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Chinese slang term: 奇葩


In the Chinese language, many phrases sometimes can't be interpreted literally because they may have quite opposite meanings. "奇 (qí)" originally means "rare", and "葩 (pā)" means flower or flora. When the two characters are put together, we can easily see that the literally meaning of "奇葩 (qí pā)" is "precious and beautiful flower". But in our daily conversation, its usage usually confuses beginners.

在中文里,有很多词汇的意思不能由其字面意思推测出来。有时候,某个词的实际意思可能与其字面意思截然相反。例如,“奇(qí)” 字的本意是“稀少(rare)”,“葩(pā)”的意思是指花或植物。当这两字放在一块时,可以推出“奇葩(qí pā)”的字面意思为“珍贵而美丽的花朵”。但该词在日常对话中的用法通常会让初学者云里雾里。




xiǎo zhāng zhēn kě wèi shì yī gè "qí pā".
Xiao Lin:小张真可谓 是一个“奇葩”。
Xiao Zhang is really a "qi pa".

wéi shí me ne?
Simon: 为什么呢?

tā jīng cháng bú xǐ liǎn ,méi rén néng rěn shòu tā.
Xiao Lin: 他经常不洗脸,没人能忍受他。
He usually doesn't wash his face, and nobody can stand him.

wǒ hái yǐ wéi nǐ kuā tā zhǎng dé gēn huā sì de
Simon: 我还以为你夸他长得跟花似的。
I thought you praised him for being as beautiful as a flower.

Currently, the word "奇葩 (qípā)" is very popular amongst younger people. But, as you might guess, it has lost its original meaning and taken on a new one. "奇葩" is often used to describe someone or something that is very odd or unusual.


A person who is a "奇葩 (qípā)" always takes strange actions and does things that average people find to be out of the norm and perhaps hard to understand. Plus, the word adds a taste of ridicule and irony and can be used as both a noun and as an adjective.


Take a look at the following example, using the literal meaning of "奇葩":



Xuělián shì huā zhōng de qípā.
The snow lotus is a rare and exotic flower.


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