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Chinese Internet slang in daily life – nǚ shén and nǚ hàn zi

女汉子.jpg

1. 女神 (nǚ shén)

Currently, the phrase "女神" is widely used in daily life as well as on the Internet. It is often employed to express praise and admiration for beautiful women. Generally speaking, there are two cases: one is a diminutive for female idols or dream girls by their fans. For example, if you like Marilyn Monroe very much, then you can say that she is your "女神". The other is a complimentary address for women by their boyfriends or wooers. For example, Zhang Ming loves Li Dan very much. For Zhang Ming, Li Dan is a "女神" in his heart. Besides, if your female friend is very excellent, whether it be her looks, talent, or personality, you can also say she is your "女神".

Example: 

范冰冰不只是名人,也是中国男人眼中的女神。

Fan Bingbing is not only a celebrity, but also a dream girl is the eyes of Chinese men. 

2. 女汉子 (nǚ hàn zi)

These manly ladies challenge China's traditional female image. She is strong (psychologically and possibly physically, too). She is firm, decisive and open-minded. She is independent and responsible. She is nothing like the traditional "as soft and tender as water" image of a Chinese female. 

She hates high heels, dresses, make-ups and the color pink. She'd rather spend the day play video games than shopping. She can repair electrical appliances. She spits out curses rather than shedding tears. She doesn’t know how to act like a cutie to win over men's love. 

She is a nǚ hàn zi (女汉子), literally meaning a manly woman or a tough girl, is a woman who thinks and acts like a man and is yet more than just an unceremonious woman. Nǚ hàn zi is an extremely popular term that many Chinese young ladies now proudly label themselves. In contrary to the traditional Chinese female image of a cute, submissive and clinging lady, nǚ hàn zi is tough enough to take care of herself without a man. The emphasis here is on "without a man" – a nǚ hàn zi can easily get buddy-buddy with men, but seldom is she able to turn her male friends into boyfriends. The emergence of this type of female reflects the increasing social and economic status of Chinese women. 

The rise of nǚ hàn zi in China is no accident. China's urban young ladies were born the only child of their families and were raised as "little empresses". They don't need to grow up being soft and submissive. Quite the opposite, they are in constant competition with their male counterparts from play to work. 

Example: 

严肃的女汉子居然笑出声了,语气还这么温柔,真是百年不遇。

The unsmiling nǚ hàn zi laughed out with tender speaking. It's once in a blue moon!

2016-06-21

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