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Say It Right Series

Taiwan Slang

Posted by maxiewawa October 15, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

A friend recently came to SHanghai to visit and brought with him 4 Taiwanese friends. He's from Taiwan originally too, so I got well and truly exposed to their jumping accents.

We were all amazed at how little I understood of their slangy words. Within 5 minutes they were throwing things at me that I didn't know what to do with. Some were quite funny. If you're interested, these are the ones I remember:

钓妹 : 钓 is the verb 'to fish' and 妹 is short for 妹妹 or 'girl'. One of the guys explained it like this: 有个男人,没女朋友。他就去酒吧,想。。。um... '钓妹'。。。I winked knowingly.

金主 is a child who has inherited a lot of money and likes spending it. It combines 金 (gold) with 主 (master). As I understood it, it's usually used for a grown up son/daughter, not a 'kid'.

Anyway, it was interesting learning these new words.

It has been a long time since I've learned a Chinese word whose explanation doesn't begin with "我们有个成语,叫做。。。" or “中国古老时。。。” It occurred to me that this group of Chinese speakers had an entirely different relationship to their language than anyone I've spoken with before. I've never heard anyone use a cute phrase like that (钓妹) or use a word that seems made up (金主). It was the first time a Chinese person my age has explained a word that seemed to be slangy, or something an older person might not understand.

Is this kind of jargon unique to Taiwan? Or am I just not "down" with mainland lingo?

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