Attention Bachelors- Describing Chinese Beauty

Good news for our single male readers- Chinese has dozens of fantastically descriptive terms and idioms describing feminine beauty.  

Next time you eligible bachelors out there spot a beautiful Chinese woman, stand out from the crowd and ditch the tired “美女“ in favor of one of the below phrases.  We don’t guarantee a date, but you are likely to get a compliment on your wide breadth of Chinese language knowledge.

Don’t fret ladies, we’ll bring you a post on alternatives to 帅哥 (shuàigē- handsome guy) next week!

倾国倾城 (qīng guó qīng chéng): Drop dead gorgeous

(qīng): collapse, overturn
(guó): country
(qīng): collapse, overturn
(chéng): city

In English, we call a gorgeous woman a “drop dead gorgeous”.  Well, Chinese goes even one step further!  This idiom describes a woman so beautiful, she can topple both countries and cities.  Translated literally, this means “overthrow country, overthrow city”.  Beauty so overwhelming, what country or city could stay intact when she walks by?

Example A

“美人榜: 她们面容娇美,她们身材婀娜,她们是令人艳羡的美人,她们的倾国倾城给2011增添了一抹亮色″

měi rén bàng: tā men miàn róng jiāo měi , tā men shēn cái ē nuó , tā men shì lìng rén yàn xiàn de měi rén , tā men de qīng guó qīng chéng gěi 2011 zēng tiān le yì mǒ liàng sè

Beauty Pagaent: Their faces are charming, their bodies are elegant, they make people envious, and their stunning beauty added color to 2011.

Example B

她有着倾国倾城的容貌,让很多男士对他着迷。

tā yǒu zhe qīng guó qīng chéng de róng mào , ràng hěn duō nán shì duì tā zháo mí

She has a drop dead gorgeous appearance, lots of men are enchanted by her.

辣妹 (là mèi): Hot girl

(là): spicy (as in 麻辣- má là- numbing and spicy)
 (mèi): sister, young woman

A very common expression among Chinese males to describe a “hot chick” or “sexy girl”, 辣妹 might be a bit…forward to say directly to a woman, but will certainly get the point across to your male friends.  Those familiar with Chinese food will recognize 辣 as the character for spicy, where 妹 means “younger sister” or “young woman”.  This was originally the Chinese translation for the legendary British girl-group “Spice Girls”, but has since come to mean hot girls in general.

Example A

“我的辣妹女朋友把我甩了。 我真难过!”

wǒ de là mèi nǚ péng you bǎ wǒ shuǎi le 。 wǒ zhēn nán guò

My hot girlfriend dumped me.  It’s been rough!

Example B

“青岛城阴市民节盛大巡游 辣妹劲舞火热上演”

Qīng dǎo chéng yáng shì mín jié shèng dà xún yóu là mèi jìn wǔ huǒ rè shàng yǎn

Qingdao Chengyan Festival Public Parade- Hot girls dance on stage

沉鱼落雁- chén yú luò yàn: Stunningly beautiful

(chén): sink
(yú): fish
(luò): fall
(yàn): goose

In another wonderful visualization of the sheer power of feminine beauty, here her looks can cause fish to sink and geese to fall out of the sky.  First used almost 2,000 years ago by the philosopher and poet 庄子 (zhuāng zi) in his work  齐物论 (qí wù lùn- Equality of Things), this chengyu hasn’t lost an ounce of potency in describing the effects of awesome beauty.

Example A

“每个女性都有自己梦想中情人, 然而却不是每个女性生来都是沉鱼落雁, 能够轻易吸引到优质男的视线”

mě igè nǚ xìng dōu yǒu zì jǐ mèng xiǎng zhōng qíng rén , rán ér què bú shì měi gè nǚ xìng shēng lái dōu shì chén yú luò yàn , néng gòu qīng yì xī yǐn dào yōu zhì nán de shì xiàn

Every female has their own “man of their dreams”, but not every female is born with stunning beauty, able to easily attract the attention of high quality men.

Example B

“谁也不能漂亮一辈子的,就算你曾经是个沉鱼落雁的主儿,那也有审美疲劳的那一天”

sheí yě bù néng piào liang yí bè izi de , jiù suàn nǐ céng jīng shì gè chén yú luò yàn de zhǔ ér , nà yě yǒu shěn měi pí láo de nà yì tiān

Nobody can be beautiful forever, even if you were once a stunning beauty, you will have a day where beauty fades.

There are lots more chengyu’s describing beauty in Chinese, so check back soon.

FluentU is a new way to learn Chinese through real world video content like music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks. Sign up for free and start learning Chinese with videos now!

5 Responses to Attention Bachelors- Describing Chinese Beauty

  1. Sean September 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    you shouldn’t forget, 闭月羞花, perhaps the most classic chengyu for representing beauty.

    • Ben September 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      great one!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Chinese Language Learner Interview Series – Olle Linge | Hacking Chinese - 揭密中文 - July 13, 2012

    [...] Attention Bachelors- Describing Chinese Beauty [...]

  2. Chinese (language): What are some of your favorite Chinese chengyu (成语) or idioms? - Quora - July 20, 2012

    [...] Puts the English "drop dead gorgeous" to shame!See my blog post on the topic here- http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2…"},"cls:a.app.view.components:BlurredAnswer:MgVYc2IwuP1/dH",{}), [...]

  3. Hey Ladies! "Handsome" Chinese Chengyus - August 8, 2012

    [...] our female readers who felt snubbed by our post on Chinese Female Beauty, don’t [...]