24 Mandarin Chinese Slang Phrases Every Learner Should Know

The Importance of Chinese Slang

For intermediate Chinese learners, the goal is no longer simply survival Chinese.

The goal shifts towards not only communicating with people on more complex topics, but also to make people laugh and to connect with them on a personal level.

Mastering Chinese slang is a key part of reaching these goals.

Unfortunately, online resources tend not to give Chinese slang the attention that it deserves. Established online dictionaries often do not cover slang at all, while other sites relating to Chinese may cover some slang in passing.  Online resources also tend not to filter between slang that is more socially acceptable and can be regularly used by language learners and slang that would raise eyebrows (and fists).

Our Goal with Chinese Slang

Our goal in our Chinese slang posts is to:

  1. teach you commonly used slang
  2. focus on slang that is mainstream/unoffensive and hence usable in everyday life
  3. do it through thorough but easy to understand explanations and real life examples

Enjoy some of our Chinese slang posts here:

  1. China’s Group Buyers – 拼客
  2. Chinese Slang 101: “Leftover Girls” and “Diamond Wangs”
  3. Chinese Slang: The Naked Series
  4. Chinese Slang: The “Rushing Clan”
  5. Chinese Slang 101: Chinese geeks and nerds – 宅男
  6. The “Nibble Old Group” and Other Notable 族s
  7. The Many Varieties of “上班族”
  8. Chinese Slang: “Company Moths”
  9. Chinese Slang 101: “Color Wolf”
  10. Chinese Slang for “Newbie”
  11. Chinese Slang 101: How do you say “girly” in Chinese? 娘
  12. Chinese Slang 101: Can’t take it anymore? 伤不起
  13. Chinese Slang 101: How to say someone is making a fool out of himself
  14. Chinese Slang 101: A-OKAY
  15. Chinese Slang: “Minding My Own Business”
  16. Chinese Slang: The Ba Series for Tests, Interviews, and Karaoke
  17. Hold住 – What Disney & Spielberg Did To Be Successful
  18. Who Knew That Chinese Fruits Were Under So Much Pressure
  19. Slang For The NEW “What?!” – Horse God
  20. Spike Up Your Energy & Pump That Gas!
  21. Top Slang Phrases Of 2012
  22. Chinese slang to help you celebrate “Magical Singles Day”
  23. Top 5 Jeremy Lin Puns in China and Taiwan
  24. Valentines Day, aka “Catch Your Lover Day” in China

And One More Thing…

If you love learning Chinese slang, then I would be remiss not to tell you more about FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos like music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks and turns them into Chinese learning experiences. It naturally and gradually eases you into learning Chinese language and culture. You’ll learn Chinese as it’s spoken in real life.

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2 Responses to 24 Mandarin Chinese Slang Phrases Every Learner Should Know

  1. tigersfan September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I want to know if you can help me understand a few slang terms. One is “boss a cup of vinegar” or老板来杯醋。[Tongue] also a few more praise you fat you breathe on, or夸你胖你还喘上了[Sly]
    If you could help me with these that would be great. Thanks.

    • Alan September 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Sure no problem. The first one I would need more context to explain, as it’s not clear on it’s own.

      For the second one, you basically use it when you praise someone, and instead of reacting modestly, that person says something arrogant (along the lines of what you had praised them about). Like the following example:

      A:你手机很新款啊,新买的?
      B:是啊,哈哈,花了5千块钱
      A:真有钱啊!
      B:那是,哈哈。。我本想买6千的,那部太难看了。。
      A:哟,说你胖你还喘上了!

      Hope that helps!