The Chinese Internet Slang You Need to Know in 2021
It’s 2021, and the high-tech era is well underway. These days, speakers of almost every language on earth have developed their own systems of Internet shorthand that help them express thoughts and feelings efficiently. The world of Chinese Internet slang, of course, is no exception.
In order to keep your Mandarin skills fresh, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Chinese Internet slang. In this article, we’ll dive into some of 2021’s most commonly used Mandarin cyberspeak.
Table of Contents
Why learn Chinese Internet slang?
Even the most advanced language students may find themselves mystified by the quickly evolving world of Chinese Internet slang.
While you may have heard of common online terms like 666 (liùliùliù; awesome) or 88 (bābā; bye-bye), modern Chinese Internet slang also includes an extensive list of commonly used alphabetic acronyms. These acronyms are simply abbreviations based on how certain groups of Chinese characters are written in pinyin.
Although these Internet acronyms are frequently used by Chinese netizens, they aren’t well known among language students. In order to communicate effectively with Chinese people on social media, comprehend Chinese language digital media and keep your Mandarin skills up-to-date, it’s important to understand common online phrases as coined by the mainland’s Internet-savvy population.
Six popular online acronyms to learn today
Ready to give your Chinese skills a modern makeover? Stay hip to the culture by mastering these six popular Chinese Internet slang acronyms today.
1. yyds (永远的神)
永远的神 (yǒngyuǎn de shén; yyds) means “eternal God” and describes an outstanding person or thing. It's similar to the saying GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in English. The phrase is often used by fans to praise their idols or simply to describe something they are fond of.
- Guìlín mǐfěn tài hàochī le, Guìlín mǐfěn jiùshì yyds.
- Guilin rice noodles are delicious, they’re just yyds!
Here's another example:
- Lǐxiǎolóng de Zhōngguó gōngfū tài lìhài le, tā jiùshì yyds
- Bruce Li’s kung fu skills are so good, he’s such a yyds!
2. nsdd (你说得对)
你说得对 (nǐ shuō dé duì; nsdd) means “what you said is right” and is generally used to endorse or approve of what someone has said. For example:
- Nsdd! Zhèyàng de zuòfǎ shì zhèngquè de.
- Nsdd! That’s the right way to do it.
However, it can also be used to brush someone off by hastily agreeing with them if the speaker doesn’t wish to continue the conversation. For example:
- Nsdd, 都听你的。
- Nsdd, dōu tīng nǐ de.
- Nsdd, whatever you say.
3. zqsg (真情实感)
真情实感 (zhēnqíng shígǎn; zqsg), which translates as “true feelings,” describes an emotionally touching or heartfelt situation and is generally used to comment on movies or TV dramas. For example:
- “Nǐhǎo, Lǐ Huànyīng” zhè bù diànyǐng tài zqsg le!
- The movie “Hello, Li Huanying” is so zqsg!
- Hěn jiǔ méiyǒu kàndào zhème zqsg de jūnlǚjù le.
- I haven’t seen such a zqsg war movie in a long time.
4. xswl (笑死我了)
“笑死我了” (xiào sǐ wǒ le; xswl) literally means “laughing to death” and is used by speakers to respond to something funny, comparable to LOL in English. For example:
- 这张图片好搞笑, xswl!
- Zhè zhāng túpiàn hǎo gǎoxiào, xswl!
- This photo is so funny, xswl!
For another example:
- Xswl, zěnme huì yǒu zhème gǎoxiào de shìpín?
- Xswl, why is this video so hilarious?
5. plgg (漂亮哥哥), pljj (漂亮姐姐)
漂亮哥哥 (piàoliang gēgē; plgg; used for men) and 漂亮姐姐 (piàoliang jiějiě; pljj; used for women) can be translated as “pretty brother” and “pretty sister,” respectively. Chinese netizens generally use these phrases to compliment someone’s good looks. Keep in mind, however, that “plgg” is typically used to describe stereotypically feminine men. For example:
- 哇！这真是个 plgg / pljj 。
- Wa! Zhè zhēnshi gè plgg/ pljj.
- Wow, this plgg/pljj is really attractive.
These terms can also be used as a polite form of address for someone the speaker doesn’t know well. For example:
- Plgg / pljj，请问这个是什么？
- Plgg / pljj, qǐngwèn, zhège shì shénme?
- Plgg / pljj, may I ask what this is?
6. bdjw (不懂就问)
不懂就问 (bù dǒng jiù wèn, bdjw) is a helpful transition phrase used to introduce a question. It is similar to “just wondering” or “let me ask” in English. For example:
- Bdjw, shénme shì Ājīmǐdé dìnglǜ?
- Bdjw, what is Archimedes' law?
Here's another example:
- Bdjw, zhè shì shénme qíguài de dōngxī?
- Bdjw, what’s this weird thing?
Keepin’ it fresh
Congrats! You’re officially up to speed on some of 2021’s hottest Chinese Internet slang.
To utilize your new net-friendly vocabulary, try engaging with Chinese people online by dropping a comment on a Chinese video or typing out one of these phrases during a WeChat conversation — native speakers will be amazed by your authenticity and cultural awareness.
Remember, if you’re looking for more opportunities to test out your language skills, studying in China is the premier path to fluency. If you can’t travel to China right now, CLI’s online lessons provide an ideal way to build and refine your Mandarin abilities from the comfort of your own home.
Whatever you do, make sure to keep incorporating some fun and fresh lingo into your study routine—you’ll become a Chinese language “yyds” before you know it!
Internet slang vocabulary
|永远的神||yǒngyuǎn de shén||yyds; eternal god|
|你说得对||nǐ shuō dé duì||nsdd; you're right|
|真情实感||zhēnqíng shígǎn||zqsg; heartfelt and emotional|
|笑死我了||xiào sǐ wǒ le||xswl; hilarious|
|漂亮哥哥||piàoliang gēgē||plgg; a pretty boy|
|漂亮姐姐||piàoliang jiějiě||pljj; a pretty girl|
|不懂就问||bù dǒng jiù wèn||bdjw; just asking|
|网络用语||wǎngluò yòngyǔ||Internet slang|
|流行词||liúxíng cí||popular phrases|
|上网||shàngwǎng||to surf the web|
|热搜||rèsōu||popular search term|
|评论||pínglùn||to comment on a post|
|点赞||diǎnzàn||to "like" a post|
|热帖||rètiē||popular discussion thread|
|网传||wǎngchuán||to circulate online|