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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24
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7answers
15k views

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. ...
13
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3answers
846 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 ...
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9answers
9k 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? ...
10
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5answers
7k 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 "...
10
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2answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
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 ...
9
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2answers
6k 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?
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2answers
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? ...
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3answers
3k 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:
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2answers
582 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 ...
7
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4answers
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 ...
7
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1answer
497 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
11k 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 ...
6
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2answers
3k 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 ...
5
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4answers
11k 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 ...
5
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2answers
1k 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?
5
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2answers
598 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
280 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 ...
5
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6answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
5
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2answers
221 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 ...
4
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3answers
729 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?
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5answers
802 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 ...
4
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3answers
510 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 ...
4
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3answers
617 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 ...
4
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2answers
294 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, ...
4
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5answers
563 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 ...
4
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1answer
194 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 ...
3
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4answers
322 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 ...
3
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3answers
408 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.
3
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4answers
275 views

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

Is it related to this phrase: 问个屁/問個屁
3
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5answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
923 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 ...
3
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1answer
970 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 ...
3
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4answers
151 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 ...
3
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5answers
220 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 ...
3
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2answers
313 views

What is the meaning of 臭石头 (slang)?

I remember that my dad used this occasionally when he was arguing with my mom. Google translate just returns smelly rock, but I know it's gotta be some sort of slang, as whenever my dad said it, my ...
2
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6answers
246 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 ...
2
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3answers
915 views

What is the meaning behind 川皇, which is some kind of slang for “Donald Trump”?

On Reddit's r/China_irl, I saw a poll about the US election in November. What surprised me is that Donald Trump seems to be called 川皇. Searching for 川皇 on Google indicates it's not just a typo, so I'...
2
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3answers
688 views

Do the Chinese have text speak?

Please answer in simplified Chinese characters I recently met a Chinese person who was right in there with the acronyms, abbreviations and text-slang. Words like: u brb gtg imo So as you can see, ...
2
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3answers
1k 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.
2
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1answer
127 views

Is 外地人 a derogatory word?

My Shanghainese friend frequently says 外地人 in slightly negative/hostile context. I understand the meaning of 外地人, which is people from different city/province. However, is it a derogatory term? Or is ...
2
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4answers
116 views

What does …玩得转 mean?

In an opinion piece about recent criticism towards China, Hu Xijin wrote: 再有就是特朗普公开针对中国撒弥天大谎,向中国推卸他们抗疫失败的责任,居然在美国能够玩得转。是什么把美国公众搞得这么好骗,一眼就能看穿的甩锅把戏却有声有色地一集一集表演着,在美国也太容易带节奏了。 刷新认知,美国的人命竟然这么“不值钱”, 胡锡进, ...
2
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3answers
312 views

“easily fooled” in Chinese(slang)

例如, 一个人无论如何也学不会1+1=2怎么计算的时候可以说: 那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会. 问题: 汉语中有类似的句子描述一个人很容易上当受骗吗? 句型: 这么简单的骗术你都信, 你 (真是) XXX. XXX中不能有人身攻击, 必须切实到被描述者的真实情况. 在上面句子中"那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会"前半句"客观"的描述了后半句的起因, ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Is “Big Nose” really used for Westerners?

Neutral Terms for "White People" got me thinking about someone (who knows less Chinese than I do) telling me that "Big Nose" is the Chinese term for westerners. Is that true, and if so, is ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Relative strength of 很笨 and it's variants

很笨 I have heard my doctor refer to his employees on some occasion using the phrase hen ben (I assume he meant 很笨). When I first heard it I was a bit bothered. Should I be upset when this term is used ...
2
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1answer
8k views

Is “JJ” slang for “penis” in Chinese?

Reading the comments to the news article 巴西女排变性球星将竞选国会议员 已瞄准东京奥运 about a Brazilian volleyballer who is transgender and wants to play in the Olympics, we have two comments: Both use this term "JJ&...
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2answers
169 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 ...