Chinese language vocabulary 汉语词汇 OMG! Chinese Buzzwords! (31)

恐归族 (kǒng guī zú
home-going phobia clan
The term refers to people who plan to return home for the annual family reunio during the Spring Festival but are put off by the high travel costs and crowded transportation. Most of these people are migrant workers, who have to stay in the area wher they work to spend the festival holidays as train tickets are sold out and they can’t afford planes.

老妖咯(lǎo yāo e)
Outlandish, exotic, weird, gaudy
In the mid-1990s, with their wallets getting fatter, Chinese people began to travel overseas and initially, neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were the most popular destinations.
During their overseas tours, they found many new things that shocked them, but what came as the biggest shock was probably the performance by “katoeys” or ladyboys in Thailand. It was so outlandish and bizarre, they called the performers “老妖咯” (ren yao) or “human-elf.”

On returning home, they tended to describe such performances to their friends in an animated manner. And listeners were awed by such stories with their eyes wide open and jaws dropped.

In Shanghai, some people gradually began to use the term 老妖咯(lao yao e) (meaning literally “very elfish”) to describe anything that is outlandish or exotic.

Today, Shanghainese also use this term to describe whatever makes them feel weird. For example, if someone finds it difficult to fix a thing or a problem, he may say, “This is 老妖咯(lao yao e).”

Shanghai locals also use this term to mean gaudy or ostentatious. For instance, one may say: “Look, that person’s dress is 老妖咯(lao yao e).”

吃酸(chī suān)
Helpless, troublesome, vexatious, thorny

In Shanghai dialect, this term translates literally as “eating sour,” but it doesn’t mean eating something sour at all. It is often used to describe a situation in which one feels helpless or some people or something that one finds annoying but cannot think of an effective way to deal with.

Few can tell you the origin of this phrase, but many may liken the feeling the phrase describes to the unbearable sensation caused by eating something so sour it could cause vomiting and deplete one’s strength.

If that’s true, then the phrase is related to “eating something sour” after all.

网络春运(wǎng luò chūn yùn)
Spring Festival online shopping season
The online shopping boom has triggered a surge of goods being delivered as the Spring Festival holidays are nearing. Consumers may have to wait longer than usual as a lack of labor force, freezing weather and a large amount of products have caused an extensive delivery standstill.

签客(qiān kè)
check-in fans
The term refers to those people who have a craze for checking in at a location-based service (LBS) to obtain virtual titles or medals which can be exchanged for actual coupons. They share their real-time wherabouts or release news via mobile phones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *