Top 5 Chinese Buzzwords from 2018

Now that 2018 is over, there are "best of" and "top" lists everywhere you turn. In China, one of the lists is "Top Buzzwords of 2018". While you may know some of these words from your textbook, the way people *actually* use them in real life is much different. Level up your language skills and learn how phrases from the real world with this list:

佛系 fóxì

The literal translation of this word is "Buddhist-style". The mentality of a Buddhist-style person is: it is what it is. Buddhist-style can be used to describe a person, such as a Buddhist-style youth (佛系青年, fóxì qīngnián)Buddhist-style staff (佛系员工, fóxì yuángōng), etc. This type of person doesn't care a lot about things and always goes with the flow of things. The three words this type of person often says are: 可以 kěyǐ (alright), 都行 dōu xíng (it's all OK), 随便 suíbiàn (whatever).

Here is an example:

A: 你今天去哪儿吃饭?
    Nǐ jīntiān qù nǎr chīfàn?
    Where are you going to eat today?

B: 都行。
     Dōu xíng.
     It's all OK.

A: 你女朋友要跟你分手。
     Nǐ nǚ péngyou yào gēn nǐ fēnshǒu.
     Your girlfriend said to break up with you.

B: 可以。
     Kěyǐ.
     Alright.

A: 你家着火了。
     Nǐ jiā zháohuǒ le.
     Your house is on fire!

B: 随便。
     Suíbiàn.
     Whatever.

A: 你怎么那么佛系。
     Nǐ zěnme nàme fóxì.
     How can you be so Buddhist-style? 


家里有矿 jiā lǐ yǒu kuàng

The literal translation of this phrase is: a person’s family possesses rich mineral deposits. 矿kuàng means mines or ore. Someone who owns a lot of mines (矿kuàng) must be very rich. Therefore, it means that a person is extremely rich. It also means to spend a lot of money fast.

For example:

他在上海买了很多房子,我觉得他家里有矿。
Tā zài Shànghǎi mǎi le hěn duō fángzi,wǒ juéde tā jiā lǐ yǒu kuàng.
He bought a lot of houses in Shanghai, I think his family possesses rich mineral deposits. 


凉凉 liáng liáng

凉凉 liáng liáng is originally the name of a Chinese song which literal translates to "cool" or "chilly". However, here it means that there is no hope for something or that someone is done for. 

For example:

明天考试我还没复习,我要凉凉了。
Míngtiān kǎoshì wǒ hái méi fùxí, wǒ yào liángliáng le.
I have not reviewed for the exam tomorrow, I am done for.


优秀 yōuxiù

Originally, it was said that a person is particularly good at learning, working, etc. But now, we often use this word sarcastically. 

For example:

优秀,你怎么那么优秀?
Yōuxiù, nǐ zěnme nàme yōuxiù?
Excellent, how good are you?


真香 zhēn xiāng

It originally means that something tastes delicious. It comes from a reality TV show. There was a guy from the city who went to the countryside. At first, he disliked being there and said, I would rather starve than eat the food here. But after a few hours he was very hungry and ate a lot. While he was eating, he said, the food tastes delicious.

Now the word means that at first, you don't like something but after you try it, you change your mind... completely.

For example:

我渴死也不喝奶茶。
Wǒ kě sǐ yě bù hē nǎichá.
I'm dying of thirst and I don't drink milk tea.

(After trying it)

算了,真香。
Suànle, zhēnxiāng.
Forget it, it's delicious.