice job."

The use of the word Chicken (雞) is because it's a joke. 雞 in it of itself can be an insult because in Cantonese slang it means "Prostitute." But 雞 has somewhat been been used loosely in humorous situations. It's sort of like saying "silly goose".

Another way to think about 小學雞 vs. 大學雞 is that 小學雞 means "silly goose" and 大學雞 means that you're less silly.

  • On the contrary, "大學雞" means that, though you are an undergraduate already, you are still very silly.
    – Henry HO
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 3:34
  • yeah, I agree. It does mean that you're silly still, but just less silly. I edited the answer. thanks!!
    – BMak
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 9:57
  • Somehow agreed. One really need to be an undergraduate to be qualified as "大學雞". Similarly, only secondary school students can be called "中學雞". "小學雞" is much more general and refers to silly people behaving like primary school students.
    – Henry HO
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 11:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.