nibble-group-notable

The “Nibble Old Group” and Other Notable 族s

Of course everyone would want free rent, free food, and free transportation… just not if it means living with your parents.

We all know the person who is all grown up but still living at home.  This also exists in China, and there is a great Chinese slang phrase describing it.

The 啃老族  (kěn lǎo zú) – Nibble Old Group.  This is one of several differents (zú) which have emerged online recently to describe different groups in Chinese society.  Let’s take a look at 3 different s which describe spending and savings habits.

1.  啃老族 (kěn lǎo zú)- Nibble Old Group

(kěn)- nibble, bite

(lǎo)- old, those older than you (eg 老辈– lǎobèi- elders)

(zú)- tribe, group  (usually used as “nationality” as in 汉族– Hànzú – Han Chinese)

啃老族 is a fantastic mental image of what it’s like to rely on your parents after college.  The three characters together translate literally as “nibble old group“.   Thus, to “nibble from those older than you” is a visual representation of living at home with your parents after college, relying on them for housing, food, clothes, transportation, and other basic life necessities.  It’s a common sight world-wide, but the Chinese certainly have a great name for it!

Example Sentence A

有调查数据表明,“啃老族”中很大一部分是独生子女,其原因在于他们从小缺乏独立性教育-

yǒu diàochá shùjù biǎomíng, kěnlǎozú  zhōng hěn dà yíbùfēn shì dúshēngzǐnǚ, qí yuányīn zàiyú tāmen cóngxiǎo quēfá dúlìxìng jiàoyù

Survey data shows a large number of the “nibble old group” are only children, as many of them have lacked basic education about how to be independent since childhood.

Example Sentence B

当前“啃老族”日渐壮大,很多20多岁,甚至40多岁的孩子仍然过度依赖父母。

dāngqián kěnlǎozú rìjiàn zhuàngdà, hěnduō 20 duōsuì, shènzhì 40 duōsuì de háizi réngrán guòdùyīlài fùmǔ。

Currently the “nibble old group” is a growing class.  Lots people in their 20’s, even up into their 40’s, are still overly relying on their parents.

2.  月光族 (yuèguāng zú)- Month Bare Group

(yuè)- Moon, month (eg 六月 – liùyuè- June)

(guāng)- Bright, to use up, bare (eg 用光 – yòng guāng- to use up)

(zú)- Tribe, clan, group

The here refers to month, specifically monthly paycheck.   here means bare, or all used up.  Thus by the end of each month (), their paycheck is all gone ()!  Due to either their low salary or high consumption habits, members of the 月光族 have a hard time saving anything.

Example Sentence A

花费方面,房租每月4500元,购物方面他没有抵抗力,目前除5万元的存款外,基本属于月光族

huāfèi fāngmiàn , fángzū měiyuè 4500 yuán , gòuwù fāngmiàn méiyǒu dǐkànglì , mùqián chú 5 wànyuán de cúnkuǎn wài , jīběn shǔyú yuèguāngzú

With regard to expenses, his monthly rent is 4,500RMB, and he can’t resist himself when going shopping.  At present, besides his 50,000RMB saved up, he is essentially a member of “month bare group“.

Example Sentence B

我也不想当月光族,但是每个月只有那么多收入,没办法。

wǒ yě bùxiǎng dāng yuèguāngzú , dànshì měigè yuè zhǐyǒu nàmeduō shōurù , méibànfǎ

I don’t want to be in the “month bare group“, but this all the money I make in a month, what can I do?

3.  丁克族 (dīng kèzú) DINK- Dual Income, No Kids

(dīng)- Used here as a transliteration from English

(kè)- Used here as a transliteration from English

(zú)- tribe, group

Here, the Chinese characters and together mean nothing.  Instead, it is a direct transliteration of the English acronym of DINK (Dual Income No Kids)  This refers to a high-earning couple who do not (yet) have children, and are thus able to afford a more expensive consumer lifestyle.  Jealous?  I certainly am! (I am not only a not-so-proud member of the 月光族, bult also a 单身– dānshēn- single).

Example Sentence A

丁克族: 喜欢浪漫的二人世界,不管家里压力多大,依旧我行我素

dīngkèzú : xǐhuan làngmàn de èr rén Shìjiè , bùguǎn Jiālǐ yālì duō dà , yījiù wǒxíngwǒsù

The DINK group:  Favor a romantic 2 person world, no matter how much family pressure they get, they still like to do things their way

Example Sentence B

现在社会丁克族的队伍在不断的壮大,越来越多的人为了自由,为了不给自身增加负担而选择不要孩子。

xiànzài shèhuì dīngkèzú de duìwu zài búduàn de zhuàngdà , yuèláiyuèduō de rén wèile zìyóu , wèile bù gěi zìshēn zēngjiā fùdān ér xuǎnzé búyào háizi

In today’s society, the contingent of DINKs is continuously growing.  With increased freedom and decreased burdens, more and more couples are choosing not to have children.

We’ll be breaking down lots more “s” in upcoming blogs, so let us know which s you’ve encountered…or even belong to!

And be sure to check out FluentU in the meantime.

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