Chinese slang words: how to sound cool in China

Chinese slang words: how to sound cool in China

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Slang words are never taught at school but it’s quite useful to know them. When your Chinese friends are gossiping about a leftover woman 剩女, you might want to know what they are talking about. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to understand their gossip after learning these useful Chinese slang words.

Here is a list of Chinese slang words used in everyday life:

1. Playboy 大猪蹄子 (dà zhūtí zǐ)

听说她男朋友是一个大猪蹄子Tīngshuō tā nánpéngyou shì yīgè dà zhūtí zǐ
I heard that her boyfriend is a big pig’s trotter.

Wait… He is a what?

When your friend is talking about a big pig’s trotter, she doesn’t mean this:

大猪蹄子 dà zhūtí zǐ actually refers to playboy. So if you hear from someone that your Tinder date is a big pig’s trotter, I think you should avoid him.

2. Little fresh meat 小鲜肉 (xiǎo xiān ròu)

No, we are not talking about barbecue here. A little fresh meat, or 小鲜肉 xiǎo xiān ròu, is actually used to describe a handsome young male. It’s most commonly used for celebrities.

那个小鲜肉是谁?Nà gè xiǎo xiān ròu shì shéi ?
Who is that small fresh meat?

是一个歌手。Shì yī gè gē shǒu.
He’s a singer.

很帅啊!Hěn shuài ā
He’s so handsome!

3. Leftover woman 剩女 (shèngnǚ)

Ok. You can guess that it’s not a compliment, right? Indeed, leftover woman is actually used for girls over 27 who are still unmarried. In Chinese culture, many women are put under pressure by their parents because not getting married is a sign of disrespect. In an extremely patriarchal society such as China, being single is seen as something to be ashamed of.

明年你27岁了,还没有男朋友!你想变一个剩女吗?Míngnián nǐ 27 suì le, hái méiyǒu nánpéngyou! Nǐ xiǎng biàn yīgè shèngnǚ ma?
You’ll be 27 next year and you don’t have a boyfriend yet! Do you want to be a leftover woman?

Just a little reminder: just live your life!

4. Geek 宅男 / 宅女 (zháinán ♂ / zháinǚ ♀)

Are you a big fan of anime? Do you lack sleep because of LoL or WoW? No doubt, you are a 宅男 / 宅女. Literally it means a houseboy / housegirl which refers to a boy or girl who always stays at home playing online games.

已经一个星期我还没看他去上课!Yǐjīng yīgè xīngqī wǒ hái méi kàn tā qù shàngkè!
I haven’t seen him in class for a week now!

放心,他在家玩游戏。是一个宅男Fàngxīn, tā zài jiā wányóuxì. Shì yīgè zháinán.
Don’t worry, he’s just at home playing video games. He’s a geek, you know.

5. Internet slang and insults

I know you were all waiting for it. Don’t worry, I won’t end this list without teaching you some Chinese insults. Of course, try to be polite if you can but in case someone really pisses you off just say:

F*ck off 去你的 (qù nǐ de)

Psycho 神经病 (shén jīng bìng)

I f*ck your mother 我操你妈 (wǒ cào nǐ mā)
This one is already very rude and you might be punched for saying it.

But if you want to make that person angrier, you can say:
I f*ck your ancestors 我操你祖宗 (wǒ cāo nǐ zǔzōng)

And if you want to make that person angrier with smoke coming out of his ears, just say:
I f*ck your ancestors until the 18th generation 我操你祖宗十八代 (wǒ cāo nǐ zǔzōng shí bādài)
I suggest you run now. You’re welcome.

It makes you look like a lazy person but you can simply express yourself with numbers when texting to your friends.

666 – Awesome
520 – I love you
748 – Go to hell
88 – Bye bye
233 – LOL
484 – Yes or no?
250 – Stupid

Now you have some cool Chinese slang words in your vocabulary. You can learn more everyday words and phrases with our course Everyday phrases in Chinese.

In order to become fluent, study Chinese everyday for at least 30 min with VocApp. There is no secret in learning a language. Only practice makes perfect! 加油!

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