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15 Funny words in Chinese

Let’s try something a bit lighter today. Here’s 15 words in Chinese I’ve collected over the years that I think are pretty funny when translated literally. Some of them also reveal a little bit about Chinese culture and thinking. Enjoy!

1.谈恋爱 – tán liàn ài 

If you date someone, you “talk about love” (谈恋爱).

2.吃豆腐 – chī dòu fu 

If you come on to someone, you “eat tofu” (吃豆腐).

3.种草莓 – zhǒng cǎo méi 

If you give someone a hickey, you “plant a strawberry” (种草莓).

4.出轨 – chū guǐ 

If you cheat on your partner, you “go off the rails” (出轨).

5.戴绿帽子 – dài lǜ mào zi 

If your partner cheats on you, you “wear a green hat” (戴绿帽子).

6.放鸽子 – fàng gē zi 

If you stand someone up, you “release a pigeon” (放鸽子).

7.发福 – fā fú 

If you put on weight, you “get lucky” (发福).

8.狂犬病 – kuáng quǎn bìng 

If you get rabies, you get the “crazy dog disease” (狂犬病).

9.抱佛脚 – bào fó jiǎo 

If you leave something to the last minute, you “grab the Buddha’s foot” (抱佛脚).

10.炒鱿鱼 – chǎo yóu yú 

If you’re fired from your job, you have your “squid fried” (炒鱿鱼).

11.穿小鞋 – chuān xiǎo xié 

If you make things hard for someone by abusing your power, you make them “wear small shoes” (穿小鞋).

12.打酱油 – dǎ jiàng yóu 

If something has nothing to do with you, you say you’re just here “to buy soy sauce” (打酱油).

13.马上 – mǎ shàng 

When you do something immediately, you do it “on a horse” (马上)

14.加油 – jiā yóu 

When you encourage and cheer someone on, you urge them to “add oil” (加油).

15.隐形眼镜 – yǐn xíng yǎn jìng 

You don’t wear contact lens, you wear “invisible glasses” (隐形眼镜).

Source: http://carlgene.com/blog


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