Mandarin Chinese profanity

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The Traditional Chinese characters for the word huài dàn (坏蛋/壞蛋), a Mandarin Chinese profanity meaning, literally, "bad egg"

Profanity in Mandarin Chinese most commonly involves sexual references and scorn of the object's ancestors, especially their mother. Other Mandarin insults accuse people of not being human. Compared to English, scatological and blasphemous references are less often used. In this article, unless otherwise noted, the traditional character will follow its simplified form if it is different.

Sex[edit]

Penis[edit]

As in English, many Mandarin Chinese slang terms involve the genitalia or other sexual terms. Slang words for the penis refer to it literally, and are not necessarily negative words:

  • jībā (Chinese: 雞巴/鷄巴, IM abbreviation: J8/G8) = cock (used as early as the Yuan Dynasty), also written 𣬠𣬶
  • jījī (雞雞/鷄鷄, IM: JJ/GG) = roughly equivalent of "thingy" as it is the childish version of the above.
  • jūju (具具), baby talk, "tool".
  • xiǎo dìdi (小弟弟) = roughly equivalent of "wee-wee" (lit. "little younger brother") IM: DD
  • kuàxià wù (胯下物) = roughly equivalent of "the package" (lit. "thing under crotch")
  • yīnjīng (阴茎; 陰莖)= penis (scientific)
  • diǎo ( or substituted by ) = dick (the same character also means to have sexual intercourse in Cantonese, alternatively written as 𨳒)
  • lìn () same as "", used in some southern areas such as Fujian and Guangdong. Also written as "𨶙" in Cantonese. It was misinterpreted as luǎn () by Mandarin speakers, though sometimes "" is used instead for euphemism.
  • lǎo èr (老二) = penis (lit. "second in the family", "little brother")
  • nà huó er (那活兒) = penis, usually seen in novels/fictions. (lit. "That thing", "that matter")
  • xiǎo niǎo (小鸟) = used by people (mostly children) in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore to mean penis (lit. "little bird"), often simplified to niǎo (; 'bird')
  • guītóu (龜頭) = turtle's head (glans/penis)
  • bāopí (包皮) = foreskin (literally: wrapper)
  • diǎosī (屌絲) = originally meant male pubic hair, but means an unprivileged nobody. Formerly Internet slang, now a popular word often used in self-mockery (lit. "dick silk/wire")

Note: One should note that in Middle Chinese the words for and were homophones. The fǎnqiè of "" (丁了切) and the fǎnqiè of "Chinese: " (都了切) denoted the same pronunciation; both began with a voiceless unaspirated alveolar stop (/t/ in IPA and d in pinyin) and the same vowel and tone. Based on regular sound change rules, we would expect the word for bird in Mandarin to be pronounced diǎo, but Mandarin dialects' pronunciations of the word for bird evolved to an alveolar nasal initial, likely as a means of taboo avoidance, giving contemporary niǎo while most dialects in the south retain the Middle Chinese alveolar stop initial and the homophony or near homophony of these words.

Vagina[edit]

There appear to be more words for vagina than for penis. The former are more commonly used as insults and are also more aggressive and have negative connotations:

  • (, , , IM: B) = cunt (often used as an interjection instead of a noun)
  • jībái (Chinese: 雞白) = cunt (Taiwanese Mandarin, near-homophone of Hokkien profanity chi-bai)
  • xiǎomèimei (小妹妹) = pussy (lit. "little younger sister", see. xiaodidi above)
  • bàoyú (鮑魚) = pussy (lit. "abalone" due to its flesh having a superficial resemblance to a vulva)
  • èrbī (二屄, IM: 2B) = idiot (Northern slang, lit. "two + cunt"; here, 二 does not mean the number two, but is rather an idiomatic adjective meaning "stupid"; some argue that this expression evolved from 二百五 (èr bǎi wǔ; see "miscellaneous" section below). 屄 is used as an interjection. This expression cannot be literally interpreted as "double-vagina")
  • shǎbī (傻屄) = stupid person (lit. "stupid cunt") IM: SB
  • sāobī (騷屄) = bitch (lit. "lewd cunt")
  • chòubī (臭屄) = stinking cunt
  • lànbī (爛屄) = rotten cunt
  • yīndào (陰道) = vagina (scientific)
  • yīnhù (陰戶) = vulva (scientific)
  • táohuāyuán (桃花園) = vagina (lit. "garden of peach blossoms")
  • zhuāngbī (裝屄) = poser (lit. "pretending to be the cunt")
  • dà yí mā (大姨媽) = menstruation (Literally "The Eldest Aunt", almost never used derogatively; a popular mainland contemporary term which refers to menstruation. Comparable to 'A visit from Aunt Flo'[1][2])

Brothel frequenter[edit]

  • yín chóng (淫蟲) literally, lewd worms. Men who enjoy frequent sex with women.
  • lǎo piáo (老嫖) literally, old frequenter of prostitutes. There is actually a verb for frequenting prostitutes in Chinese.[3]

Prostitution[edit]

In addition to the above expressions used as insults directed against women, other insults involve insinuating that they are prostitutes:

  • jì nǚ (妓女) = (female) prostitute
  • chòu biǎozi (臭婊子) = stinking whore
  • mài dòufu (Chinese: 賣豆腐; literally "selling tofu") is a euphemism for prostitution.
  • xiǎojiě (小姐) = means "Miss" or "Small elder sister" in most contexts but, now in Northern China, also connotes "prostitute" to many young women, as it suggests expressions like zuò xiǎojiě (做小姐) or sānpéi xiǎojiě (三陪小姐), which refers to bargirls who may also be prostitutes. This connotation does not apply outside of the People's Republic of China.
  • (; lit. "chick") = (female) prostitute
  • (; lit. "duck") = (male) prostitute

Mistress[edit]

  • xiǎo lǎopó (小老婆) = mistress (lit. "little wife" or "little old women"). Note: when combined with other words, the character (lǎo; 'old') does not always refer to age; for example, it is used in the terms 老公 (lǎogōng; 'husband'), 老婆 (lǎopó; 'wife'), 老鼠 (lǎoshǔ; 'mouse'), 老虎 (lǎohǔ; 'tiger'), 老外 (lǎowài; 'foreigner'), including for important persons such as 老板 (lǎobǎn; 'boss') or 老师 (lǎoshī; 'master / teacher'). " (lǎo; 'old') thus often carries with it a degree of familiarity.
  • xiǎo tàitai (小太太), lit., "little wife" (but definitely not to be mistaken for "the little woman", which can be a way of referring to a wife in English).
  • èr nǎi (二奶), lit., "the second mistress" (means a concubine, a kept woman).
  • xiǎo sān (小三), lit., "little three" (means a mistress, since she is supposed to be the third person in a relationship).

Breasts[edit]

  • mīmī (咪咪; literally cat's purring "meow meow") is a euphemism for breast.
  • dà dòufu (大豆腐; literally "big tofu") slang for large breasts, more prevalent in Guangdong
  • mántóu (Chinese: 饅頭; literally "steamed bun") also refers to a woman's breasts; as mantou is typical of northern Chinese cuisine this term is used primarily in northern China.
  • (, literally "wave" or "undulating", but sometimes suggested to be derived from "ball" which has a similar pronunciation) = boobs.[4] The typical instance is bōbà (波霸), which refers to a woman with very large breasts.
  • fúshòu (福寿; 福壽); lit. "happy long life"
  • nāināi (奶奶) = boobies.
  • xǐmiàn nǎi (洗面奶) = motorboating (lit. "facial cleanser", where "" serves as both slang for breasts and a thick liquid, and pressing one's head between a woman's breasts vaguely resembles washing one's face)
  • zār () (Beijing slang)
  • bàorǔ (Chinese: 爆乳; lit. 'busty breasts ('explosive breasts')') = big tits, likely reborrowing from Japanese.
  • fēijīchǎng (飛機場; literally "airport") = flat breasts
  • hángkōng mǔjiàn (航空母艦) – literally "aircraft carrier", referring to a flat chest. Compare with 战舰 (zhànjiàn), meaning battleship, which refers to larger-sized "chimneys" of the chest.
  • tàipíng gōngzhǔ (太平公主) means Princess of Peace; this was the actual title of a real princess. However means great or extreme and means flat or level. Hence, this phrase is a double entendre, i.e., "Extremely Flat-Chested Princess."

Anus[edit]

  • júhuā (菊花); literally "chrysanthemums") – anus. This term comes from the observation that the shape of an anal opening resembles a chrysanthemum flower, where the skin folds are comparable to the flower's small, thin petals. Although nowadays this usage is a commonplace amongst Chinese netizens, the euphemism as such has existed in Chinese literature from much earlier.
  • pìyǎn (屁眼) – anal orifice, asshole
  • gāngmén (Chinese: 肛門) – anus (medical term), literally "door of anus".
  • hòutíng (後庭) – anus. literally "back yard".

Masturbation[edit]

Male masturbation, at least, has several vulgar expressions, in addition to two formal/scientific ones that refer to both male and female masturbation (shǒuyín 手淫 and zìwèi 自慰):

  • dǎ shǒuqiāng (Chinese: 打手槍) = male masturbation (lit. "firing a handgun")
  • dǎ fēijī (打飛機) = male masturbation (lit. "hitting an airplane"). A term which originated from the Cantonese language.
  • lǚguǎn / lǚguǎnr (捋管/捋管儿) = male masturbation (lit. "stroke the pipe")
  • lūgǔan (擼管) = male masturbation, also "stroking the pipe"
  • wán lǎo èr (玩老二) = male masturbation (lit., "play with little brother")
  • wǔdǎyī (五打一) = male masturbation (lit. "five beating one")
  • jiàn Wǔ gūniáng (見伍姑娘) = male masturbation (lit. "to visit five girls", a reference to the fact that a human hand has five fingers)
  • zìkuài (自快) = masturbation (lit. private pleasure / enjoy yourself)
  • zhǐjiāo (指交) = fingering
  • jiǎ yīnjīng (假陰莖) = dildo (lit. fake penis)
  • ànmó bàng (按摩棒) = vibrator (lit. massage stick)

Foreplay[edit]

  • kǒu jiāo (口交) = oral intercourse (scientific); informally euphemized in text as "" (yǎo; 'bite' due to its visual resemblance)
  • chuī gōng (吹功) = blowjob (lit. "blow service")
  • chuī xiāo (吹蕭) = blowjob ("play flute")
  • hā bàng (哈棒) = Taiwanese slang for blowjob
  • shēnhóu (深喉) = deep throating
  • càokǒu (肏口) = mouth fucking (a form of blowjob)
  • miàncào (面肏) = face fucking
  • diào chábāo (吊茶包) = teabagging
  • yīnhù kǒujiāo (陰戶口交) = cunnilingus (scientific)
  • tiǎnyīn (舔陰) = muff diving (lit. "licking vagina")
  • pǐnyù (品玉) = muff diving (lit. "evaluating jade")
  • chībī (吃屄) = eat pussy (borrowed from English)
  • yánmiàn qíchéng (顏面騎乘) = facesitting
  • tiǎngāng (舔肛) = anilingus (scientific)
  • dúlóng zuān (毒龍鑽) = anilingus (lit. "drilling for poisonous dragons")

Sexual intercourse[edit]

  • cào (/) = to fuck (the first shown Chinese character is made up of components meaning "to enter" and "the flesh"; the second is the etymological graph, with the standard meaning being "to do exercise")
  • gàn (Chinese: ) = to do = to fuck, originally from Hokkien .
  • gǎo () = to do = to fuck (used in a similar fashion as 幹). This verb (as in "to do") originated from Cantonese, but is now widely used in Mandarin (especially PRC) both in its original meaning and to denote sexual intercourse.
  • () (lit. "to enter)" = to fuck. The meaning is obvious and in normal contexts is pronounced . But when it is used as a coarse expression, the "u" is elided. See 國語辤典, vol. 3, p. 3257.[full citation needed] It is also commonly seen on internet websites and forums as , due to similar pronunciation and ease of input.
  • bàojúhuā (爆菊花) = anal sex. (lit. burst the chrysanthemum (anus)), i.e., insert the penis into the anus
  • dǎpào (打炮) = to ejaculate (lit. to fire the cannon)
  • gāocháo (高潮) = Sexual orgasm (lit. high tide, also used to describe a climax point in other domains)
  • chā ()= to have sex (lit. to insert, to penetrate)
  • chǎofàn (炒飯) = to have sex (lit. "making stir-fried rice")
  • hēi xiū (嘿咻) = to have sex (onomatopoeia for grunting noises made when exerting effort, heave-ho)
  • dǎ huíhé (打回合) = to have sex (lit. "a round of a fight", but usually made into number of rounds if having sex multiple times, such as "打第三回合" or "round 3 of fighting" to mean "3rd time having sex")
  • qiángjiān (強姦) = rape
  • jījiān (雞姦) = sodomy
  • shèjīng (射精) = to ejaculate (scientific)
  • cháo chuī (潮吹) = female ejaculation; squirt (lit. "orgasm blow")
  • rǔjiāo (乳交) = intermammary sex; tit-fuck (lit. "breast intercourse")
  • zhēnzhū xiàngliàn (珍珠項鍊) = ejaculating on a woman's chest after intramammary sex; pearl necklace
  • jiào chuáng (叫床) = moaning in bed

Insults[edit]

As in English, a vulgar word for the sexual act is used in insults and expletives:

  • cào () = fuck (the variant character was in use as early as the Ming dynasty in the novel Jin Ping Mei). is often used as a substitute for in print or on the computer, because 肏 was until recently often not available for typesetting or input.
  • cào nǐ zǔzōng shíbā dài (肏你祖宗十八代) = "Fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation"; the cào 肏, in modern Standard Chinese, is often substituted with 肏; the cào 肏 (fuck) has been substituted for , which meant "confiscate all the property of someone and of his entire extended family." In China, ancestor worship is an important aspect of society, as a result of Confucianism, where filial piety and respect for one's ancestors is considered crucial; insulting one's ancestors is a sensitive issue and is generally confronting.

Mother[edit]

Insulting someone's mother is also common:

  • tā māde (Chinese: 他媽的, IM: TMD) Literally "[fuck] his mother's" but frequently used as "Shit!" (lit. "his mother's"; in the 1920s the famous writer Lu Xun joked that this should be China's national curse word)
  • tā mā bāzi (Chinese: 他媽巴子 his mother's clitoris. Lu Xun differentiates this expression from the previous one. This one can be said in admiration, whereas "tā māde" is just abusive. See his essay, "On 'His mother's'" (論他媽的).
  • tā māde niǎo (Chinese: 他媽的鳥) = goddamn it (lit. "his mother's dick"; 鸟/鳥 literally is "bird", but used here as a euphemism for diǎo; ; "penis")
  • qù nǐ nǎinaide (Chinese: 去你奶奶的) = your mother (lit. "go to your grandma")
  • qù nǐ māde (Chinese: 去你媽的) = your mother (lit. "go to your mom")
  • qù nǐde (Chinese: 去你的) = fuck you, screw off, shut up (used jokingly and is considered mild and not insulting)
  • nǐ māde bī (Chinese: 你媽的屄) = your mother's cunt
  • cào nǐ mā (Chinese: 肏你媽, IM: CNM) / cào nǐ niáng (肏你娘) = fuck your mother
  • cào nǐ māde bī (Chinese: 肏你媽的屄) = fuck your mother's cunt
  • gàn nǐ mā (Chinese: 幹你媽) / gàn nǐ lǎo mǔ (Chinese: 幹你老母) = fuck your mother (gàn is similar to the English euphemism do)
  • gàn nǐ niáng (Chinese: 幹你娘) = fuck your mother (Taiwanese Mandarin influenced by the regional vernacular Taiwanese Minnan 姦汝娘 (kàn-lín-nió); also "幹您娘")

Other relatives[edit]

  • nǐ èr dàyé de (Chinese: 你二大爷的) = damn on your second uncle. This is a part of local Beijing slang.
  • lǎolao (Chinese: 姥姥) = grandmother-from-mother-side. In Beijing dialect, this word is used for "Never!".
  • tā nǎinai de (Chinese: 他奶奶的) = His grandmother-from-father-side!

Turtles and eggs[edit]

The 中文大辭典 Zhōng wén dà cí diǎn (Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language)), discusses 王八 (wáng bā) in vol. 6 p. 281. "Wáng bā" is the term that is usually written casually for the slur that means something like "son of a bitch."

A "wángbādàn 忘/王八蛋" is the offspring of a woman lacking virtue. Another meaning of 王八 is biē, fresh-water turtle.[5] Turtle heads reemerging from hiding in the turtle's shell look like the glans emerging from the foreskin, and turtles lay eggs. So a "wang ba" is a woman who has lost her virtue, and a "wang ba dan" is the progeny of such a woman, a turtle product, but, figuratively, also a penis product. 龜頭 (guītóu, "turtle head") can refer to the glans of the penis.

"Wáng bā 王八" originally got switched over from another "忘八 wàng bā" (one that referred to any very unvirtuous individual) because of a man with the family name Wáng 王 who picked up the nickname 賊王八 zéi Wáng bā ("the thieving Wang Eight") but for being a dastard, not for being a bastard. The dictionary does not say, but he may have been the eighth Wang among his siblings. Anyway, he became "crook Wang eight" and the term stuck and spread just as "Maverick" did in English. There is a pun here because of the earlier expression 忘八 wàng bā used to describe (1) any person who forgets/disregards the eight virtues, (2) an un-virtuous woman, i.e., one who sleeps around. The first meaning applied to the dastardly Wang, but the family name got "stuck" to the second, sexual, term.[citation needed]

Illegitimacy[edit]

Many insults imply that the interlocutor's mother or even grandmother was promiscuous. The turtle is emblematic of the penis and also of promiscuous intercourse, because turtles were once thought to conceive by thought alone, making paternity impossible to prove. Eggs are the progeny of turtles and other lower animals, so the word dàn () is a metonym for offspring.

  • wángbā (王八) / wàngbā (忘八) = softshell turtle; this was an insult as early as the Song Dynasty.
  • wángbādàn (王八蛋, informal simplified: 王八旦) = bastard (lit. "softshell turtle egg")
  • wàngbāgāozi (王八羔子) = bastard (lit. "soft shell turtle's lamb"; 羔 generally means newborn lamb but can also refer to the young of certain animals - especially mammals - in general. Generally used in Northern slang.)
  • guī sūnzi (Chinese: 龜孫子) / guī érzi (Chinese: 龜兒子) = bastard (lit. "turtle grandson" and "turtle son")
  • dài lǜmàozi (Chinese: 戴綠帽子) = to be a cuckold (lit. "wear a green hat," supposedly because male brothel workers in the Tang Dynasty had to wear green hats)
  • zázhǒng (Chinese: 雜種) = mixed seed, half-caste, half breed, hybrid, illegitimate child. There are proper terms for children of mixed ethnicity, but this is not one of them.
  • hún dàn (混蛋) = individual who has at least two biological fathers and one biological mother, the idea being that the mother mated with two or more males in quick succession and a mosaic embryo was formed.
  • hún zhang wángbā dàn (Chinese: 混賬王八蛋) = similar to turtle egg, see above.

Suck up[edit]

  • chóngyáng mèiwài (Chinese: 崇洋媚外) Chinese who blindly worship foreigners; xenophiles.
  • fànjiàn (Chinese: 犯贱) asking to be disrespected.
  • zhāo biǎn (Chinese: 招贬) asking to be kicked.
  • dīsānxiàsì (Chinese: 低三下四) servile lickspittle (lit. "low three down four").
  • gǒutuǐzi (Chinese: 狗腿子) an accomplice to a villain (lit. a dog's leg).
  • pāi mǎ pì (Chinese: 拍马屁) to suck up, to be a toady (lit. patting a horse's butt).

Disability[edit]

References to various kinds of disability are sometimes used against both abled and disabled people as an insult.

  • shén jīng bìng (Chinese: 神經病) Lunatic/madman. Literally "neuropathy", or having problems with one's nervous system. The word 神經病 uesd in this context properly refers to 精神病 (jīng shén bìng, literally [person with] psychiatric disorder or schizophrenia); 神經病 is an anastrophe of the latter. There are many hypotheses for the reason why people rarely use 精神病 offensively; the most widely accepted interpretation of this idiomatic expression is that in China, imbalance of the nervous system has been historically associated with mental illness. In the 20th century, 神经衰弱 Shenjing shuairuo, literally "neurasthenia", is a more socially accepted medical diagnosis for someone who, in the West, would have normally been diagnosed with schizophrenia, due to the social stigma against mental illness in China). Simultaneously, tonal differences make 神經病 sound harsher than 精神病. Now the word is used quite generally when insulting someone whose actions seem insane, odd, rude, offensive, or inappropriate.
  • fāfēng (Chinese: 發瘋) going insane.
  • biàntài (Chinese: 變態) Perverted, deviant, abnormal.[6] Cognate of Japanese hentai.
  • nǎocán (Chinese: 腦殘) lit. brain crippled. Intelligence or mental capacity.
  • bái chī (Chinese: 白痴) idiot, someone with mental retardation.
  • bái mù (Chinese: 白目) stupid. Literally, white-eyed, blind. Here it means not understanding the situation and reacting in a wrong way as a result.
  • bèn dàn (Chinese: 笨蛋) Idiot (lit. stupid egg).
  • chǔn dàn (Chinese: 蠢蛋) Stupid (lit. stupid egg).
  • chǔn zhū (Chinese: 蠢豬) Stupid (lit. dumb pig).
  • chǔn lǘ (Chinese: 蠢驢) Dumbass
  • dà nǎo jìn shuǐ (Chinese: 大脑进水) water leaked in the brain, a possible reference to hydrocephalus.
  • shǎ zi (Chinese: 傻子) Blockhead
  • zìbì (Chinese: 自閉) autistic. Neutral term for people who are actually autistic, but also used as an mildly offensive term for socially awkward people.
  • xǐhān (Chinese: 喜憨) The term is coined by a Taiwanese NGO as a positive term for mentally disabled people, but has become a negative term when used on a neurotypical person.
  • zhìzhàng(Chinese: 智障) short for Chinese: 智力障礙, intellectually disabled.
  • cánfèi (Chinese: 殘廢) crippled.
  • bǒzi (Chinese: 跛子) crippled.
  • quézi (Chinese: 瘸子) crippled.
  • xiāzi (Chinese: 瞎子) blind. The word is used either as an obsolete and politically incorrect term for visually impaired people, or as an insult when an abled person fails to see something.
  • lóngzi (Chinese: 聾子) deaf. Similar to the above but for hearing instead of vision.

Buttocks[edit]

While there are vulgar expressions in English referring to the buttocks or rectum, there are no real equivalents in Mandarin. Pìgu yǎn (屁股眼) or pìyǎnr (屁眼兒) one expression for anus, is not vulgar, but it occurs in various curses involving an imperforate anus

  • sǐ pì yǎn (Chinese: 死屁眼) damned asshole.
  • jiào nǐ shēng háizi méi pìgu yǎn (Chinese: 叫你生孩子沒屁股眼) – literally, "May your child be born with an imperforate anus"; sometimes méi pìgu yǎn (Chinese: 沒屁股眼) is used as an epithet similar to "damned". This phrase is commonly heard in some TVB dramas in the Cantonese translation.[7]
  • jiào nǐ shēng háizi zhǎng zhì chuāng (叫你生孩子长痔疮) – "May your child be born with hemorrhoids"
  • wǒ kào (我靠 or 我尻– "Well fuck me!", "Fuck!", "Fuckin' awesome!" or "Holy shit!" (Originally from Taiwan, this expression has spread to the mainland, where it is generally not considered to be vulgar. originally meant "butt.")

Age[edit]

  • lǎo bù sǐde 老不死的 (literally "old [but] won't die") An angry comment directed against old people who refuse to die and so clog up the ladder to promotion in some organization. It is implied that they have outlived their usefulness, which conveys a deeper meaning of that person inconveniencing or hogging a resource or benefit that is beneficial to the insulter (such as a job promotion) by being alive; thus the insulter wishes for their death. The expression comes from the Analects of Confucius where the Master complains against those who engage in heterodox practices aimed at assuring them extreme longevity. In the original these individuals are described as "lǎo ér bù sǐ" (老而不死), i.e., it is said that they "are old but won't die."
  • lǎo zéi 老賊 = lǎo bù sǐde (literally "old thief")
  • lǎo tóuzi (Chinese: 老頭子), literally "old head," it refers in a somewhat slighting way to old men. Its usage is rather like such expressions as "old geezer" in English.
  • lǎo tài pó = 老太婆 (literally "old hag")
  • xiǎo guǐ = 小鬼," little devil/ghost", is used familiarly and (usually) affectionately (c.f. "rascal" in English).
  • xiǎo tù zǎizi 小兔崽子," little rabbit kitten," refers to someone young. Its usage is rather like such expressions as "little brat" in English.
  • rǔ xiù wèi gān (Chinese: 乳臭未乾) Literally "(the) smell (of) milk is not dry (=gone) yet," wet behind the ears.
  • lǎo wán gù 老顽固, an old, stubborn, arrogant man.

Promiscuity[edit]

As in the West, highly sexual women have been stigmatized. Terms for males who sleep around are rare.

  • chāng fù (娼妇) = bitch/whore
  • húli jīng (狐狸精) = bitch (overly seductive woman or a golddigger; lit. "fox spirit")
  • sānbā (三八) = airhead, braggart, slut (lit. "three eight"). Used to insult women. One derivation claims that at one point in the Qing Dynasty, foreigners were only permitted to circulate on the eighth, eighteenth, and twenty-eighth of each month, and the Chinese deprecated these aliens by calling them 三八, but others claim 三八 refers to March 8: International Women's Day. In Taiwan, the term has less of a misogynistic connotation, and means "silly" or "airhead."
  • gōng gòng qì chē (Chinese: 公共汽車) = slut (lit. "public bus") used for a woman who sleeps around, as in "everyone has had a ride"
  • biǎozi (婊子) = whore, slut
  • jiàn nǚ rén (贱女人) = bitch, cheap woman
  • huā huā gōngzǐ (花花公子) = playboy, notorious cheater (lit. "Flower-Flower Prince")
  • sè láng (色狼) = womanizer, sex maniac (lit. "Coloured Wolf", in this context the adjective "colour" is a euphemism for "lewd")[8]
  • sè guǐ (色鬼) = pervert (lit. "Sex Ghost", 色 can be read as both 'Color' and 'Sex')

Positive connotations[edit]

Occasionally, slang words with a negative connotation are turned around and used positively:

  • wǒ cào (我肏) = An expression of impressed surprise or approval, akin to "fuck me", "holy fuck" or "holy shit!" in English (lit. "I fuck") Alternatively, "我靠" (wǒ kào, "I lean on". IM:KAO) or "哇靠" (wa kào) is used as a euphemism (similar to "frigging" "frick" in English) when the subject intends on being less obscene, such as when speaking in public.
  • niúbī (牛屄/牛逼) = fucking awesome (literally "cow cunt"; possibly influenced by the expression chuī niú pí; 吹牛皮, which means "to brag"). This phrase also has many alternative forms, including NB, 牛B, 牛比, 牛鼻 ("cow's nose"), as well as euphemisms such as 牛叉/牛X niúchā. It can also just be shortened to .
  • diǎo () / niǎo (Chinese: ) = cock; this was an insult as long ago as the Jin Dynasty. Despite remaining a profane word in Cantonese, now it sometimes also means "fucking cool" or "fucking outrageous" in Mandarin. The positive expression is believed to have been invented by Sun Ta-Wei in an MTV Taiwan advertisement,[9] but the pop star Jay Chou played a major role in its promotion. Because of the substitution of "niǎo" which means bird, sometimes English-speaking Chinese in Malaysia sometimes use "birdie" as a euphemism for "penis" for small children. Bird man sometimes has a derogative meaning as a "wretch", but also often used between close friends as affectionate appellation like "fellow".
  • diǎo sī (屌丝) = originally meant to mean male pubic hair, but means an unprivileged nobody. Originally an Internet slang meaning "incel", now a popular word often used in self-mockery (lit. "dick silk/wire")

Mixed-up[edit]

Other insults include the word hùn (), which means "mixed-up", or hùn (Chinese: ), which means "muddy":

  • hùnzhàng (Chinese: 混賬) = bullshit, damn
  • hùndàn (混蛋 / Chinese: 渾蛋) = prick (lit. muddy egg)
  • hùnqiú (混球) = jerk (lit. muddy ball)
  • mǎmǎhǔhǔ (马马虎虎) = sloppy, careless (lit. horse-tiger[10])

Eggs[edit]

Perhaps due to the influence of wángbādàn (王八蛋), dàn (; "egg") is used in a number of other insults in addition to hùndàn (混蛋):

  • bèndàn (笨蛋) = dummy, fool, idiot (lit. "dumb egg")
  • chǔn dàn (蠢蛋) = dummy, fool
  • dǎodàn (倒蛋 / Chinese: 搗蛋) = "to cause trouble"
  • gǔndàn (Chinese: 滾蛋) = get out of sight!
  • huàidàn (Chinese: 壞蛋) = a wicked person. Literally a bad egg.
  • hútú dàn (糊涂蛋) = confused/clueless person (a sucker)
  • qióngguāng dàn (Chinese: 窮光蛋) = a poor/penniless person
  • chě dàn (Chinese: 扯蛋) = nonsense, bullshit, bollocks

Melons[edit]

The word guā (; melon or gourd) is also used in insults:

  • shǎguā (傻瓜; also shǎzi, 傻子) = dummy, fool, idiot. The term was in use as early as the Yuan Dynasty.
  • dāiguā (呆瓜; also dāizi, 呆子) = dummy, fool, idiot.

In addition to the senses listed above, the "melon" is a metonym for the womb, and a "broken melon" refers to a female's lost virginity.

Sticks[edit]

The noun gùn, stick/staff is often used to refer to someone who is morally corrupted.

  • ègùn (惡棍) = bad guy, bully, villain (lit. "evil stick")
  • shéngùn (神棍) = fake fortune teller (lit. "god stick")
  • dǔgùn (賭棍) = rogue gambler (lit. "gamble stick")
  • dégùn (德棍) = fascist (lit. "german stick")

Ghosts and spirits[edit]

The noun for "ghost" 鬼 is often used to mock someone with some bad habit. The mocking tone may not be very serious though.

  • jiǔguǐ (酒鬼) = drinker, alcoholic
  • zuìguǐ (醉鬼) = drunkard
  • xiǎoqì guǐ = tightwad, cheapskate; selfish
  • dǎnxiǎo guǐ (胆小鬼) = coward

精 "nonhuman spirit in a human's form" is usually for insulting some cunning people.

  • húli jīng (狐狸精) = vixen (overly seductive woman or a golddigger; lit. "fox spirit")
  • mǎpì jīng = flatterer (lit. "horse fart spirit")
  • lǎo yāo pó (老妖婆) = evil old witch
  • yāojing (妖精) = alluring woman; also fairy or goblin
  • yāoguài (妖怪) = monster, demon
  • rényāo (人妖) = shemale, trans woman (lit. "human demon")
  • tàiguó rényāo (泰國人妖) = Thai shemale (lit. Thailand human demon; usually used as a stronger insult than merely calling someone a shemale)

Useless[edit]

  • méiyòng (Chinese: 沒用) = useless
  • Fèi (Chinese: , Chinese: ; "(noun) waste/garbage, (verb) to waste, to throw away") appears in a number of insults:
    • wōnang fèi (Chinese: 窩囊廢) = loser
    • fèi wù (Chinese: 廢物)= good for nothing
    • fèirén (Chinese: 廢人) = useless person
    • fèihuà (Chinese: 廢話) = nonsense, bullshit, useless talk or chit-chat
  • liúmáng (Chinese: 流氓) = scoundrel, gangster or pervert (the word originally meant vagrant); often used by women to insult men who act aggressively.
  • nāozhǒng (Chinese: 孬種) = coward, useless, or weak person.
  • rén zhā (Chinese: 人渣) = Scum. Someone who is useless and unwanted as garbage.
    • wúyòng (Chinese: 無用) = literally "useless"
    • fàntǒng (Chinese: 飯桶) = useless person. Literally "rice bucket", the connotation being that, like a bucket, the person is only useful for storing food and nothing else.

Boasting[edit]

  • bàn píngzi cù (Chinese: 半瓶子醋): literally "a half-empty bottle of vinegar", used to address a person with limited professional expertise.
  • chuīniú bī (Chinese: 吹牛逼): lit. inflating (blowing air into) a cow's vagina. Used to address bragging activities. Often bowdlerized to chuīniú (Chinese: 吹牛) when speaking in public or in the presence of children.
  • chī bǎole chēng de (Chinese: 吃饱了撑的): lit. eats too much. Used to refer weird, nonsense or illogical deeds.
  • chī bǎo fàn méi shì gàn (吃飽飯沒事干) = same as chī bǎo le chēng de, but the literal meaning is different (lit. "just finished eating and there's nothing to do")

Cruelty[edit]

  • shārén bù zhǎyǎn (Chinese: 杀人不眨眼) stone cold killer (lit. "kills people without blinking")
  • huǒyǎn xiéshén (Chinese: 火眼邪神) evil spirit.
  • dà mó tóu (Chinese: 大魔头) a very wicked and powerful man.
  • sàng xīn bìng kuǎng (Chinese: 丧心病狂) crazy cruelty.
  • liáng xīn bèi gǒu chī le (Chinese: 良心被狗吃了) conscience was eaten by dog.

Face[edit]

Because shame or "face" is important in Chinese culture, insulting someone as "shameless" is much stronger than in English:

  • bú yàoliǎn (Chinese: 不要臉) = shameless, lit. "doesn't want face," i.e., "discards his face, does not seek to maintain a good status in society".
  • bú yào bīliǎn (Chinese: 不要屄臉) = fuсking shameless, lit. "doesn't want сunt face," i.e., "discards his fuсking face"

Girlish[edit]

  • niángniangqiāng (Chinese: 娘娘腔) is a pejorative used to describe Chinese males who are extremely effeminate in their speaking style. It is related to the term sājiào (撒娇, to whine), but is predominantly said of males who exhibit a rather "girlish" air of indecisiveness and immaturity. Adherents of both tend to lengthen sentence-final particles while maintaining a higher-pitched intonation all throughout.
  • niángpào (娘炮) = same as 娘娘腔 (above)
  • tàijiàn (太监) or gōnggong (公公) – Eunuch. From the stereotypes of Imperial eunuchs seen in TV shows in China (with a high, feminine voice). Men with higher voices are called eunuchs.
  • nǚ qì (Chinese: 女氣), female lifebreath. A man having the psychological attributes of a woman is said to exhibit "nǚ qì," i.e., is said to be effeminate.
  • pì jīng (Chinese: 屁精) roughly meaning ass fairy. It is often used as a derogatory for feminine gay people.

Boyish[edit]

  • nán rén pó (Chinese: 男人婆) a female who behaves like a male. Tomboy.
  • mu ye cha (Chinese: 母夜叉) a female Yaksha, an ugly and rough female; often domineering in personality.

Inhuman[edit]

Other insults accuse people of lacking qualities expected of a human being:

  • chùsheng (畜生) = animal; it literally means "beast", a likely reference to the Buddhist belief that rebirth as an animal is the result of karma conditioned by stupidity and prejudice. The word is also used in Japanese, where it is pronounced "chikushō", often used as an expletive, akin to "hell!"
  • qín shòu (禽兽) = beasts (lit.: "bird and animal"), often used as qín shòu bù rú (禽兽不如) = worse than beasts
  • nǐ bú shì rén (你不是人) = you're not human (lit.: "you are not a person"). This could also mean that the person is so mean/cruel that they are not human. In this instance, one can say "你还是人吗" nǐ hái shì rén ma (lit.: "are you still human")
  • nǐ shì shénme dōngxi (Chinese: 你是什麽東西) = you're less than human, literally: What kind of object are you? (compares the level of a person to that of an object)
  • nǐ búshì dōngxi (Chinese: 你不是東西) = you're less than human (implies less worth than an object)
  • bùyàoliǎn de dōngxi (Chinese: 不要臉的東西) = you're shameless and less than human (lit.: "you are a thing that has no shame")
  • jiànhuò (Chinese: 賤貨) = lit. "cheap goods" ("[you] despicable creature!")
  • sāohuò (Chinese: 騷貨) = lit. "lewd goods" ("[you] lewd creature!")
  • shuǐhuò (Chinese: 水货) = lit. "parallel import"

Death[edit]

(; "dead", "cadaverous," or, less precisely, "damn(ed)") is used in a number of insults:

  • sǐ guǐ (死鬼) lit., "dead imp," "dead demon," "dead ghost". Used as a term of contempt.
  • sǐ sān bā (死三八) / chòu sān bā (臭三八), lit., stinking (derogatory term for woman) bitch
  • sǐ bù yào liǎn (Chinese: 死不要臉) = shameless (lit.: "[you] shameless corpse")
  • qù sǐ (去死) = Lit. "Go die!", comparable to the English phrase "Go to hell!"
  • sǐ yā tóu 死丫頭, lit., dead serving wench. – This term is no longer in common use. It appears in early novels as a deprecating term for young female bondservants. The "ya" element refers to a hair style appropriate to youths of this sort.
  • gāi sǐ (Chinese: 該死) damned, damn it! (lit. should die)
  • zhǎo sǐ (Chinese: 找死): literally "look [for] death" (i.e. "looking to die"). Roughly equivalent to the English phrase 'asking for trouble'.

Excrement[edit]

The words "" (shǐ) (= shit, turd, dung), "" (fèn) (= manure, excrement) and "大便 (= stool, poop)" (dà biàn), all mean feces but vary from blunt four letter to family-friendly, respectively. They can all be used in compound words and sentences in a profane manner.

Originally, the various Mandarin Chinese words for "excrement" were less commonly used as expletives, but that is changing. Perhaps because farting results in something that is useless even for fertilizer: "fàng pì" (放屁; lit. "to fart") is an expletive in Mandarin. The word "" (; lit. "fart") or the phrase is commonly used as an expletive in Mandarin (i.e. "bullshit!").

  • qù chī dà biàn (去吃大便) [Go] Eat shit! (By itself, 大便 is neither an expletive nor does it have the same effect as 'shit' in English.)
  • chī shǐ (吃屎) = Eat shit!
  • shǐ dàn (屎蛋) Lit., "shit egg", a turd.
  • fàng pì (放屁) = bullshit, nonsense, lie (literally "to fart"; used as an expletive as early as the Yuan dynasty.
  • fàng nǐ mā de pì (Chinese: 放你媽的屁) = you are f—ing bullshitting (lit. "release your mother's fart")
  • 'ge pì (个屁) = A common variation of 放屁, also meaning "bullshit" (as in lies, c.f. English "my ass!"). This term is used because "fang pi" can be taken literally to mean Flatulence. Often tacked on to the end of a sentence, as in "XYZ 个屁!"
  • méi pì yòng (Chinese: 没屁用) = no damn use (lit. "to have no fart use")
  • yǒu pì yòng (Chinese: 有屁用) = no damn use, to be of damn-all use (lit. "to have fart use")
  • pìhuà (Chinese: 屁話) = bullshit, nonsense (lit. "fart word")
  • nǐ zài jiǎng shén me pì huà (Chinese: 你在講什麽屁話) = What the shit/fuck are you saying
  • pì shì (屁事) = a mere nothing; also guānwǒpìshì (关我屁事)= I don't give a damn, it means damn all to me
  • mǐ tián gòng (米田共) – A play on the writing of (the traditional form of (fen), also "kuso" in Japanese), referring to excrement.
  • qí yán fèn tǔ yě (Chinese: 其言糞土也) – an expression in Classical Chinese that means, "His words are [nothing but] excrement." (See Giles, A Chinese-English Dictionary.)
  • yǒu huà kuài shuō, yǒu pì kuài fàng 有話快說,有屁快放 = an expression meaning to stop beating around the bush (lit. If you have something to say, hurry up and say it; if you have a fart, hurry up and let it out)
  • shǐ bǎ ba (屎㞎㞎)[11] – Children's slang term for faeces, similar to English "poo-poo" or "brownie". A variant of this term is 㞎 (bǎ ba), while 便便 (biàn bian) is also used as a children's term, albeit less frequently used.
  • pìtóu (屁头) = fart.

Animals[edit]

In a 1968 academic study of Chinese pejorative words, more than a third of the 325-term corpus of abusive expressions compare the insulted person with an animal, with the worst curses being "animal" generally, "pig, dog, animal", or "animal in dress", which deny the person of human dignity.[12] The expressions contain metaphorical references to the following domesticated animals: dogs, cows, and chickens (12 or 11 terms each), (8 times), horse (4), cat (3), and duck (2), and one each to sheep, donkey and camel.[13] A variety of wild animals are used in these pejorative terms, and the most common are monkey (7 times) and tiger (5 times), symbolizing ugliness and power respectively.[14]

Dogs[edit]

The fact that many insults are prefaced with the Mandarin Chinese word for dog attest to the animal's low status:

  • gǒuzǎizi (狗崽子) = dog pup (English equivalent: "son of a bitch")
  • gǒu pì (狗屁) = bullshit, nonsense (lit. "dog fart"); in use as early as 1750 in the Qing Dynasty novel The Scholars.
  • nǐ ge gǒu pì (Chinese: 你個狗屁) = what you said is bullshit. Also "nǐ ge pì"(simplified Chinese: 你个屁; traditional Chinese: 你個屁)or simply "pì"(Chinese: ). Generally appears at the end of sentences.
  • gǒu pì bù tōng (狗屁不通) dog fart + does not (come out at the end of the tube) communicate = incoherent, nonsensical
  • fàng nǐ mā de gǒu pì (Chinese: 放你媽的狗屁) = what you said is fucking bullshit (lit. "release your mother's dog fart")
  • fàng nǐ mā de gǒu chòu pì (Chinese: 放你媽的狗臭屁) = what you said is fucking bullshit (lit. "release your mother's dog stinky fart")
  • gǒu niáng yǎng de (Chinese: 狗娘養的) = son of a bitch (lit. "raised by a dog mother")
  • gǒurìde (狗日的) = son of a bitch (from Liu Heng's story "Dogshit Food", lit. "dog fuck" 日 is here written for 入, which when pronounced rì means "fuck".)
  • gǒushǐ duī (狗屎堆) = a person who behaves badly (lit. "a pile of dog shit"); gǒushǐ (狗屎), or "dog shit", was used to describe people of low moral character as early as the Song dynasty. Due to Western influence, as well as the similar sound, this has become a synonym for bullshit in some circles.
  • gǒuzázhǒng (Chinese: 狗雜種) = literally "mongrel dog", a variation on zázhǒng (Chinese: 雜種), above.
  • zǒugǒu (走狗) = lapdog, often translated into English as "running dog", it means an unprincipled person who helps or flatters other, more powerful and often evil people; in use in this sense since the Qing Dynasty. Often used in the 20th century by communists to refer to client states of the United States and other capitalist powers.
  • gǒutuǐzi (狗腿子) / gǒutuǐ (狗腿) = Variant of zǒugǒu (走狗), lit. "dog thigh"
  • hǎ bā gǒu (哈巴狗) = someone who incessantly follows someone around, and is usually seen as a sycophant. (lit: "pug dog")

Rabbits[edit]

In at least one case, rabbit is part of an insult:

  • xiǎotùzǎizi (小兔崽子) = rabbit kitten (quite ironically, this insult is often used by parents to insult their children)

Horse[edit]

  • mǎzi (Chinese: 馬子; lit. 'horse') = a derogatory word for girlfriend. (Possibly influenced by U.S. slang, "filly," used for any girl.)

Bird[edit]

The Chinese word for bird "niǎo"() was pronounced as "diǎo" in ancient times, which rhymes with () meaning penis or sexual organ.[15] It also sounds the same as "penis" in several Chinese dialects. Thus, bird is often associated with 'fuck', 'penis' or 'nonsense':

  • wǒ niǎo nǐ (Chinese: 我鳥你) = I give a shit about you (Beijing dialect)
  • wǒ niǎo tā de (Chinese: 我鳥他的) = I give a shit about him
  • niǎo huà (Chinese: 鳥話; lit. 'bird speech') = bullshit, fucking words ; nǐ zài jiǎng shénme niǎo huà (Chinese: 你在講什麽鳥話) = What fucking words are you talking about?
  • niǎo rén (Chinese: 鳥人; lit. 'bird person') = bastard, asshole. This word commonly appears in Water Margin, a Ming dynasty Classical Chinese Novel.
  • niǎo shì (Chinese: 鳥事; lit. 'bird matters') = mere nothing; also guān wǒ niǎo shì (Chinese: 關我鳥事) = I don't care a damn, it means damn all to me

Tigress[edit]

A tigress or 母老虎 (Mǔ lǎohǔ) refers to a fierce woman, usually someone's strict wife.

Dinosaur[edit]

A dinosaur or 恐龙 (Kǒnglóng) has been used as Internet slang to describe an ugly girl.

Insect[edit]

  • wútóu cāngyíng (無頭蒼蠅) = someone running around with no sense of direction (lit: "headless fly", or similar to "chicken with its head cut off" in English)
  • hú tu chóng (糊涂虫) = absent-minded person, a scatterbrain (lit. "confused insect"), compare with wútóu cāngyíng
  • gēn pì chóng (跟屁蟲) = someone that aimlessly follows someone around, usually for the purpose of flattery (lit: "butt-chasing insect")

Contempt[edit]

Certain words are used for expressing contempt or strong disapproval:

  • qiáobùqǐ (瞧不起) = To look down upon or to hold in contempt.[16]
  • wǒpēi (我呸) = I boo in disapproval. Pēi 呸 is a spoken onomatopoeia that represents the action of spitting.

Divinity[edit]

  • wēnshén (瘟神) = troublemaker (literally "plague god"). Compares the insulted person to a disliked god.
  • wǒ de tiān a (我的天啊) = Oh my God (literally "Oh my sky").

Miscellaneous[edit]

Some expressions are harder to explain:

  • èrbǎiwǔ (二百五) = stupid person/idiot (see 250) Note that the number 250 would normally be pronounced liangbǎiwǔ.
  • shūdāizi, (Chinese: 書呆子) roughly equivalent to "bookworm" or, possibly, "nerd". It is used to portray a studious person as lacking either hands-on experience or social skills. Often used academically to describe one who is too by the book, and unable to adapt to changing circumstances that invalidate book theory. Unlike "nerd", shūdāizi is rarely used in the context of hobbies.
  • bì zuǐ, (闭嘴) = Shut up![17]

Action specific[edit]

Some expressions represent offensive insults involving some kind of actions:

  • gǔnkāi (Chinese: 滾開) = go to hell/fuck off (lit. roll or roll away)
  • nǐgěiwǒgǔn (Chinese: 你給我滾) = get out of my sight! (lit. roll for me!)
  • gǔndàn (Chinese: 滾蛋) = scram, get out! (lit. "roll[ing] egg")
  • gǔnduzi (Chinese: 滾犢子) = get out of here. (lit. "Roll over, calf.")
  • gǔnnǐmādedàn(Chinese: 滾你媽的蛋) = get the fuck out of here! fuck off! (lit. "Roll your mother's egg.")
  • gǔnnǐmābī (Chinese: 滾你媽屄) = get the fuck out of here! fuck off! (lit. "Roll to your mother's c---.")

Region specific[edit]

Many locations within China have their own local slang, which is scarcely used elsewhere. Some of them have been listed above, but these are a few expressions that are not aforementioned:

  • nǐ yā tǐng de (你丫挺的) – Local slang from Beijing, meaning "you son of a bitch!"
  • gàn nǐ xiǎo BK de (干你小BK的) – Local slang from Tianjin, meaning "go fuck your 'thing'" (lit. "dry your small thing"), where "BK" refers to male genitalia. However, when insulting females, "马B" is used instead.
  • xiǎo yàng le ba (小样了吧) – Originating from Southern China. Said upon someone's misfortunes, similar to "haha" or "suck that". Roughly translates to " you're small now".
  • shén me niǎo (Chinese: 什麼鳥) – From the northeastern Heilongjiang, although also used in the South. Used similar to "what the fuck?" (lit. "what dick" 鸟/鳥 literally is "bird", but used here as a euphemism for diǎo; 屌; "penis")
  • fāgé (发格) – Used in Shanghai, direct transliteration from English "fuck".
  • èrbǎdāo (二把刀) – Beijing slang for a good-for-nothing; klutz. Literally "double-ended sword", considered a concept which is useless.
  • xiǎomì (小蜜) – Beijing slang for a special female friend (literally translated as "little honey"), often used with negative connotations.
  • cènà (册那) – Shanghainese for "fuck", similar in usage to 肏 cào albeit less strong.[18]

Racial euphemisms[edit]

Mandarin Chinese has specific terms and racial euphemisms for different ethno-racial groups around the world, and some discriminatory slurs against Chinese representatives from certain governments and backgrounds.

Against Mainlanders[edit]

  • zhīnà (支那) — A derogatory term for China (see Shina). It used to be a neutral historic name for China, but later it became a derogatory since it was extensively used by Japanese Invader during Sino-Japanese Wars.
  • zhīnàzhū (支那猪) — "Shina pigs", see zhīnà (支那). Mostly used by anti-China diaspora Chinese, Taiwanese and Hongkongers.
  • ālùzaǐ (阿陆仔) — Mainlander, a word originated from Southern Min language. A slang term used by Taiwanese people. The word itself is largely neutral, but it was often used in a negative context.
  • sǐālù/426 (死阿陆/426) — An alternation of ālùzaǐ (阿陆仔), literally means "dead Mainlanders". It is often written as 426, as in Southern Min the word sounds similar to 426. The slang is widely used by anti-China Taiwanese people online.
  • huángchóng (蝗虫) — Literally "Locust" or "Insect." The term is mainly used by Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, and Chinese Singaporeans and directed at mainland Chinese immigrants and tourists because they come in large numbers and supposedly end up consuming local resources at the expense of the host native populations.

Against Mainland Communists[edit]

  • gòngfei (共匪) — Literally "Communist bandits" referring to communists, or to a larger extent, all Mainlanders and non-Chinese communists. The term has been in use since the Chinese Civil War by the Kuomintang against the Chinese Communist Party, but today reflects the rifts in cross-strait relations.
  • gòngzei (共贼) — Literally "Communist thieves", referring to the Beijing government, people in the Communist Party, or all Mainlanders.
  • ā gòng zǐ (阿共仔) — Literally "Commie guy", a derogatory slang term used by Taiwanese against mainland Chinese, which refers to communism as an ad hominem.[19]
  • gòngcǎndǎng (共慘黨) — By replacing the middle character with "慘", a near-homophone to "產", meaning sad and pitiful, the name of the Communist Party changes to mean "a party which causes everyone to suffer" (lit. "Everyone Suffers Party"). This term has seen increasing usage in internet communities critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

Against Westerners[edit]

  • baí pí zhū (白皮猪) — "white skin pigs" a slur for white people, as they regarded on the implication that Whites are perceived to be lazier and less diligent in comparison to their Han Chinese counterparts.
  • baí pí (白皮) — "white skins" a slur for white people.
  • yáng guǐzi (洋鬼子) — "Foreign devil", a slur for white foreigners.
  • guǐlǎo (Chinese: 鬼佬) — Borrowed from Cantonese "Gweilo", "devil" or "devil guy", a slur for Westerners in Hong Kong.
  • hóng máo guǐzi (Chinese: 紅毛鬼子) — "Red fur devil", rude slang term for Caucasians, especially Caucasians from English speaking countries (see ang mo)
  • máo zi (Chinese: 毛子) – Ethnic slur against Russians. (Literally "fur".) Alternatively 红毛子 (hóng máo zi, red (communist) fur), 俄毛子 (é máo zi, Rus fur). Similar concept to "hóng máo guǐzi" above.
  • yáng lājī (Chinese: 洋垃圾) – "Foreign trash", an ethnic slur for unemployed and uneducated foreigners, especially Caucasians from English speaking countries looking to seek jobs in China. The slur is similar to the term White trash, used in the United States.
  • mán zi (Chinese: 蠻子) — Literally "foreign barbarians", this historical term, when mixed with the word "south" (南) is also used as an ethnic slur by northern Han Chinese against someone thought to be from southern China.

Against other East Asians[edit]

Against Hong Kongers[edit]

  • gǎng dú (港毒) — a pun on the homophone "港獨" (gǎng dú, literally "Hong Kong independence"), the definition of 毒 (dú) used is "poison". A slur for Hong Kong's people who advocate for Hong Kong's independence, literally meaning "poison of Hong Kong".

Against Taiwanese[edit]

  • tái wā / wā wā (台蛙 / 蛙蛙) — Literally "Taiwanese frogs." Taiwanese are seen as 井底之蛙 (Chinese idiom, literally means "a frog in a well", referring to a person with a very limited outlook and experience), and as often holding naïve beliefs about the mainland.
  • tái dú (台毒) — a pun on the homophone "台獨" (tái dú, literally "Taiwan independence"), the definition of 毒 (dú) used is "poison". A slur for Taiwanese people who advocate for Taiwanese independence, literally meaning "poison of Taiwan".
  • tái bāzi (台巴子) — Literally "Taiwanese penis shaft." A slur and slang term against the Taiwanese. The term originated from Mainland China as a pejorative directed at the Taiwanese.

Against Japanese[edit]

Demonstrators in Taiwan host signs telling "Japanese devils" to "get out" of the Diaoyutai Islands following an escalation in disputes in 2012.
  • xiǎo Rìběn (小日本) "Japs" — Literally "little Japan[ese]". This term is still commonly used as a slur toward Japanese among Chinese but it has very little impact left. This term was historically by the Chinese associating the Japanese with dwarfism and the historical lower average stature of Japanese in comparison with the Han Chinese.
  • Rìběn guǐzi (日本鬼子) — Literally "Japanese devil". This is used mostly in the context of the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japan invaded and occupied large areas of China. This is the title of a Japanese documentary on Japanese war crimes during WWII.
  • dōngyáng guǐzi (Chinese: 東洋鬼子) — Literally "Oriental devil". An anti-Japanese variant of yáng guǐzi, and similar to Rìběn guǐzi above. (Note that whereas the term 東洋 has the literal meaning of "Orient" in the Japanese language, the characters themselves mean "eastern ocean", and it refers to Japan exclusively in modern Chinese usage—since Japan is the country which lies in the ocean east of China.)
  • () — This was an ancient Chinese name for Japan, but was also adopted by the Japanese. Today, its usage in Chinese is usually intended to give a negative connotation (see Wōkòu below). The character is said to also mean "dwarf", although that meaning was not apparent when the name was first used. See Wa (Japan).
  • Wōkòu (倭寇) — Originally referred to Japanese pirates and armed sea merchants who raided the Chinese coastline during the Ming Dynasty (see Wokou). The term was adopted during the Second Sino-Japanese War to refer to invading Japanese forces, (similarly to Germans being called Huns). The word is today sometimes used to refer to all Japanese people in extremely negative contexts.
  • Rìběn gǒu (日本狗) — Literally "Japanese dogs". The word is used to refer to all Japanese people in extremely negative contexts.
  • dà Jiǎopén zú (大腳盆族) — Ethnic slur towards Japanese used predominantly by Northern Chinese, mainly those from the city of Tianjin. Literally "big-feet-like-washbasins race", also punning on the English "Japan".
  • huáng jūn (Chinese: 黃軍) — a pun on the homophone "皇軍" (huáng jūn, literally "Imperial Army"), the definition of 黃 (huáng) used is "yellow". This phrase 黃軍 ("Yellow Army") was used during World War II to represent Japanese soldiers due to the colour of their uniform. Today, it is used negatively against all Japanese. Since the stereotype of Japanese soldiers is commonly portrayed in war-related TV series in China as short men, with a toothbrush moustache (and sometimes round glasses, in the case of higher ranks), 黃軍 is also often used to pull jokes on Chinese people with these characteristics, and thus "appear like" Japanese soldiers.
  • zì wèi duì (Chinese: 自慰隊) — A pun on the homophone "自衛隊" (zì wèi duì, literally "Self-Defence Forces"), the definition of 慰 (wèi) used is "to comfort". This phrase is used to refer to Japanese (whose military force is known as "自衛隊") being stereotypically hypersexual, as "自慰队" means "Self-comforting Forces", referring to masturbation. The word 慰 (wèi) also carries highly negative connotations of "慰安婦" (wèi ān fù, "Comfort women"), referring to the use of sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War II.
  • wěi jūn (伪军)- Literally "pretender army." The word is used as an insult to collaborationist Chinese forces during World War II, but is occasionally used to refer to Japanese forces as well. It is used officially by Chinese historians, and is specifically spoken towards those people, making it a rare and ineffective insult against Japanese people in general.

Against Koreans[edit]

  • Gāolì bàng zǐ (Chinese: 高麗棒子) — A neutral term used against all ethnic Koreans . 高丽/高麗 refers to Ancient Korea (Koryo), while 棒子 means "club" or "corncob", referring to how Korean security guards hired by the Japanese during WW2 were not given guns, only clubs/batons as they were untrustworthy. The term is modernized sometimes as 韓棒子 (hán bàng zǐ, "韓" referring to South Korea)
  • sǐ bàng zǐ (死棒子) — Literally "dead club" or "dead plank" with the sexual innuendo of a "useless or dead erection"; refer to 高丽棒子 above.
  • èr guǐ zǐ (二鬼子)[20] — (See 日本鬼子) During World War II, 二鬼子 referred to Traitors among the Han Chinese hanjian and Koreans in the Imperial Japanese Army, as the Japanese were known as "鬼子" (devils) for massacring innocent children and women. 二鬼子 literally means "second devils". Today, 二鬼子 is used to describe ethnic Koreans who had been absorbed into Japan and joined the Japanese Imperial Army. It is rarely used as a slur in recent times.
  • Běihán gòngfěi (北韩共匪) – Literally "North Korean communist bandits". Used by the anti-communists in Taiwan towards the Workers' Party of Korea as well as the North Koreans.

Against South Asians[edit]

Against Indians[edit]

  • yìndù ā sān (印度阿三) — A euphemism to Indians. It means "Indian, Hassan".
  • ā chā (阿差) — A popular term common among the Cantonese in Hong Kong to refer to Indians. The term derives from the frequent uttering of ācchā 'good, fine' by (Northern) Indians (cf. Hindi अच्छा) Originally referring to the Punjabi "singhs" security force who used to work for the British government during colonial era. Nowadays, any South Asian is referred to as "ā chā". In Cantonese, "Ah" means "Dude", so "Ah Cha" means the dude called "Cha". It is not an ethnic slur, it is used because Cantonese cannot pronounce "Indian" as it derives from a Mandarin term that sounds too formal.[citation needed]
  • gālí rén (咖喱人) — Literally "curry person." A much more common contemporary term used to refer to Indians, derived from the use of curry in Indian cuisine and the perception that Indians eat food to some Chinese find to give off a strong smell, and to which Indians typically eat with their hands, a practice that many Chinese find to be dirty and unclean. For these two reasons, it is applied as a derogatory term to Indians.

Against Southeast Asians[edit]

Against Filipinos[edit]

  • Huanna (Chinese: 番仔; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hoan-á) – a Hokkien term in literally meaning "foreigner or non-Chinese." Used by most Overseas Chinese to refer generally to indigenous Southeast Asians and Taiwanese Aborigines. In the Philippines, this term is used by Chinese Filipinos towards indigenous Filipinos.[21]

Against Indonesians[edit]

  • yìnníbazi (印尼巴 or 印泥巴子) — lit. "Indonesian mud", an ethnic slur towards that refers a play on "印尼" (Indonesia) and "泥巴" (mud), where 尼/泥 are homophones, thus associating Pribumi Indonesians as being primitive, backward, uncivilized, and dirty.

Against Vietnamese[edit]

  • lǎo yuè (老越) – Literally "Old Vietnamese", or "Old Guy from Vietnam". It is not an anti-Vietnamese slur but rather a familial slang term for Vietnamese.
  • Xiǎo Yuenán (小越南) – Literally "little Vietnam[ese]". This can be used in a derogatory context, referring Vietnam's smaller geographical size than China, darker skin tone, and the lower average stature of Vietnamese in comparison with their Han Chinese counterparts.
  • Yuenán houzǐ (越南猴子) – Literally means "Vietnamese monkeys." A term used by the Han Chinese to derogatorily refer towards Vietnamese by associating them as being uncivilized, barbaric, dirty, primitive, and backward people. This term also alludes to the historical region of Nam Viet (南越 which in Chinese translates to "land of the southern barbarians"), a province that was ruled by the Han dynasty during the First Chinese domination of Vietnam; when mixed with the word "southern barbarian" (南蠻) is also used as an ethnic slur towards the Vietnamese by the Han Chinese.[22]
  • Yuenán gòngfei or Yue gòngfei (越南共匪 or 越共匪) – Literally means "Vietnamese communist bandits". A variation of gòngfei, this was directed at the Viet Cong by anti-communists during the Vietnam War. While rarely used today, this term is still also used by Taiwanese anti-communists to refer to the Communist Party of Vietnam, or Vietnamese Communists in general.

Other[edit]

  • lǎo mò (老墨) — Literally "Old Mexican", an ethnic slur used towards Mexicans. 墨 should not be confused with "ink", which bears the same character and pronunciation from "墨" in 墨西哥 (Mexico).
  • hēi guǐzi (黑鬼子) or hēi guǐ (黑鬼) — Literally "Black devil", racial slur directed towards people of Sub-Saharan Black African descent. The term is similar to the English term "nigger" as an ethnic slur directed at blacks.
  • tǔbāozi (土包子) — Literally "Mud baozi/muddy baozi". An insult directed at those seen as uncultured or backward, implying that the insulted person comes from a peasant background. Roughly equivalent to the English phrases "country bumpkin" and "hayseed". The term can also be used without any negative connotations to denote someone who is new, unfamiliar and inexperienced in any profession or activity, roughly similar to the English internet gaming slang "noob."
  • xiāngjiāo rén (香蕉人) — 'Banana People' – a term used to refer to any person of Overseas Chinese ancestry who have assimilated in the Western world and have lost any true Chinese trait. As the insult implies, they are like bananas: Yellow (Chinese) on the outside while white (western) on the inside (akin to "Oreo" for African Americans or "coconut" for Hispanic-Americans).

Homosexuality[edit]

There are various circumlocutions in Mandarin Chinese for homosexual, and the formal terms are recent additions just as is the direct translation of "masturbation" (hand soiling). The words listed below are generally not regarded as being profane. Duànxiù (Chinese: 斷袖) — cut off sleeve, from the story of a ruler whose male favourite fell asleep on the sleeve of his jacket, so when the ruler had to get up to conduct some needed business he cut his sleeve off rather than awaken his lover (See Bret Hinsch, Passions of the Cut Sleeve, p. 53). An analogous story, of a sleeve being cut off so as not to disturb a sleeping cat, is told of both Confucius and Muhammad, and perhaps others.

Yútáo (Chinese: 餘桃) — remains of a peach, from the story of a favourite who rather too familiarly offered his sovereign a peach of which he had already eaten half. (From Han Fei Zi, chapter 12)

Bōlí (玻璃), literally "glass", but implies "glass person". It comes from a passage in the Dream of the Red Chamber in which Phoenix is described as having a "crystal heart in a glass body," meaning that she was glistening, pure, clear, fastidious, etc. It stands as high praise for a lady, but comes off as an effeminate slur when referring to men. The English translation of Bai Xian-yong's novel about male homosexuals in Taiwan includes the term "crystal boys," derived from the same passage in the earlier novel, and also a rather gruff reference to the old photographer who befriends some of the boys as "you old glass," which, delivered by a female friend of his, comes out sounding about on the level of "you old fart," i.e., not really so very offensive, but indicating a passing mood of aggravation on the speaker's part. Nevertheless, the general meaning is probably closer to "old queer."

Nán fēng (Chinese: 男風), male custom, is homophonous with (南風, southern custom.) The first writing of the term would fairly easily be picked out as referring to sexual interactions, whereas the second term could just mean "the customs of the southern part of China."

Tóngzhì (同志; lit.'comrade') was recently adopted in Hong Kong and Taiwan to mean homosexual, and is sometimes used on the mainland. Literally the term means "one having same aspirations".

Tùzi (兔子), used to refer to catamites (lit. rabbit). (See Herbert A. Giles, A Chinese-English Dictionary, entry 12,122) See also Tu Er Shen.

Since the success of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, duànbèi (Chinese: 斷背, lit. "Brokeback") has also become popular.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 为什么"月经"又叫"大姨妈"?. Baidu Zhidao.
  2. ^ 女生习惯说法"大姨妈"的来历. Xinhua News. 2008-05-10. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008.
  3. ^ . Mandarin-English Talking Dictionary. Chinese Language Center.
  4. ^ 为什么乳房叫波. Baidu.com.
  5. ^ , , , and are all different characters for "turtle".
  6. ^ "Glossary".
  7. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  8. ^ FluentFlix, Chinese Slang 101: "Color Wolf"
  9. ^ TVBS. "「屌」比周董早10年 孫大偉獨樹一格│TVBS新聞網". TVBS (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  10. ^ "Forget About Perfection. Embrace 'Mamahuhu.'". New York Times. 2022-05-18. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008.
  11. ^ Note: The character may not be supported on all browsers. It is a 巴 ba below a 尸 corpse radical, and appears as . The character is present in the HKSCS. In the case where the correct character cannot be rendered, the phrase can also be colloquially shown as 屎巴巴 otherwise.
  12. ^ Huang, Frank and Wolfram Eberhard (1968), "On Some Chinese Terms of Abuse," Asian Folklore Studies 27.1: 29.
  13. ^ Huang and Eberhard 1968: 30.
  14. ^ Huang and Eberhard 1968: 32.
  15. ^ "你丫的 ""我鸟你"到底是啥意思?_百度知道.
  16. ^ 瞧不起.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Chao, Eveline. NIUBI!(2009) pg.13
  18. ^ chinaSMACK Glossary: Cena
  19. ^ Custer, Charlie (12 August 2010). "StarCraft 2 in China: "We Gamers Really Suffer"". ChinaGeeks. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  20. ^ 第一滴血──從日方史料還原平型關之戰日軍損失 (6) Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine News of the Communist Party of China December 16, 2011
  21. ^ "Chinese in the Philippines". China History Forum, Chinese History Forum. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  22. ^ Chua, Amy (2018). Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. Penguin Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0399562853.

Sources and further reading[edit]