The Chinese language is a beautiful, ancient language whereby its script has thousands of years of history behind how it was formed and unlike many other languages nearly all characters can be read differently by every Chinese dialect and still mean the same thing. Nobody knows how many characters there are, but estimates range from tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands. There are two forms of the characters – traditional and simplified, that are used in different countries but are intelligible by most who can read Chinese. Of the many thousands of Chinese characters that exist, around 8,000 have simplified versions.
In this blog post I’m going to do something a little different and more interesting for you, just as I did with my Chinese New Year post. You can learn basic Chinese words and phrases pretty much anywhere, but these ten I’ve picked out for you are a little naughtier. They range from cheeky, funny sayings that are actually used quite often to downright crude. These are all in standard Mandarin.
拍马屁 (pāimǎpì) literally means “to beat the horse’s ass” but actually means to flatter, bootlicker – or more crudely, ass-licker or to brown-nose.
脱裤子放屁 (tuō kùzi fàngpì) literally means “to take your pants off and fart” but actually means to do something that isn’t necessary or to make things more complicated than they should be.
吃豆腐 (chī dòufu) literally means “to eat tofu” and still does, but its more sinister double meaning can be “to take advantage of a woman” or basically be used to describe someone who’s a pervert.
卖豆腐 (mài dòufu) means “to sell tofu” but is used as a euphemism for prostitution.
打飞机 (dǎ fēijī) literally means “to take a plane” but 打 can also mean “to beat” so the phrase is actually used as a euphemism for masturbation.
飞机场 (fēijī chǎng) is an airport but is also slang for a woman with flat breasts.
屄 (bī) – this is where we get a little ruder (well, a lot). This word means “cunt” but the character’s makeup is interesting. 尸 (shī) means corpse and 穴 (xué) means hole or cave, so you put two and two together…
屌 (diǎo) means “dick/cock”. We learnt about 尸 in the previous word and then add 吊 (diào), which means to hang or suspend and there you have it…
肏 (cào) means “to fuck” as in intercourse or as an expletive. The top bit 入 (rù) means to enter and the bottom half 肉 (ròu) means meat or flesh. “Enter flesh” = to fuck.
All three of these mean the same thing: “doggy-style”. The first and second, 狗仔式 (gǒuzǎi shì) and 狗爬式 (gǒu pá shì) also mean doggy paddle (the swimming style), but the third, 狗交媾般 (gǒu jiāogòu bān) is the literal translation.
A strange phrase that, unlike the others doesn’t really have an obvious literal meaning. 马上 (mǎshàng) is a strange but common, everyday word meaning immediately or at once but literally means “on top of (上) horse (马)” and therefore can be used to describe being on horseback (though no longer common). 风 (fēng) means wind, but together it means “to die or death during sex”.
This one isn’t necessarily rude. It’s an idiom (成语 chéngyǔ) which are extremely popular phrases from fables in Chinese culture and literature and there are literally hundreds or even thousands of them. Many are commonly used in a lot of everyday situations and are well-known, while others are obviously more obscure and have faded out of use. Some, like this, have other idioms that essentially mean the same thing. The translation of this one 又想当婊子又想立牌坊 (yòu xiǎng dāng biǎo zi yòu xiǎng lì páifāng) literally means “to lead the life of a whore (婊子 biǎo zi means whore or bitch) and still want a monument put up to your chastity” but its deeper meaning is “to have bad intentions but still want a good reputation”. The common English translation is “to have your cake and eat it too” of which there are other idioms which basically mean the same thing but aren’t as crude.
So there you go, I hope you’ve learnt something and found these few words and phrases insightful at least. Do you want more posts like this? Let me know in the comments below!