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“潮男(cháonán)”— Wet or Fashionable?

Mar. 6, 2014

“潮(cháo),” literally means “tide,” and is typically used in phrases related to the tide, such as “潮水(cháoshuǐ) tide” and “涨(zhǎngcháo) rising tide” etc.


Qiántángjiāng de cháoshuǐ hěn yǒumíng.
钱塘江             的  潮水        很   有名。


The tide of Qiantang River is very famous.

Zhǎngcháo de shíhou yóuyǒng hěn wēixiǎn.
涨潮            的  时候    游泳        很    危险。


It is dangerous to swim when the tide is rising.

Besides the original meaning of “tide,” “潮(cháo)” also means “damp,” for examples, “潮湿(cháoshī) moist,” and “防潮(fángcháo) damp proof.”


Xiàyǔ yǐhòu, kōngqì hěn cháoshī.
下雨   以后,空气    很    潮湿。


The air is very damp after the rain.

Shíwù yào zhùyì fángcháo.
食物    要   注意  防潮。


Food should be kept away from moisture.

“潮(cháo)” is also used to refer to something like the tide which is growing and is difficult to control, such as “热潮(rècháo) hot trend.”


Xiànzài, xué zhōngwén yǐjīng chéngwéi yìzhǒng rècháo.
现在,   学   中文          已经  成为         一种      热潮。


Nowadays, learning Chinese has become a hot trend.

However, you may get confused when you hear someone refers to a person as “潮人(cháorén).” Maybe the person gets wet from the rain? In fact, “潮(cháo)” is also an adjective which can be used independently or before a person to describe someone who is “fashionable,” or “setting trends,” such as “潮人(cháorén) trendsetter” and “潮男(cháonán) trendy man.” Like the tide, fashion is also a phenomenon that is always changing and developing in many directions. That’s why Chinese people make this connection.

“潮人(cháorén)” usually have a fashionable appearance, a unique taste for clothes, and attach great importance to self-cultivation and innovation, as they know that trends will never stop changing and evolving! Thus, “潮人(cháorén)” actually are the avant-garde of fashion, and are worthy or imitation.


Nǐ zhè jiàn Txù hǎo cháo a!
你  这  件   T恤  好   潮    啊!


Your T-shirt is very fashionable!

Cháorén hěn xǐhuan dài mòjìng.
潮人        很    喜欢    戴  墨镜。


Fashionable people like to wear sunglasses.


1. Bob said, Dana, “你好潮啊!(Nǐ hǎo cháo a!).” What does he probably mean?

A. Dana is wet all over her body.

B. Dana wears shabby clothes.

C. Dana has her hair cut in a fashionable way.

2. Lisa is very fashionable in her way of dressing, thus she is a____.

A. 潮男(cháonán)

B. 潮人(cháorén)

C. 美女(měinǚ)

See answer


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