In Chinese, “slang” is “俚语(lǐyǔ)” and, as in most cultures, is used in spoken language and informal situations. And, as in most cultures, we have a lot of slang words. Below are some common ones.
In the past, people would like to wear a hat to represent a skill. So the more hats you wear, the more you show that you have many skills. So the above slang is used to express that people are very capable. However, now a lot of people use this phrase to flatter others.
bú yào ɡěi wǒ dài ɡāo màozi, wǒ huì jiāoào de.
(Please don’t flatter me. I do not want to a rooster.)
"chīdòufu", generally refers to flirting or taking advantage of others. Sometimes it also refers to another meaning. In the past, if there is a death in someone’s family, the family would prepare a lot of food for the people who came to offer condolence. Tofu is one of the foods that may be served. So some people called this situation “chīdòufu.” Meanwhile, in another situation, some people always go to others’ homes so that they can be invited to eat. Therefore, those who enjoy taking advantage of others can also be called ”chīdòufu”.
Here is another example:
zài zhōnɡɡuó hūnlǐ shànɡ, hěnduō bànniánɡ rónɡyì bèi chī dòufu.
At a Chinese wedding, a lot of bridesmaids may be taken advantage by others.
The word "chǎoyóuyú" describes that people have been expelled from their job. Long ago, a lot of workers went to Guangdong or Hong Kong for a job. Normally the employer would provide room and board for them and minimal furnishings. So most of the time, the employee would bring his or her own quilt or a mat for sleeping. Meanwhile there is a Cantonese dish called "chǎoyóuyú” "(fried cuttlefish). When it is sliced, it will automatically roll up into a circle. So, the expression "chǎoyóuyú” refers to the fired employees rolling up their quilt and mat then leaving.
yīnwèi tā jīnɡchánɡ chídào, suóyǐ tā bèi tā de láobǎn chǎo yóuyú le.
(She’s always late, so she was fired by her boss.)
The phrase “chī ruǎn fàn” is a sentence of Shanghai dialect at first. In the old days of Shanghai, there were lots of package men, “chī ruǎn fàn” was used to describe this kind of men. Later, the word “chī ruǎn fàn” refers to a man who is living off his girlfriend.
tā jī hū méi yǒu shén me ɡōnɡ zuò nénɡ lì, jiù shì ɡè chī ruǎn fàn de xiǎo nán rén.
He almost has no ability of working, he just a man who live off his girlfriend.
“fànɡ ɡē zi”, literally it means release a pigeon. It is easy to know that if we set a pigeon, it probably never come back. So “fànɡ ɡē zi” refers to miss one’s appointment, or stand somebody up.
shànɡ zhōu wǒ bèi wǒ de pénɡ you fànɡ le ɡē zi.
Last week I had an appointment with my friend, but she didn’t show up at all.
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