2,366 Chinese buzzwords with English explanations

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备胎继承人 bei
4
 tai
1
 ji
4
 cheng
2
 ren
2
 

spare heir

A beitai is a spare tire and jicheng ren is an heir or heiress. In royal families the oldest child is the heir. So a “spare heir” is the next child who would ascend the throne should something happen to the heir. In the UK, Prince William’s wife Kate is expected to give birth to their second child sometime this month. Since they already have a son, the newborn will be William’s “spare heir” when he becomes king.

224 Buzzes


霸王假 ba
4
 wang
2
 jia
4
 

fait accompli leave

Employees usually need to ask for permission from their boss for leave, which is called jia in Chinese. But on certain occasions like the first day of work after the Spring Festival, many employees fail to show up to work without asking for permission. Most cook up excuses like flight delays, leaving the boss no choice but to grant them the leave. Thus the sarcastic term “bawang jia.” Bawang means “despot” in English.

270 Buzzes


办公室狂躁症 ban
4
 gong
1
 shi
4
 kuang
2
 zao
4
 zheng
4
 

office rage

Similar to road rage. Some office workers have a fit of violent anger at malfunctioning equipment like printers and computers.

576 Buzzes


被动升职 bei
4
 dong
4
 sheng
1
 zhi
2
 

passive promotion

Passive promotion refers to people who receive an unexpected promotion. Research shows that 60 percent of women feel anxious about the greater responsibility and workload after such a promotion.

520 Buzzes


包裹体 bao
1
 guo
3
 ti
3
 

parcel style

Many online shoppers find text messages from couriers cute and funny. One message read: "I am your parcel lying in a yellow van. I am so nervous right now. Please bring your IDs and pick me up before 6pm."

569 Buzzes


北京咳 bei
3
 jing
1
 ke
2
 

Beijing cough

The term "Beijing cough" has been in use since as early as the 1990s among foreigners, many of whom experienced respiratory problems in Beijing's dry and polluted air. But it has become more common as more health problems attributable to the capital's pollution are reported.

592 Buzzes


比特素养 bi
3
 te
4
 su
4
 yang
3
 

bit literacy

This indicates the level of a person's know-how in using technology through a play on the basic unit of information in computing, the bit.

552 Buzzes


不粘锅 bu
4
 zhan
1
 guo
1
 

cooking-free clan

Many young workers rarely cook at home so the kitchen stays spotless. The expression originally meant a Teflon wok.

561 Buzzes


暴表 bao
4
 biao
3
 

off the index

A term used when the air quality index in Beijing goes off the scale because of the dense haze.

530 Buzzes


悲秋综合症 bei
1
 qiu
1
 zong
1
 he
2
 zheng
4
 

autumn sadness syndrome

People who work indoors and women aged 20 to 50 years are inclined to be more sensitive and prone to gloominess during autumn season and suffer from depression and insomnia.

542 Buzzes


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