Photo Credit: Julia Zhou

Chinese Pandian’s Words of 2017

The hottest keywords of the year, according to netizens and the government

The National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center, The Commercial Press,, and Tencent released their annual characters and words of the year on December 20. As the link spam below will show, TWOC is, once again, extremely up-to-date with the stylish phrases preferred by netizens as well as government officials.

After 11 days of voting from December 9 to December 20, 享(share) emerged the top character of the mainland of 2017, where as 初心 (original aspiration), Xi Jinping’s 19th Party Congress buzzword, became the year’s mainland word. As for the international category, 智 (intelligent) and 人类命运共同体 (a community of common destiny for mankind) were the year’s character and word, respectively.

Results from other categories indicate that internet users like to mock one another, and the surest way to get a phrase to go viral is to say it at the National Party Congress:

Top 10 internet slang

打call (beat a call) – slang meaning you approve of something or someone

尬聊 (awkward chat) – see our explanation here

你的良心不会痛吗 (Won’t your conscience hurt?) – a phrase to mock people for blatant lying

惊不惊喜意不意外 (shock, horror!) – to mock people after you do something shocking to them

皮皮虾我们走 (Let’s go, mantis shrimp) – roughly equivalent to “get a move on”

扎心了老铁 (My heart has been stabbed, my brother) – for when you want to express sadness

还有这种操作 (Is there such a kind of play?) – expression of disbelief, a gaming expression

怼 (troll) – we teach you how it’s done

你有freestyle吗 (do you have freestyle?) – a phrase from the show The Rap of China

油腻 (greasy) – our explanation here

Top 10 new words

雄安新区(Xiongan New District) –  a crucial component of the Jing-Jin-Ji urban agglomeration/tongue-twister

共有产权房 (joint property-rights housing) – our explanation here

共享充电宝 (sharing battery) – one of many shared things of this year

通俄门 (connections to Russia) – what US President Trump is accused of having

租购同权 (hire and purchase house have equal rights) – rental tenants have the same rights as the purchaser

留置 (lien)

灰犀牛(gray rhinoceros) – a metaphor for a likely, common risk (the opposite of “black swan”)

金砖+ (BRICs+)

勒索病毒 (Ransomware)

地条钢 (substandard steel)

The top 10 buzzwords

十九大 (The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China)

新时代 (new era) – another 19th Congress word

共享 (share)

雄安新区(Xiongan New District)


人工智能(AI) – they write poems and beat us at Go

人类命运共同体 (a community of common destiny for mankind) – 19th Congress, again


撸起袖子加油干(roll up sleeves and work with added energy) – 19th Congress

不忘初心牢记使命(Remain true to original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind) – are you surprised this is from the 19th Congress?

TWOC attended the launch event of Chinese keywords on December 21, where many scholars and experts showed up to analyze the meaning behind these words, and two other calligraphers were invited to write the words down. Do you think these keywords are accurate enough to represent this year? Are you familiar with these new words and buzzwords?


Julia Zhou is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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