Chinese Internet slang

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Chinese Internet slang is informal Chinese language coined to express ideas on the Chinese Internet in response to events, the influence of the mass media and foreign culture, and the desires of users to simplify and update the Chinese language. Slang that first appears on the Internet is often adopted to become current in everyday life. It includes content relating to all aspects of social life, mass media, economic, and political topics and the like. Internet slang is arguably the fastest-changing aspect of the language, created by a number of different influences—technology, mass media and foreign culture amongst others.

The categories given below are not exclusive and are used distinguish the different kinds of Chinese internet slang. Some phrases may belong in more than one category.

Numbers and Western alphabet abbreviations[edit]

Numbers, representing Chinese terms (数字表示汉字 shùzì biǎoshì hànzì)[edit]

  • 213: 2B, 二屄, a person who is very stupid.
  • 1314: "For ever", usually preceded by a phrase such as "I love you" or the similar. 1314 (pinyin: yīsānyīsì) represents 一生一世 "one life, one world" (pinyin: yīshēng yīshì).
  • 4242: "Yes," "Affirmative," or "It is", 4242 (pinyin: sìèrsìèr) represents 是啊是啊 (pinyin: shìa shìa).
  • 520: "I love you". 520 (pinyin: wǔ'èrlíng) represents 我爱你 (pinyin: wǒ ài nǐ).[1]
  • 555: "(crying)". 555 (pinyin: wǔwǔwǔ) represents 呜呜呜 (pinyin: wūwūwū) the sound of tearful crying.
  • 7451 or 7456: "I'm angry." 7451 (pinyin: qīsìwǔyī) or 7456 (pinyin: qīsìwǔliù) represents 气死我了 (pinyin: qìsǐ wǒle).
  • 748: "Go and die!", 748 (pinyin: qīsìbā) represents 去死吧 (pinyin: qùsǐba), the equivalent of "Get lost!", or "Go to hell!"
  • 87: (bitchy, or idiocy/idiot). 87 (pinyin: lit. bāqī, or loosely, báichī) represents "bitchy" (English) or 白痴 idiocy/idiot (Mandarin).
  • 88: "Bye bye" (goodbye). 88 (pinyin: bābā) represents "bye bye" (English).[1] 886 also has the same meaning as "88".
  • 94: "So," "But," etc. 94 (jiǔsì) represents 就是 (pinyin: jiùshì), the conjunction meaning "so," "but," "just like," "in the same way as," etc.
  • 995: "Help", "Save me!", 995 (pinyin: jiǔjiǔwǔ) represents 救救我 (pinyin: jiùjiù wǒ).
  • 666: "You're doing amazing sweetie," 666 (pinyin: liùliùliù) represents 溜溜溜 (pinyin: liùliùliù).
  • 233 "laughter," 2333 (pinyin: èr sān sān) represents 哈哈哈 (pinyin: hā hā hā).
  • 484: "If" represents 是不是 (means yes or no).
  • 99: "The wish for a couple to be together for long time"

Latin alphabet abbreviations (字母縮寫 zìmǔ suōxiě)[edit]

Chinese users commonly use a pinyin-enabled QWERTY keyboard. Upper-case letters are easy to type and require no transformation. (Lower-case letters spell words which are changed into Chinese characters). Latin alphabet abbreviations (rather than Chinese characters) are also sometimes used to evade censorship.[2]

  • LZ: lóu zhǔ (楼主), the owner of the thread, the original poster.
  • A片: A piān, an 'adult' video.[3]
  • BZ: bǎnzhǔ (版主), the moderator of an internet discussion forum[3]
  • BS: bǐshì (鄙视), to despise (verb).[3]
  • JB: jiba (鸡巴), vulgar word referring to a man's private parts[3]
  • CCAV: China Central Adult Video, ironic nickname for China Central Television (CCTV).[3]
  • CN: chǔnǚ or chǔnán (处女 or 处男), virgin (female or male) [3]
  • CNM: cāonǐmā, fuck your mother. The most common way of cursing in China. Some phrase it "sao ni ma".
  • FL: fàláng (发廊), hairdresser, possibly providing sex services[3]
  • FQ: fènqīng (愤青), indignant/angry youth[3]
  • GC: gāocháo (高潮), orgasm[3]
  • GCD: gòngchǎndǎng (共产党), the Communist Party[3]
  • GG: gēge (哥哥), literally older brother, by extension male friend, or guy[3] Nowadays, people say "GG" means you do a good job on the game (These two letters also mean "Good Game.")
  • GD: gōudā(勾搭)gang up with
  • HLL: huá lì lì (华丽丽), glamorous, high-profile.[3]
  • JC: jǐngchá (警察), police[3]
  • JC: jié cāo(节操,)moral integrity,moral principle
  • JJ: jījī (鸡鸡), reference to the male genitalia
  • JP: jípǐn (极品), high quality, but used ironically for things that are extremely low quality[3]
  • JY: jīngyīng (精英), elite, right-wing intellectuals, but also jīngyè (精液) sperm, semen[3]
  • KD: kēngdiē (坑爹), to cheat someone
  • KJ: kǒujiāo (口交), oral sex[3]
  • LD: lǐng dǎo (领导), leadership, i.e. the government and officials[3]
  • ML: to make love[3]
  • MM: mèimèi (妹妹 or 美美 or 美妹 or 美眉), little sister, young girl, pretty girl. Often written as “MM,” which usually refers to a young girl or pretty girls[3]
  • NB: niúbī (牛屄), an arrogant, annoying person, but also used positively for an awesome, impressive, person, similar to "badass"[3]
  • PG: pìgu (屁股), buttocks[3]
  • P民: pì mín (屁民), rabble, hoi polloi, ordinary people, often used ironically[3]
  • PLMM: piàoliàng mèimei (漂亮妹妹), beautiful girl (see MM above)
  • PS or P出: Photoshopped (picture)[3]
  • SB: shǎbī (傻逼), lit. "dumb cunt", commonly used as an insult[3]
  • SMT: shāmâtè (杀马特), unusual appearance and strange style
  • SN: sauna,[3] reinforced by its Chinese translation sāngná (桑拿)
  • TMD: tāmāde (他妈的), common Chinese expletive used for 'damn, fuck,' and the like[3]
  • TT: tàotao (套套), condom[3]
  • WDR: wàidìrén (外地人), stranger, outsider, foreigner[3]
  • XJ: xiǎojiě (小姐), young woman, but also commonly for prostitute[3]
  • XSWL: xiàosǐwǒlè (笑死我了), LMAO
  • YD: yín dàng (淫荡), obscene, perverted[3]
  • YP: yuē pào (約炮), casual sex
  • YQZH: yǒuqiánzhēnhǎo(有钱真好), so good to be rich, or sometimes, admire another who is rich
  • YY: yì yín (意淫), fantasizing, sexual thoughts[3]
  • ZF: zhèngfǔ (政府), government[3]
  • ZG: zhōngguó (中国), China[3]

Abbreviations, contractions, references, and puns from the Chinese[edit]

Chinese abbreviations (汉字縮读 Hànzì suōdú)[edit]

  • Don't know (不造 Bù zào): A contraction of standard Chinese "I don't know" (不知道 Bù zhīdào)

Chinese contractions (简写 jiǎnxiě)[edit]

  • Dear (亲 qīn): short for 亲爱的 (qīn'àide), friendly term of respect, address, and the like
  • Life is so hard that some lies are better not exposed (人艰不拆 rén jiān bù chāi): This comes from the lyrics of a song entitled “Shuo Huang” (Lies), by Taiwanese singer Yoga Lin. The phrase implies a situation that is too harsh to be contemplated. For example, it can be used to describe a large group of unemployed recent college graduates. This slang reflects that some people, especially young people in China, are disappointed by reality. The phrase is often paired with “too tired to love” (see below).[4]
  • Short, ugly and poor (矮丑穷 ǎichǒuqióng or 矮丑矬 ǎichǒucuó): The opposite of gāofùshuài below, the least ideal[3]
  • Tall, rich and handsome (高富帅 gāofùshuài): This is the opposite of "ǎichǒuqióng" or “diaosi”. Used to describe men with great wealth, a perfect body, as well as high qualifications and social status—ideal characteristics in mainland China. The word comes from an animated TV series, “Tall, Rich and Handsome,” in which the protagonist's name was “Tall, Rich and Handsome.” This slang has become widely used on the internet, symbolizing the perfect man that many women in China dream of marrying.[3]
  • Too tired to love (累觉不爱 lèi jué bù ài): This slang phrase is a literal abbreviation of the Chinese phrase “too tired to fall in love anymore.” It originated from an article on the Douban website posted by a 13-year-old boy who grumbled about his single status and expressed his weariness and frustration towards romantic love. The article went viral, and the phrase was subsequently used as a sarcastic way to convey depression when encountering misfortunes or setbacks in life.[5]
  • White complexion, rich, and beautiful (白富美 báifùměi): Female equivalent of gāofùshuài. The ideal girlfriend or wife[3]
  • Get rid of single status (脱单,tuōdān): Getting rid of single status, no longer single[3]
  • Go to surf (去浪,qùlàng): To hang out[3]

Phrases with altered or extended meanings (短语与改变或扩展的意义 duǎnyǔ yǔ gǎibiàn huò kuòzhǎn de yìyì)[edit]

  • Chinese aunt (中国大妈 Zhōngguó dàmā): This phrase refers to middle-aged Chinese women who purchase large amounts of gold. On April 15, 2013, Wall Street traders decided to sell large amounts of gold which caused a substantial fall in gold prices. However, a swarm of Chinese dama (middle-aged women) bought the gold and therefore raised the world gold price significantly. Three hundred tons of gold were moved instantly in the markets which shocked many economists. While this can be said to reflect the overall improvement of living standards in China, it has also been criticized as a blind way to invest.[6]
  • Vulgar tycoon (土豪 tǔháo): Refers to irritating online game players who buy large amounts of game weapons in order to be glorified by others. Starting from late 2013, the meaning has changed and is now widely used to describe the nouveau riche in China, people who are wealthy but less cultured.[3]
  • Weird (重口味 zhòng kǒuwèi): Literally a "heavy taste, interest or hobby" such as in horror films, pornography, heavy metal music, extreme sports or the similar
  • Excuse me?! (黑人问号; hēirénwènhào): Literally means "black man question marks." Many Chinese people use this slang when they react to something ridiculous or are confused. It comes from a picture of an NBA basketball player Nick Young and several question marks.
  • Spare Tire (备胎,bèitāi): Refers to the person who is RESERVED for a relationship.[3]
  • Big Aunt (大姨妈,dàyímā): A woman's period[3]
  • The Eight Trigrams (八卦,bāguà): To gossip[3]
  • Womanizer (渣男:zhānán): lit. "scum male," a male who is a womanizer

Puns and wordplay (双关语 shuāngguān yǔ, 发音相似 fāyīn xiāngsì)[edit]

  • Chinese Baptism (中国式洗礼 Zhōngguóshì xǐlǐ): The new Chinese government. Baptism (洗礼 xǐlǐ) is a play on words referring to Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang.
  • River crab (河蟹; héxiè): Pun on héxié (和谐) meaning "harmony." Online Chinese term for Internet censorship commonly seen in forums and blogs.[3]
  • Flattering (or deceptive) photograph (照骗;zhàopiàn): Pun on (照片;zhàopiàn) meaning "photograph." Internet slang for photos that use many filters or have otherwise been heavily altered with software like Meitu to make the subject appear more attractive than they are in real life. Used especially to describe such photos used in online dating profiles.

New expressions 新网络词 (xīn wǎngluò cí)[edit]

  • 50 Cent Party (五毛党 wǔmáo dǎng): Internet users paid by the government or the Communist Party to post comments[3][7]
  • One US Penny Party (美分党 Měifēn dǎng): Internet users paid by foreign governments or parties to post comments
  • Fresh little muscles (小鲜肉 xiǎo xiānròu): Young, cute, handsome male idol, of around 12 to 25 years old. Originally used for stars, now used more generally by extension
  • Lesbian (拉拉 lālā): from 拉 (pinyin: lā), meaning to hold hands.
  • Loser (屌丝 diǎosī): “Diaosi” is used to describe young males born into a poor family and are unable to change the circumstances of their poverty. People usually use this phrase in an ironic and self-deprecating way. For example, someone might say “I am a diaosi” with a sigh when they see wealthy people with private cars and luxurious houses. The origin of this slang is unknown, but this slang is widely used today on the internet, and can be said to reflect that many people feel upset and discontented as they fail to change their lives no matter how much effort they have put in.[3]
  • Goddess (女神 nǚshén): Used to describe phenomenal beauties. Everyday beauties would usually not get this attached to their name or how they're described.
  • Masculine woman (女汉子 nǚ hànzi): The phrase nühanzi literally means "female man," and refers to women who possess traditionally masculine personality traits such as being brave and more independent than other girls. They eschew makeup or do not like go shopping. Some are even able to repair electrical appliances. More importantly, these women do not have any boyfriends. The emergence of this type of female reflects the increasing social and economic status of women.[3][8]
  • OK (妥妥的 tuǒtuǒde): OK, no problem, etc.
  • You understand ... (你懂的 nǐ dǒngde): "I don't need to go on about this because you already understand."
  • Act cute(卖萌 mài méng): To purposefully pretend to be cute. Usually used by people jokingly when posting selfies or asking for things from others
  • Sounds pretty awesome without any understanding (不明觉厉 bù míng jué lì): Refers to any situation where something you hear sounds awesome even though you know nothing about it.
  • Nothing to say (也是醉了 yě shì zuì le): A way to gently express your frustrations with someone or something that is completely unreasonable and unacceptable
  • Feel the body become empty (感觉身体被掏空 gǎn jué shēn tǐ bèi tāo kōng: Expressing of feeling very tired because of something.
  • Amazing (厉害了 lìhàilě): Used on someone is doing something amazing. Always used with "my bro"
  • My Bro (我的哥 wò de gē): Sign with emotion when something surprising happens
  • Little cute girl (萝莉 Japanese: loli): To describe girls who are really cute and are as short as a little girl (between about 4'8" and 5'4").
  • Whatever floats your boat (你开心就好): Literally means you're happy and that's ok. Usually used to make fun of friends who're in a bad situation, for instance, failing an exam.
  • Angry or not? (气不气?): Basically like "You mad, bro?," usually used in competitive video games.
  • I don't know (我母鸡啊): "母鸡" in Mandarin, pronounced "冇計" in Cantonese, meaning "don't know" or “no idea.”
  • The one to be blamed (黑锅俠 Hei Guo Xia): Internet slang for people who usually take responsibilities for others faults (背黑锅 Bei Hei Guo)[9]
  • Single Dog (单身狗 Dan Shen Gou): The term that single people in China use to poke fun at themselves for being single[9]

Slang derived from foreign words[edit]

Derived from English (英语翻译 Yīngyǔ fānyì)[edit]

  • Gay (弯的 wānde or gay): Bent 弯的 (pinyin: wānde), the opposite of 直 (pinyin: zhí), straight. GAY, in all upper case like other Chinese internal slang taken directly from English, is also used, but only for men.
  • N continuous jumps (N次跳 N cì tiào): A reference to the Foxconn suicides, in which several Foxconn employees jumped to their deaths from the factories' high-rise dormitory buildings in early 2010. The mathematical variable n is a nod to the high rate of these deaths in early 2010, more than one per week at times. The phrase can be said to reflect the despair some people feel under the current economic conditions in China.
  • Straight (直男 zhínán): Heterosexual, used only for men.

Derived from Japanese (日语翻译 Rìyǔ fānyì)[edit]

  • 3P: Threesome, as in the pornographic kind[3]
  • CP: Movie couple from Japanese カップリング, e.g. "Pitt and Jolie were a CP in the Smith movie."
  • OL: office lady, a woman with an office job.[3]
  • Otaku (male, 宅男 zháinán): Men with obsessive interests that leave no time for normal life outside the home, similar to geek or nerd in English.[3]
  • Otaku (female, 宅女 zháinǚ): Female equivalent of 宅男 (zháinán)[3]

Derived from Taiwanese Hokkien (台語翻译 Táiyǔ fānyì)[edit]

  • What? (虾米 xiāmi): From Taiwanese Hokkien (啥物 siánn-mih). 虾米 xiāmi represents 什么 ("what") but literally means "small dried shrimp."
  • Like this (酱紫 jiàngzǐ): 酱紫 represents 这样子 (pinyin: zhèyàngzǐ) but literally means "sauce purple."
  • Procrastinated (龟毛 guīmáo): From Taiwanese Hokkien (gu mo). 龟毛represents 磨叽(“procrastinated”)but literal means “turtle’s hair.”


The ‘’People’s Daily’’ coined the term “vulgar Internet language” to refer the Internet language that "offends the moral" and suggested a blacklist to discourage the usage of them.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Why Thai Laugh When Chinese Cry? Accessed 4 February 2015 Archived 20 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ How the QWERTY Keyboard Is Changing the Chinese Language, accessed 15 February 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ChinaSMACK glossary, accessed 6 February 2015
  4. ^ ""Life is harsh, don't expose it." Latest slangs go viral on the internet".
  5. ^ "Quick review of internet slang in 2013:You are out of date if you don't know what "too tired to love" means (in Chinese)".
  6. ^ "Chinese aunt (dama)".
  7. ^ Web Semantics: Popular Chinese Internet Slang, Expressions and Acronyms, Wired, accessed 6 February 2015
  8. ^ "Masculine woman(Chinese:女汉子)".
  9. ^ a b Contemporary Chinese pop slangs 101: the (slightly) naughty guide, accessed 18 December 2016
  10. ^

External links[edit]