Math in modern Chinese slang

Dan Kallman
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The letter "n," used in math summations, has found its way into the Chinese language to mean "a lot." An example of a common use would be, "wo yi jing da le N ci dian hua! ni gan me bu jie?“ Literally, "I called N times! Why didn't you pick up? Another one commonly used when chatting online is 88 to mean bye bye. The number 8 is pronounced "ba," so double eights is, "ba ba," which is a close approximation of "bye bye." "Bye bye," by the way, seems to have surpassed the Chinese word for goodbye (zai jian) as the default farewell in China. Sometimes I hear people on the metro chatting for half an hour entirely in Chinese, and they typically close with a "bye bye."


Posted on 5/19/2009 by

Steven Schwab

Steven Schwab

Also for chatting: 7758 - qi qi wu ba which sounds like "qing qing wo ba" - "give me a kiss"

Posted on 7/31/2010 by

Maria Vdovkina

Maria Vdovkina

Bar name 519 "wu yao jiu" sounds like "wo yao jiu" - I want a drink. Names-numbers are pretty common. Special thing with number 250 "er bai wu" - it literally means an idiot. If someone is trying to sell you something for 250 yuan be sure he's joking with you. One Chinese girl assured me that the word bye -"bai" is Chinese. It even has a special hanzi for it.

Posted on 8/26/2010 by

li fang

li fang

Here is a Chinese. There is also this 9494, which means "You are right", "Absolutely", since it sounds like "jiu shi jiu shi". And 520 and 521, both of which sound like "wo ai ni" - "I love you".

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