Questions tagged [slang]

Questions related to slang, i.e. a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal.

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How did 黃 (yellow) come to mean "pornographic"?

In my dictionary it defines 黃 (Huáng) - yellow - pornographic - to fall through - surname Huang or Hwang Imperial China and the robes of the emperor are commonly associated with the colour yellow. ...
Matthew Rudy 马泰's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do the Chinese have a (potentially politically incorrect) way of imitating English speakers?

I do not mean to cause offence with this question; I ask only to potentially become better acquainted with Chinese vernacular, and, I must admit, a little out of curiosity. A politically incorrect ...
Mike Chamberlain's user avatar
11 votes
9 answers
12k views

Is 師奶 (see lai) strictly a Cantonese word? Is it a neutral word or does it have a negative connotation?

I had heard a husband refer to his wife in Cantonese as 師奶 (pronounced "see lai"). The way he said it sounded like an insult but I was told it's not a bad word. How would 師奶 be described in English? ...
amateur's user avatar
  • 1,058
11 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why does the word 萌 mean "cute"?

A friend of mine said in a photo of me, my eyes looked very 萌(meng2). 你的眼睛很萌 My dictionary defines 萌 as; 萌 méng (动) sprout; bud; germinate But apparently in this context it means "...
Matthew Rudy 马泰's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
7k views

What does “tm” mean?

I think it is an Internet slang, but found a few times on the web. Example: 自大,在超市贵的东西都是写着纯国产 以前在语言学校的时候写作文 主题都是你认为日本哪里好 为什么喜欢日本 我tm是被逼来的 硬是编出来说日本人很有礼貌 日本的公共设施做得好 日本老师看着还一本满足 那副嘴脸真的很恶心。 What does ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does the Twitter hashtag #壕 mean?

I'm guessing it's slang and it looks like it has a positive connotation. Like 加油? Or maybe it sounds like 好, it means good? The dictionary says it means air-raid shelter / trench. Here are some ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 1,997
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

What does 'duang' mean in 'online Chinese'?

I see this word popping up on Weibo and Taobao. It's not written with any character, but spelled out in Pinyin. What does it mean? EDIT: For the annals:
imrek's user avatar
  • 7,188
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why say 少说两句 to break up a fight?

In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (~25m45s), during an argument the protagonist calls another pregnant woman a 骚货 ("slut") and they start physically fighting. A third woman tries to break them up and ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why does 三八 mean gossip?

I've heard in 广东 (guangdong) the term 三八 to mean "gossip", particularly for a woman who gossips. Is this common throughout China, and why does it have this meaning?
Matthew Rudy 马泰's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Online, is there any equivalent to the Japanese web slang of ending a sentence with "w" or in English using "lol" just to indicate good-nature/humor?

I was wondering because while I am decent at speaking Chinese, I've just recently started sending messages online using it (16 years late lol). I've ended one sentence with "笑" but even that was ...
Ethan Chen's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Macau Cantonese, any differences from HK?

Does anyone know how Cantonese from Macau differ from HK if there are any? Any slangs or terms used in Macanese Cantonese that is rarely used or heard in HK? Maybe some sinicised portuguese words? ...
Max's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Etymology of 二百五?

二百五 is Chinese slang for an idiot, but how did it come about? What's the earliest recorded usage of this term in this meaning? There are many theories for its origin, this page lists as many as 6 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,567
7 votes
6 answers
6k views

What's a good word for "creepy" in Chinese?

I realize that the English word "creepy" is a slang with many different meanings. I'm referring to the way someone might describe unwanted sexual advances. For example, That guy over there staring at ...
Evelyn's user avatar
  • 215
7 votes
1 answer
19k views

The slang meaning of "Seven/七" in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
Thomas Hsieh's user avatar
  • 3,297
7 votes
1 answer
867 views

What 蛋 is referring to in "完蛋了"

完蛋了 means: Done for; ruined; finished; goose is cooked. It is the Mandarin counterpart of a Cantonese term "玩完" (game over) I am curious about what 蛋 is referring to. Without any reference, I can ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is There A Chinese Version of Urban Slang Dictionary?

Many questions on this site concern various modern slang/dialect usages that require fairly extensive (and sometimes still unsuccessful) searches through the web. Every time I think about these ...
Master Sparkles's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
21k views

What does "你吃了吗?" mean?

I've been looking at some questions and I found in some of the answers that 你吃了吗 was identified as slang. I would have translated it as "have you eaten?", but I'm not sure since it's slang. I'm ...
米凯乐's user avatar
  • 1,003
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

The meaning of 牛气 and 很牛

I have seen one of my language partners use 牛气 and 很牛, but he couldn't explain it to me. The context suggested it meant something like "bullshit" or "you are kidding me", a sign or disbelief, but the ...
MrVocabulary's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does j8傻逼 mean?

In the following picture: I understand the meaning of 傻逼 but what is the "j8" before it?
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 5,434
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

In Sichuanese does 日本人 mean “fuck me”?

I found a very interesting entry on Pleco: 日本人 (Sichuanese expletive) fuck me (日 here means cào [肏]) I have never heard it but is this explanation correct? What is the etymology of this usage and ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 5,434
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is 坑爹 such a popular word, and what exactly does it mean?

Yes, it has to do with swindling; cheating. But why? What is the imagery or story behind this word, 坑爹?
寻实猴's user avatar
  • 228
5 votes
2 answers
732 views

Meaning of 白 in words for "nonsense"?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,567
5 votes
1 answer
632 views

Are there loanwords from Portuguese used in Macau Cantonese?

I'd like to know if there are some words from Macau Cantonese that are from Portuguese. As HK Cantonese has some words from English, I think Macau also can have some words. Thank you for any examples ...
Alberto Ribeiro's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Identify Mandarin word - "kiāng"

Have seen this word in video comments and cannot find a reference for it anywhere?? Some details: Always rendered in zhuyin (ㄎㄧㄤ) even in otherwise ideographic text Doesn't appear to be a native ...
Qoppa90's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
256 views

What does “杀牛” mean in this context?

In the story I'm reading for class, a man meets a woman online and she asks him what sign he's born under (属什么). He says 牛, and she says "我是杀牛的." He recounts, "就这么两句话一下子就把我打动了." So they arrange to ...
MissMonicaE's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
8k views

What does "yellow face wife" (黄脸婆) mean?

I looked online and couldn't find an answer. I was told it means something similar to "poker face" here in Taiwan. Do you know what this might mean?
quipquopro's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
5k views

Explain the concepts 沙雕 and 沙雕图

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 ...
Kantura's user avatar
  • 2,146
4 votes
2 answers
553 views

What is the meaning of 会 in 你们太会了 and the sentence's connotation?

Context: There was a photo of a Chinese celebrity sitting down and some fans cropped and pasted that photo on different photos, so it looked the person was sitting on a horse or bicycle etc. The ...
雪花飘飘's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
787 views

When did the usage of "N" to indicate some unspecified quantity come up?

I have heard a number of Cantonese speakers use N (pronounced like the English letter) to designate some sort of unspecified quantity, for instance: 我 N 年前去过。(Approximately "I went there some years ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is 乜 doing in my landlord's WeChat message 明天有人在家乜?

I live in Beijing, and my landlord (who I think is from the Dongbei region) sent our group this WeChat message yesterday: 明天有人在家乜 We're getting a new fridge delivered, and she wants to know if ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.4k
4 votes
2 answers
411 views

Other than ChinaSMACK, do any other glossaries of acronyms used in Chinese, like PK, ZF, GCD, TMD, JC, etc exist?

This is the ChinaSMACK glossary. Wondering how outdated it is. Would something more up to date and/or more comprehensive exist, or this is pretty much it? Edit: Found This from Baidu. Very useful, ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 1,997
4 votes
5 answers
676 views

Explanation for the meaning of 八竿子打不着?

The modern colloquial phrase "八竿子打不着" is used as an adjective to describe "very distant, unrelated". Example: 这是八竿子打不着的事情,怎么能联系上呢? It literally means "couldn't hit with even eight poles". I can ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,567
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why does "I go" also mean damn it? (我去)

According to MDBG, 我去 is slang, meaning "shoot" or "dang." But obviously, it also means "I go." Does anyone know the etymology of this? Did it arise from people angrily saying that they're so upset ...
David Kennell's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
220 views

Meaning of "网络驿站"

I've come across the phrase "网络驿站" a couple of times recently, but don't understand precisely what it means (see Hbjjrb.com for an example). The only translation of 驿站 that I can find refers to a ...
DevinRB's user avatar
  • 43
3 votes
4 answers
353 views

How to say "she short changed me" (without negative conotation)?

For example, if I went to the bank to withdraw money from my account and my account showed I took out $50, but the bank teller only gave me $40. I don't want to imply the bank teller was trying to ...
MarkE's user avatar
  • 744
3 votes
2 answers
742 views

What does 饭圈类 ("rice-ring kind") indicate in 生产这些饭圈类产品?

口号手环、贴纸、小旗子、手幅、胸章……义乌的大小作坊,为4年一度的美国大选,生产这些饭圈类产品,正规名称是总统竞选产品。 义乌再次判定:特朗普连任,2020年04月30日 The above article discusses Trump-themed merchandise and its manufacture in Yiwu (义乌), comparing the 2016 and ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.4k
3 votes
3 answers
481 views

English slang translation

Is there a Chinese equivalent of the colloquial English term, "like a boss?" Not an literal translation but an equivalent thereof.
shadept's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
2 answers
5k views

Cantonese slang - What does 'Primary Chicken' and 'Secondary Chicken' mean?

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. ...
dayuloli's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
4 answers
699 views

Can someone please explain this term/slang “问个P”

Is it related to this phrase: 问个屁/問個屁
Ana's user avatar
  • 73
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

What does 哈批 mean?

My Chinese friend said 哈批 but I don't understand what it means. When I googled, it showed 哈麻批 and it seems a dirty word. The whole sentence is something like the follows: This person is bullshit! He ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 5,434
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the origin of the slang term 6?

I'm speaking about for example: 他很6 To mean: He's very pro/skilled. I've seen this a lot, but I don't quite see what the origin of this comes from.
Ringil's user avatar
  • 1,455
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Origin of the slang "機車"

I know that "機車" is motorcycle and it is also used as a slang word, but I was unsure of its meaning. Thus, i checked this page, and I was confused by its ambiguity when translated to English, as ...
Thomas Hsieh's user avatar
  • 3,297
3 votes
4 answers
690 views

Is 老鸽 (lit. "old pigeon") slang?

I've seen some cases (in stories, on the internet) where people call each other '老鸽'. As the literal meaning 'old pigeon' doesn't make much sense, I think it's slang but I haven't been able to find ...
Tentacle Monster's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the phrase "that guy so inch" related to Putonghua?

I came across the phrase "that guy so inch" in this Twitter thread, which starts with: ... slang based on literal translations of words ("that guy so inch") or phrases I don't get how "that guy so ...
goPlayerJuggler's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
274 views

Meaning of 五 in A: 放肆!B: 你爹放五!

I'm reading a short story and I wondered what 五 means here but I guess it's 'slang'. A: 放肆! B retorted back: 你爹放五! (Sorry for not putting any research result, can't find any, I only know that 五 is ...
Fai91's user avatar
  • 787
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」 mean?

The above is a screenshot from a youtube video I am a native Cantonese speaker, even I can't figure out what 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」」 meant. I am sure it is not 「這件事就當沒發生過」 I have no problem with the rest. E....
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.8k
3 votes
1 answer
175 views

Is 几号 a slang word for heroin?

Looking up 几号 in the Pleco dictionary returns a definition different from what one might expect from the usual meaning of the phrase. Is 几号 really used as a slang for heroin?
kiyopi's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
5 answers
344 views

Translation of a slang for 'mutual flattering'

circle jerk (vulgar, slang) Any group or group activity indulging in excessive mutual praise. When I try to translate this term in this context, I come up with 互相吹捧 and 互相奉承 (mutual flattering). It ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.8k
3 votes
5 answers
282 views

Do 饶舌 and 说唱 mean the same thing in Chinese?

Google translate gives "Rap" for "饶舌" and "说唱" for "Rap" Do 饶舌 and 说唱 mean the same thing in Chinese? Is it about spoken vs. written?
PutBere's user avatar
  • 165
2 votes
6 answers
362 views

What action does “打” in “打酱油” refer to?

Lately I found out that 打酱油means “buy soy sauce”, but it becomes “beat soy sauce” when translated literally. I know 打 can mean “beat”, so I’d like to know if this word can mean “buy” in day-to-day ...
Alberto Ribeiro's user avatar