To unwind after studying the grammar of the Chinese language, perhaps you’re looking for a few wacky expressions to try out. Then, we recommend learning Chinese slang (俚语, lǐyǔ) to improve your fluency and have more fun interacting with Chinese people.
Why Learn Chinese Slang?
Slang terms in any language help you communicate in informal settings and learn how the locals talk. The norms of the Chinese language will not limit the natives. For instance, The word 哥们儿 (gēmen er) is the Chinese equivalent of “bro” or “dude” and is commonly used among young Chinese people. It might not be in a textbook, but on the sidewalks or in movies.
Books will teach you the fundamentals of the language, such as the grammar rules and the most common nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc. However, if you want to master the Chinese language completely, slang is necessary. Learning slang is a great way to keep your Chinese skills updated and open the door to having natural discussions with individuals of all ages. In particular, learning slang is an excellent way to learn about the social and cultural differences that shape the Chinese language.
So, if you’re interested in truly immersing yourself in Chinese culture, let’s get started knowing some of the most frequent slang terms used in China.
Most Common Chinese Slang Words The Locals Use Everyday
First, it would be best to focus on mastering the most widely spoken slang. Of course, in the digital age, there is not just everyday language but also a massive amount of internet language that individuals have come up with, which is both widely used and enjoyable to study. So, if you have Chinese friends, this is a great approach to interact with them in a friendlier and more relaxed manner.
So let’s begin with some of the most common Chinese Internet Slang Words to ease into using slang with your Chinese friends.
绿茶婊 (Lǜ Chá Biǎo) – Green Tea Bitch
“Green tea bitch” is slang for Chinese girls (and others) who pretend to be sweet and innocent but are dishonest. People may have been encouraged to adopt this statement after seeing innocent-looking female models in green tea advertising to represent the purity of the product.
小鲜肉 (Xiǎo Xiān Ròu) – Little Fresh Meat
It’s a term for young male celebs (often 12–25 years old) who come across as sweet, attractive, and innocent. Initially used only for famous people like well-known K-Pop idols, the term is now used for any man who meets the qualifications, whether or not he is famous.
柠檬精 (Níng Méng Jīng) – Lemon Spirit
It describes those who take pleasure in being negative and critical of others because they envy their good fortune, happiness, or relationships.
比心 (Bǐ Xīn) – Forming A Little Heart Sign With Your Fingertips
We can almost promise that if you’re a fan of any Chinese idols on social media, you’ve seen them posting photos of themselves holding a mini-heart, 比心 (bǐxīn). It may not a word, but this is a typical Asian posture, seen regularly in China, South Korea, Thailand, and other parts of Asia. It’s a variation of the finger heart gesture, in which one makes a heart with one’s fingers.
Learn Chinese Slang From Numbers
Learning internet lingo may not be enough, as individuals are far more creative than we recognize them. In addition, Chinese people also type sequences of numbers that sound like the words they intend to communicate to others. They like the numerical shortcut since it is both more convenient and trendy.
|Number||Pinyin||Chinese Word||English Definition||Sound|
|520||wǔ’èrlíng||我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ)||I love you||
|748||qīsìbā||去死吧 (qùsǐba)||Go die! Get lost!||
|666||liùliùliù||牛牛牛 (niú niú niú)||Great! Awesome!||
|995||jiǔ jiǔ wǔ||救救我 (jiù jiù wǒ)||Help me!||
|88||bābā||–||Sound similar to “Bye Bye”||
|233||èr sān sān||哈哈哈 (hā hā hā)||LOL, Ha ha ha||
|484||sìbāsì||是不是 (shì búshì)||Yes or no||
|514||wǔyāosì||我要死 (wǒ yào sǐ)||I want to die||
|918||jiǔyāobā||加油吧 (jiāyóu ba)||Good luck||
|7456||qīsìwǔliù||气死我了 (qìsǐ wǒle)||I’m angry||
|530||wǔsānlíng||我想你 (wǒ xiǎng nǐ)||I miss you||
|4242||sìèrsìèr||是啊是啊 (shìa shìa)||Yes||
|1314||yīsānyīsì||一生一世 (yīshēng yīshì)||Forever||
|555||wǔwǔwǔ||呜呜呜 (wūwūwū)||The sound of crying||
|996||–||–||Refers to the Chinese preference for working long hours. The workday begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday (only Sunday is off)||–|
Are You Ready To Use Chinese Slang With Your Friends?
You should feel better prepared to speak with Chinese friends or to type in Chinese on social media after going through all of the fantasy Chinese slang terms with us. Learning common slang phrases in Chinese will help you feel at ease in social situations and provide opportunities for laughter and shared understanding with locals. With any luck, you’ll be able to utilize these terms more confidently and fluently while interacting with native Chinese netizens.
Learn Chinese With Ling Now!
Chinese slang is fun to learn. However, do not end your study of Chinese by memorizing slang; instead, go to the more complex vocabulary used in standard written and spoken Chinese. The Ling app, downloaded for free on iOS and Android devices, provides users with comprehensive tools for learning and mastering Chinese characters. Mini-games, riddles, and a savvy chatbot are just some of the fun things we include.