Chinese Number Slang You Should Know

October 30, 2019

The internet is a marvelous, complex place. However, we tend to prefer shorter language online. Abbreviations, acronyms, and emojis are staples of digital dialogues. In Chinese, number slang is also popular.

Check out the Chinese number slang you should know for online interaction!

233
èrsānsān
LOL

Rather than writing out 哈哈 hāhā, Chinese netizens are known to write 233. You can also write an unlimited amount of 3's, depending on how funny you find the situation

666
liùliùliù
Awesome

This sounds just like 溜溜溜liù liù liù, meaning “skilled, experienced, practiced”. In other words, you are very cool and super awesome.

555
wŭwŭwŭ
*sound of crying*

555 sounds like tearful crying, represented by the characters 呜呜呜 wū wū wū. You may associate this with the crying-face emoji.

2 and 250
èr and èrbăiwŭ
stupid

There are a couple stories behind this one, but the most reliable is that of the 吊 diào.
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In ancient China, a 吊 was a unit of currency made up of 1000 copper coins. 500 pieces of copper was called 半吊子bàn diàozi and indicated someone with a low IQ. (Occasionally one may good-naturedly refer to themselves as a 半吊子to show humble self-deprecation of one's abilities.)
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However, a quarter of a 吊 (250 copper pieces) became an insult meaning “idiot”. It may also be shortened to simply “2”.

520
wŭèrlíng
I love you

If you can suspend your disbelief, this sounds like 我爱你 wǒ ài nǐ (I love you). Still don't hear the resemblance? Try saying it quickly.

1314
yīsānyīsì
I will love you forever

This sounds like the highly romantic phrase 一生一世 yīshēng yīshì, which literally means “one life, one world”.
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More figuratively, 一生一世 means “a whole lifetime”. Aww.

996
jiùjiùliù
Jack Ma's work week

You may remember earlier this year Alibaba's Jack Ma making headlines (as he does) with his idea of the perfect work week:
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9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. Who's in favor?

Want more Chinese slang? Check out this post on some popular online jargon.

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