Since a few of you responded enthusiastically to last week’s impromptu slang lesson, I thought we’d do another one! Today’s crop: 5 common slang words that are used a lot online and in texting. Figure out a way to incorporate them into your daily English (or whatever) usage and be a trendsetter!
The formatting below is: Chinese term (followed by the pinyin) – the literal definition.
PK – acronym for Player KillA loanword from World of Warcraft, PK has gone from meaning “killing another player in-game” to simply any kind of competition. I learned this one when my mom casually told me over the phone: “All my friends are uploading videos of themselves singing karaoke and I want to PK with them.”
萌 (meng1) – cute
Kawaii~ but Chinese. Can be used to describe cats, outfits, or even people who are charming you with their childish adorableness (like me when I type the wrong character in Chinese, evidently).
ta – gender neutral 3rd person pronounThe Chinese words for he (他), she (她), and it (它) are written differently, but all pronounced identically—ta1. That’s because until the 20th century, they all actually used to be the same character (他). Online, some young people have decided to avoid the inconvenience of using gendered pronouns by just using pinyin to refer to all 3: the roman characters “ta”.
文艺青年 (wen2 yi4 qing1 nian2) – artistic youthEssentially, the Chinese word for “hipster,” though the connotation is a little more twee. As with “hipster,” there’s sometimes an implication of not pursuing serious occupations, caring too much about appearances, and being a snob about mainstream things.
赞 (zan4) – to praiseIt refers to hitting “Like” on social media, but is also often used as an exclamation (similar to how the English internet uses “+1″ or “Like!”) and, sometimes, an adjective. Someone who hits “like” on too many social media things is referred to as a member of the “点赞族” (Like Tribe).