2,366 Chinese buzzwords with English explanations

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爱豆 ai
4
 dou
4
 

Idol

The term ai dou is the homophonic expression of the English word “idol.” This phrase originated from Korea, where the singers, actors and actresses are referred to as ai dou by fans. Influenced by Korean shows, Chinese fans have also started using this expression to address their idols. At first, ai dou was only used in contexts related to Korean celebrities, but this term has become used in daily conversations when someone mentions his/her idol or favorite figures in a relaxing or informal way.

5489 Buzzes


套路 tao
4
 lu
4
 

Routine tricks

The original meaning of this term tao lu refers to the established series of pre-designed skills and tricks in Chinese wushu or martial arts. Nowadays, in daily conversations and on the Internet, this expression is frequently used to describe an insincere way of doing something. In a typical scenario where a male uses clichés to flirt with a female he finds attractive, that female might indicate her aversion against his routine tricks or his tao lu

408 Buzzes


二次元 er
4
 ci
4
 yuan
2
 

Nijigen/two-dimensional space

The concept er ci yuan (two-dimensional space) came from Japan. Japanese people use the concept er ci yuan to describe a series of anime and manga depicted two-dimensionally. In China, the Nijigen industry has become a hot-spot for investment. Besides, a great number of young Chinese people have become addicted to two-dimensional characters. Hence, another related term er ci yuan kong (Nijikon, Nijigen Complex/Addiction or 2D Complex/Addiction) is used to describe the crazed mentality of these young people who think that two-dimensional anime or game characters are visually, physically or emotionally more attractive than real-life people.

425 Buzzes


猴赛雷 hou(
2
) sai(
4
) lei(
2

so amazing

The term hou sai lei is the homophonic expression of a Cantonese phrase with an auspicious meaning of “so amazing.” The Chinese character hou in hou sai lei means “monkey,” so people use this expression hou sai lei to extend their best wishes for the Chinese Year of Monkey, or to express appreciation and congratulations to someone who has done an amazing job. 恭喜你获奖,你真是猴赛雷啊! Gōng xǐ nǐ huò jiǎng, nǐ zhēn shì hóu sài léi a. Congratulations on your getting the award. You are so amazing!

417 Buzzes


狗带 gou(
3
) dai(
4

go die

The term gou dai is the homophonic expression of the English phrase “go die.” The homophonic expression came from the artist Huang Zitao’s rap lyrics “wo bu hui jiu zhe yang qing yi de go die” (I will not go die so easily) and has become a popular term on the Internet since then. The term can be used when people want to end a conversation by asking the other party to gou dai, or when stressed-out people let off the steam by saying “wo yao gou dai la” (I wanna go die). 事情太多做不完,我要狗带啦。 Shì qíng tài duō zuò bù wán, wǒ yào gǒu dài la. There is too much work to do; I wanna go die.

432 Buzzes


营改增 ying(
2
) gai(
3
) zeng(
1

replace business tax with value added tax

The term ying gai zeng is an abbreviation for China’s tax reform to replace business tax with value-added tax. Ying stands for ying ye shui (business tax), while zeng stands for zeng zhi shui (value-added tax). Premier Li Keqiang announced that China would replace its business tax with a value-added tax in all sectors in a bid to streamline tax structures and reduce the tax burden in a government work report during the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress on March 5. A pilot program was launched in South China’s Guangdong Province in 2012 从五月一日起,营改增试点范围扩大到建筑业、房地产业、金融业、生活服务业。 Cóng wǔ yuè yī rì qǐ, yíng gǎi zēng shì diǎn fàn wéi kuò dà dào jiàn zhù yè, fáng dì chǎn yè, jīn róng yè, shēng huó fú wù yè. From May 1st onwards, the replacement of business tax with VAT has been extended to such industries as construction, real estate, finance and consumer services.

430 Buzzes


互联网+ hu
4
 lian
2
 wang
3
 jia
1
 

Internet Plus

The term hu lian wang jia refers to the application of the Internet and other information technology to conventional industries. In China, hu lian wang jia became a popular concept after it was proposed by Premier Li Keqiang in his Government Work Report in March 2015. The concept applies to a wide variety of areas, including the government, health-care, education and finance.

457 Buzzes


网红经济 wang
3
 hong
2
 jing
1
 ji
4
 

Cyber-star economy

The term wang hong jing ji refers to the economic phenomenon related to cyber stars. Wang hong jing ji first attracted wide attention when cyber star Jiang Yilei (also known as Papi Jiang) secured 12 million yuan (US$1.85 million) worth of venture capital. The concept of wang hong is not new, but Jiang’s achievement set a new benchmark and ignited a debate over whether wang hong jing ji has been prevalent in China in recent years.

470 Buzzes


妈宝男 ma
1
 bao
3
 nan
2
 

Mama’s boy

The term ma bao nan describes a man who is not independent enough to make decisions by himself at an age when men are expected to be independent, and who remains greatly influenced and manipulated by his mother. The term also implies a mother’s strong dominance over her son. Similarly, people use ma bao nu to describe a female with the same traits

445 Buzzes


中间性格 zhong
1
 jian
1
 xing
4
 ge
2
 

ambiverts

Zhongjian is the Chinese equivalent for the Latin prefix ambi-, meaning on both sides. For years, psychologists have divided people into two basic personality types: introverts and extroverts. But experts suggest there’s middle ground on the personality spectrum, and people referred to as “ambiverts” fall somewhere in between. Ambiverts have more balanced personalities.

559 Buzzes


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