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Top 5 Chinese Internet Phrases of 2013

The buzzwords netizens loved the most this year


Top 5 Chinese Internet Phrases of 2013

The buzzwords netizens loved the most this year


Show off (晒, to dry out) your knowledge of up-to-date Chinese internet language with the help of the top 5 internet phrases that exploded this year. Every year, netizens’ collective wisdom contributes to the birth of numerous internet slang, some of the “words of the year” get to stay, and some gradually die out. Among others, the shouting font (咆哮体) still enjoys immense popularity; members of two Douban groups dedicated to the this style of ranting exceeds 300,000. Let’s take a look at the top 5 phrases of the year.

1. 何弃疗 hé qì liáo

何弃疗, or its full version 为何放弃治疗, means “why give up treatment?” The undertone: there’s something wrong with you, perhaps you should go see a shrink. As an internet slang however, it is mostly used to satirize or 自黑 (self-mock). If you see pictures of people in weird poses, or even just singing into the hair brush, you can say “wow, friend, 何弃疗?”

For example:

— 为什么放弃治疗?

Wèishénme fàngqì zhìliáo?

Why give up treatment?

— 因为鲁迅说过:治病救不了中国人。

Yīnwéi lǔxùn shuōguò: Zhì bìng jiù bùliǎo zhōngguó rén.

Because Lu Xun said: treating diseases won’t save Chinese.

2. 我和我的小伙伴们都惊呆了 wǒ hé wǒ de xiǎo huǒbànmen dōu jīng dāi le

Me and my pals are all dumbfounded, or its short version 我伙呆, can be used in all circumstances to express the feeling of shock, bewilderment, or sarcasm.

For example:


Xīnláng hūnlǐ shàng xuānshì jiào chū de shì chūliàn de míngzì! Wǒ hé wǒ de xiǎo huǒbànmen dōu jīng dāile!

At the wedding, the groom said his first love’s name by mistake during the vows! Me and my pals were all dumbfounded!

3. 人艰不拆 and Internet Chengyu

The four-letter structure, a typical and most identifiable characteristic of chengyu (idioms), made its way into internet language this year. 人艰不拆 (Life Difficult No Expose), 累觉不爱 (Tired Feel No Love), 不明觉厉 (Don’t Understand, Seems Awesome), and 十动然拒 (Very Moved, Then Rejected) have all made it into mainstream internet vocabulary that are used by netizens everyday. These characters are all picked out of a sentence, similar to how acronyms work.

For instance, “Very Moved, Then Rejected” was coined because of a diaosi‘s tragic story. He spent 212 composing a love letter of 160,000 words, gave it to his crush on Singles’ Day, and confessed his love to her. She was very moved, and then she rejected him.

4. 神最右 shén zuì yòu

神最右, which means “godlike commenter on the far right” is a phenomenon that mostly applies to Sina Weibo. The retweet system on Weibo follows the format of (your words, e.g. godlike rightmost!) //@(commenter) (comments). In many incidences, the commenter on the far right is the one who has the cleverest comment, and that comment is retweeted Weibo-wide, always appearing in a post as the comment on the most right.

5. 土豪 tǔháo

土豪, which means “Tacky Rich”, “Uncouth Rich”, and “Beverly Hills Hillbilly” was adapted into online language and spread into daily language with incredible speed. The color of the gold IPhone 5S is referred to as 土豪金 (tǔháo jīn), tuhao gold, and soon this word became commonly used to describe that color. The phrase 土豪,我们做朋友吧 tǔháo, wǒmen zuò péngyǒu ba (tuhao, let’s be friends) also went viral.

What are your top 5 Chinese internet phrases of 2013? 快到碗里来 (come into my bowl)? 元芳你怎么看 (Yuanfang, what do you think about it)? 人干事 (short for 这是人干的事吗, is this what a human being would do?) Let us know your list!


Image courtesy of 沪江动漫.