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4 “Lucky” Chinese Slang Terms

Mar. 17, 2022

Have you heard that the number 4 is unlucky in Chinese? Well, considering we’re giving you 4 new slang expressions to try out, looks like today is actually your lucky day!

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1. Carrying the Black Pot

In English, we have the expression “to be thrown under the bus” or “be made a scapegoat”. A scapegoat in Chinese is “替罪羊 (tì zuì yáng)”, but the phrase of choice is “背黑锅 (bēi hēi guō)”, meaning literally “to carry a black pot”.

HSK 3 quiz

背黑锅 (bēi hēi guō): to be made a scapegoat; to be unjustly blamed

例句:

wǒ dǎ suì le huā píng ,dàn shì wǒ de mèi mèi bēi hēi guō le.
我  打  碎 了  花   瓶,  但  是  我  的   妹   妹   背  黑   锅  了。
I broke vase, but my sister took the blame.

nǐ yīng gāi shuō shí huà , bù néng ràng tā bēi hēi guō.
你  应   该    说    实  话,不    能     让   他  背  黑   锅。
You should tell the truth and can’t make him take the blame for you.

2. To Sit on a Cold Bench

The cliché of a basketball “twelfth man” warming the bench isn’t unique to English. In Chinese, you can also cool your heels by “坐冷板凳 (zuò lěng bǎn dèng)”, or, “sitting on a cold bench.”

HSK 3 quiz

坐冷板凳 (zuò lěng bǎn dèng): to hold an inconsequential job; to receive a cold reception; to be sidelined

例句:

wǒ yǐ jīng zài zhè lǐ gōng zuò le shí nián, dàn wǒ réng rán jué de wǒ zhǐ shì zài zuò lěng bǎn dèng.
我 已  经  在  这  里   工    作  了  十  年, 但   我   仍    然  觉  得  我  只  是  在  坐    冷    板    凳。
I’ve worked here for ten years, but it still feels like I’m just on the sidelines.

wǒ xiǎng xiàng jiào liàn zhèng míng wǒ néng dǎ de duō me chū sè, dàn wǒ néng zuò de zhǐ shì zuò lěng bǎn dèng.
我    想      向     教   练     证      明    我   能    打  得   多  么   出  色,但   我    能    做  的  只  是   坐     冷    板    凳。
I want to show the coach how amazing I can play, but all I’m doing is sitting on the cold bench.

3. A West-rising Sun

“When the fat lady sings.” “When pigs fly.” “When hell freezes over.” These expressions all serve to highlight the improbability of something coming to pass, but in Chinese you’ll find a much more basic, irrefutable truth to overcome: “the sun rises in the west”.

HSK 3 quiz

太阳从西边出来 (tài yáng cóng xī biān chū lái): when pigs fly

例句:

wǒ de ér zi jū rán zuò le jiā wù , zhēn shì tài yáng cóng xī biān chū lái le!
我  的 儿子 居 然   做 了 家  务,  真   是  太   阳     从   西  边    出  来 了!
My son actually did his chores, it turns out the sun rises in the west!

tā jū rán zài lán qiú shàng dǎ bài le wǒ , zhēn shì tài yáng cóng xī biān chū lái le!
她 居 然  在  篮  球    上     打  败 了 我,  真   是  太   阳     从   西  边    出  来 了!
She beat me in basketball, maybe hell froze over!

4. No Door Here

Once you start using this expression, you won’t be able to stop! Not only is this fun way of saying “no way” extremely simple, but it also includes the Beijing “儿化 (ér huà)” everyone likes to emulate! Below are some examples of when to use the expression that literally means, “there’s no door”.

HSK 3 quiz

没门儿 (méi mén ér): no way/impossible

例句:

100 yuán qù jī chǎng? méi mén ér!
100   元   去 机   场?   没    门   儿!
¥100 to go to the airport? No way!

tā xiǎng zài míng tiān zhī qián wán chéng bào gào? méi mén ér!
她   想    在   明     天   之   前    完     成     报   告?  没   门   儿!
She wants to finish the report by tomorrow? That’s impossible!

Can’t get enough Chinese slang? Check out our Survival Chinese, Chinese Culture, and Customized Chinese lessons!

You May Want to Learn More :

“Must-Know Gym Chinese Vocabulary and Sentences for Weightlifters”

“Expressions You Need to Know About Money”

”The Mystery of Brand Names in Chinese Revealed”

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