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Chinese Slang





The Chinese language is filled with wonderful slang, colloquialisms, curses, and vulgarisms. But be careful what you say. Although this glossary may seem relatively innocent, the wrong word in the wrong place can cause a lot of trouble. You are best off listening out for these words before you start using them yourself. And make sure you get the tones right, or you may end up saying something entirely different.

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[é] blackmail; extort

二百五
[èrbǎiwǔ] idiot; simpleton; moron (This expression comes form the ancient Chinese practice of using the square hole in copper coins to string them together. A string of 1000 coins was called a diao, and bàndiàozi (半弔子 or 半吊子) represented half a diao, as well as a slang way of saying someone was inadequate. But modest Chinese scholars took to using this slang term about themselves as a form of self-deprecation, and so one-half again of a diao is a true idiot, a "250".)


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