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Chinese Popular New Words and Phrases

Posted by bluehorizon June 13, 2007 in the Group General Discussion .

房奴 House Slave
Fɑng nu (房奴) “house slave” refers to the group of people who have to spend a large part of their family income on a mortgage. Although they have bought a house or flat, their life is not easy. In order to pay off the mortgage they dare not easily change their job, dare not spend on entertainment, dare not travel, worry about falling ill and losing their job, let alone enjoy life. They have become slaves to the mortgage on their house or flat.
词语 Glossary
①月供 yuègōng: monthly mortgage payment
②房贷 fángdài: short for 购房贷款(housing mortgage)
月光族 Moonlight Clan
Yue guɑng zu (月光族) “moonlight clan” are not “moonlighters” in the English sense, rather it refers to the type of people who spend all their earnings each month. The two characters yue (月) and guɑng (光) in the phrase have nothing to do with the moon or light but mean yue yue huɑ guɑng (月月花光) “monthly income completely gone”; the character zu (族) stands for a large group of people. Members of the moonlight clan are mostly young men and women who have just entered employment. They do not usually earn very much and have not developed a habit of saving money, so all their money is used up at the end of each month. A male belonging to the moonlight clan is called Mr. Moonlight and a female is called Miss Moonlight.
人脉 ConnectionsThe character mɑi (脉) is a cohesive and systematic thing like blood vessels. Ren mɑi “connections”, first used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, refers to personal and social relations in all fields. Since 2006, the phrase “Personal connections signify financial relations” has prevailed rapidly in the professions and many Chinese consider good personal connections the foundations of success in a career and happiness in life.忽悠 HoodwinkThe word huyou (忽悠), which means “sway” in its literal sense, is derived from the Northeast dialect.  Figuratively speaking, it means to hoodwink or sway sb into doing sth with flattery or by boasting.Example:Zhao Benshan, a renowned comedian from northeastern China, used the word so often in his TV sketches that it soon came into popular everyday use across China. Girls, especially those who are addicted to weight loss products for slimming their figures, are usually warned against being swayed by some spurious advertisements. Meanwhile, the departments concerned are expected to tighten supervision, thereby discouraging any attempt to hoodwink the consumers.注释 Notes① 吹捧 chuīpěnɡ: boast
② 从而 cónɡ’ ér: thereby
③ 小品 xiǎopǐn: a comic short play, skit
恶搞 MischiefThe word ehgɑo (恶搞)“mischief”, used mainly on the Internet, refers to a subversive reprocessing of images of public figures, events, literary or artistic works and so on by means of scripts, graphics, videos, etc. in order to achieve the effect of a joke, humour, or irony. As this type of mischievous reprocessing usually goes beyond the normal moral boundary and is intended to destroy the true, good and beautiful images in people’s minds, it is called ehgɑo—literally, “evil making”.啃老族 NEET
Ken lao zu (啃老族) “NEET” , abbreviation for “Not in Employment, Education or Training”, refers to those young people who are adults with working abilities but who still live off their parents; they are also called Chi lao zu (吃老族) or Bang lao zu (傍老族). The character lao (老) in the phrase stands for old people, namely the parents; the two characters ken (啃) and lao (老) mean that those young people eat into their parents’ income and savings or spend their parents’ money; the character zu stands for a large number of people. The NEET are mostly only sons or daughters who, unemployed, have no income or whose salaries cannot make ends meet. Different from the NEET are the Rushing Clan, another group of young people who are striving to be successful in their careers.

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