tiān jià xiā
天 价 虾
This phrase, which means "pricey prawns," originated from a news story on October 4, in which a customer was overcharged by a restaurant in Qingdao, Shandong Province. The diner claimed that the menu listed a portion of prawns as costing 38 yuan ($5.9). But when he received the bill, he was told that 38 yuan was the price of a single prawn, and that he owed about 1,500 yuan for the dish. The news attracted wide public criticism. Many Net users subsequently started to use "prawn" as a measurement unit for price. "How many prawns is your monthly salary?" If you earn 7,600 yuan every month, then, you can answer, "200 prawns."
huó jiǔ jiàn
活 久 见
"Live longer, see more." This saying can be used to express surprise at seeing something unexpected or an explanation for why unexpected things happen. Some Net users used this phrase to comment on the film Lady of the Dynasty (2015), which featured a scene of the two main characters, played by Fan Bingbing and Leon Lai, having * on a galloping horse.
xiǎo gōng jǔ
小 公 举
An affectedly sweet way to say "little princess," this term is used to describe a man who has the characteristics of a young girl, but is, nevertheless, not a sissy. Among the most popular examples is Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, a reportedly shy guy who likes sweet foods, the color pink and strawberry milkshakes.
duò shǒu dǎng
剁 手 党
Translated as the "hands-chopping club," this phrase refers to people with an online shopping addiction. These people spend lots of money shopping for things that they have no use for. After the initial shopping high, they regret the splurge and vow they will chop their hands off if they do it again. Of course, once they’re seized by the urge, they forget all about their previous vow.
wǒ dài zhe nǐ nǐ dài zhe qián
我 带 着 你 你 带 着 钱
"I’ll carry you, and you carry the money." This line is drawn from a poem that a mother in Shanghai wrote to her daughter who is attending university. The poem, which the daughter posted in a screenshot from her WeChat, discusses the willingness of the mother to go anywhere with her child; however, most readers homed in on this specific sentence. It has become widely used among friends to humorous effect, like, "Let’s go to dinner. I’ll carry you, and you carry the money."
zhǔ yào kàn qì zhì
主 要 看 气 质
In November of this year, Taiwanese pop star Cyndi Wang posted an image from her new album on her Weibo that found her wearing a skimpy but snazzy retro outfit while holding a hamburger. As Net users puzzled over the strangeness of the photo, Wang replied, "Please focus on the charisma." Her response earned a good deal of attention, but a "punny" new translation of the Chinese phrase is winning even greater popularity: "God wants to check the air quality," which plays off the heavy smog recently seen by many Chinese cities.
zhòng yào de shì qíng shuō sān biàn
重 要 的 事 情 说 三 遍
Literally, this saying means, "Important things should be repeated three times." Among the widely accepted sources of this meme is a Japanese anime series called Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, in which the heroine claims that if you repeat something important three times, there will be magical effects. This may also explain the recurring scenario in The Big Bang Theory that finds main character Sheldon harassing his neighbor Penny with the thrice repeated: "(knock knock knock) Penny! (knock knock knock)Penny! (knock knock knock) Penny!"
This word, which means "dog leash," sounds like "go die" in English, and became popular after it appeared in the rap lyrics of a song by Huang Zitao, a pop star from the Chinese mainland. The word can be used either to curse someone or to show one’s resolution not to easily admit defeat, such as, "I won’t go die easily."
shǎ bái tián
傻 白 甜
This term, which literally translates as "stupid white sweet," is used to describe a girl who is innocent, fair-skinned and sweet in appearance. Though these kinds of girls may seem to be at a disadvantage when competing with their more calculating counterparts in the workplace, a number of male Net users have pointed out that they would prefer girlfriends who are shabaitian, because the more innocent girls are, the more lovely they are.
"Face score." This phrase is used to assess the looks of other people, both men and women. A high face score, or a "face score detonation," means that someone is good-looking, while a low face score means that someone is on the uglier side.