Model Mandarin: Internet Slang


Remember how to speak by saying things you shouldn’t.

Some words are not necessarily found in traditional dictionaries. However, people use them quite often in daily language.

shàikè 晒客
Shài literally means to be exposed to the sun, and is used to mean‘showingoff;’ kè, meaning client or guest, refers to the person. Shàikè, so this new age slang refers to those people who share their life, experiences and mood on Internet in comprehensive detail.

Penny shì yí ge kě ài de shàikè, měitiān zài wēi xìn hǎo yǒu quān lǐ gēng xīn tā měige xiǎoshí de zhuàng tài.
Penny 是 一个 可爱的 晒客, 每天 在 微 信 好 友 圈 里 更 新 她 每个 小时 的 状 态。
Penny is a cute, she is updating her WeChat moment every hour about her life.

tǔ háo 土豪
Chinese nouveau riche. New money, mostly not well spent. If someone is being wasteful or has unrefined taste, you can say they are tǔháo.

búshì yǒu qián rén jiù shì tǔháo, dànshì tǔháo yídìng shì yǒu qián rén.
不是 有 钱 人 就 是 土豪, 但是 土豪 一定 是 有 钱 人。
Not all the rich are tǔháo, though tǔháo definitely have a lot of money.


A supplement for grammar practice

More about conjunctions to connect your thoughts and actions.

jíbiàn … yě … 即便 … 也 … even though…
Use this one when the results won’t be changed by the conditions.

jíbiàn chē yuè láiyuè piányi, tā yě bù dǎ suan mǎichē.
即便 车 越 来越 便宜,他 也 不 打 算 买车。
Even though cars are getting cheaper, he is not planning to buy a car.

yìbiān … yìbiān … 一边 … 一边 … while …
It indicates that two actions are happening at the same time.

rú guǒ nǐ yìbiān kāichē yìbiān dǎ diànhuà, jiù hěn bù ānquán.
如果 你 一边 开车 一边 打 电话,就 很 不 安全。
If you are talking on the phone while driving, it’s not safe.


Mnemonic devices that work










Conversation starters for Guangdongers

Useful for joking around at dinner with a friendly client or close friends.

guhan (孤寒) – An adjective describing a “cheapskate,” or someone who is stingy and not so generous when he/she should be. (speak ‘gu’ in steady tone and a rising tone on ‘han.’)