All across Chinese social media, English letter abbreviations are running rampant.
Whether on web forums, text messages, or WeChat, terms like “yyds”, “dddd” and “u1s1” have been evolving and gradually working their way into everyday conversation.
As it’s easy to just dismiss them as silly trends (or even typos), today we’re breaking down what some of these seemingly random collections of letters and numbers actually mean, and how to use them!
“yyds” is the pinyin abbreviation for ” yǒng yuǎn de shén (永远的神)”, meaning “eternal god” or “forever idol”.
The phrase is used in positive ways to replace words such as “good-looking”, “easy-to-use”, or simply, “awesome”, and has because a catch-all, supreme-level for great people and things.
“yyds” originated in the gaming community.
At the time, one e-sports commentator praised the gamer Uzi as an “eternal god” – this was later taken by fans to describe someone they idolized, and from there its usage grew to include descriptions of things, too.
xià tiān de bīng zhèn kě lè yyds.
夏 天 的 冰 镇 可乐 yyds。
And iced cola in summer is amazing.
gōng bǎo jī dīng yyds.
宫 保 鸡 丁 yyds。
Kung Pao Chicken is the best.
“awsl” is often written or read as “A Wei is dead”, but really is used to mean “ā wǒ sǐ le (啊我死了)”. It is generally used to describe the excitement when seeing something cute, to express a feeling of “loving something to death”, or an extreme liking.
zhè gè wán ǒu tài kě ài le，ā wǒ sǐ le.
这 个 玩 偶 太 可 爱 了，awsl。
This doll is so cute I wanna die.
ā wǒ sǐ le, nǐ zhēn shì gè bǎo zàng.
Awsl， 你 真 是 个 宝 藏。
I love you to death, you are such a treasure.
“xswl” is a short pinyin abbreviation of “xiào sǐ wǒ le (笑死我了)”, literally, “I’m laughing to death”. There’s actually a similar English abbreviation – ROFL (“rolling on the floor laughing”).
zhè gè diàn yǐng tài hǎo xiào le，xiào sǐ wǒ le.
这 个 电 影 太 好 笑 了，xswl。
This movie is so funny, I can’t stop laughing.
nǐ xiào sǐ wǒ le！
You’re so funny!
“nsdd” is the pinyin abbreviation of “nǐ shuō de duì (你说的对)”, literally meaning “You’re right”.
However, it’s not used just as an acknowledgement that what someone is saying is correct, but also to be dismissive or quickly end an unpleasant exchange.
kàn le zhè gè jiě shì，nǐ shuō de duì.
看 了 这 个 解 释，nsdd。
After reading this explanation, you’re right.
wǒ wú yǔ le，nǐ shuō de duì.
我 无 语 了，nsdd。
I’m speechless, you’re totally right.
“dddd” stands for “dǒng de dōu dǒng 懂的都懂” or, casually, “if you get it, you get it”.
Generally speaking, this refers to a meaning that is beyond words, or for which there are no words, and it’s something that only people who already understand it can understand.
dǒng de dōu dǒng，bù dǒng yě méi bàn fǎ.
Dddd， 不 懂 也 没 办 法。
If you get it you get it, no way around it if you don’t understand.
bù shuō le，dǒng de dōu dǒng.
不 说 了，dddd。
I’m not saying anything else, if you get it, you get it.
“u1s1” is the pinyin abbreviation of “yǒu yī shuō yī (有一说一)”.
The approximate meaning of this is “speak logically” or “be reasonable” or “it makes sense”, and the phrase can appear in almost any context.
You can use the phrase alone as a response, indicating that you agree with what the other party is saying; you can tack the phrase on to the end of a sentence to elicit a new point of view, and to emphasize what’s being said.
yǒu yī shuō yī，zhè běn shū hěn hǎo kàn.
U1s1， 这 本 书 很 好 看。
To say it plainly, this book is very good.
yǒu yī shuō yī ， wǒ dā yìng nǐ de shì yī dìng huì zuò dào .
U1s1， 我 答 应 你 的 事 一 定 会 做 到。
To say it plainly, I’ll do what I promised you.