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Popular Chinese: 黑心(Hēixīn)- “Black Heart” or “Evil Heart”? 

Aug. 20, 2014

All kinds of colors (color words in Chinese) make our world vivid and beautiful. Like in English, there are also many color words in Chinese, and “黑(hēi)” is one of them. “黑(hēi)” is an adjective that can be used to describe something that is literally black in color such as“黑珍珠(hēi zhēnzhū) black pearl” and “黑色(hēisè) the color black.”


Mike sòng gěi wǒ yíbù hēisè de píngguǒ shǒujī.
Mike  送     给  我 一部  黑色 的    苹果     
Mike gave me a black iPhone.

However, in Chinese culture “black” also stands for something “bad, dark, evil, or crafty.” Therefore, some Chinese phrases containing “黑(hēi)” are used to refer to something “bad ” or “evil.”

Want to know the secret meanings of other colors in China?


Evil heart

In this instance, “黑(hēi)” means “bad” and “心(xīn)” means “heart.” “黑心(hēixīn),” therefore, is used to refer to someone who is really horrible. Chinese people often omit the “心(xīn)” and only use “黑(hēi)” to refer to other people’s bad actions.


Zhè jiā cānguǎn lǎobǎn zhēn hēi (xīn), jìngrán zài báijiǔ lǐ jiāshuǐ!
这    家   餐馆      老板      真   黑 (心),竟然 在  白酒 里 加水!


Corrupt store

Besides the meaning of “bad,” “黑(hēi)” is also used to refer to something “illegal.” You can see it used in this way in such phrases as “黑店(hēidiàn) corrupt store” or a “黑社会(hēishèhuì) criminal organization.”


Zhè jiā wǎngdiàn shì hēidiàn, mài de dōngxi  quánshì cìpǐn.
这    家 网店         是    黑店, 卖  的   东西      全是      次品。
This online store is a corrupt one, because all of its goods are defective.

When “黑(hēi)” is used as a verb, it means “to hack.” This usage of “黑(hēi)” comes from the word “黑客(hēikè),” which is the transliteration of the English word “hacker.” Therefore, if a website has been hacked by someone, we can say “这个网站被黑了。(Zhège wǎngzhàn bèi hēi le.)”


Wǒ de gèrén zhǔyè bèi hēi le!
我   的 个人   主页   被   黑  了!
My homepage has been hacked!

When someone “被黑(bèihēi),” it means that he or she has been defamed or tricked by others.


Bié hēi wǒ! Zhè shì wǒ dì yī  cì xià xiànɡqí.
别    黑 我!这  是  我  第 一 次 下  象棋。
Stop making fun of me! It’s my first time to play chess.

Lā hēi
拉 黑


“拉黑(lā hēi)” originated from the word "黑名单(hēi míngdān),” which was directly translated from the English word “blacklist.” When we want to express the idea that “someone has been put on a blacklist,” we can say “被拉黑(Bèi lā hēi).” This phrase is the shorted form of “被拉进黑名单(Bèi lā jìn hēi míngdān).” It is worth noting that “拉黑(lā hēi)” is mainly used for online games or communication tools such as QQ or Wechat Messenger.


Fēnshǒu hòu, wǒ de QQ zhànghào jiù bèi tā lā hēi  le.
分手         后, 我  的 QQ  账号         就 被  他 拉 黑 了。
After breaking up, my QQ ID was put on his blacklist.


1. Which “黑(hēi)” in the following sentences stands for “bad?”

A. 我被前男友拉黑了。(Wǒ bèi qián nányǒu lā hēi le.)

B. 这家服装店太黑了!(Zhè jiā fúzhuāng diàn tài hēi le!)

C. 别黑我了!(Bié hēi wǒ le!)

2. What does “黑(hēi)” mean in the following sentence?

我的电脑被黑了!(Wǒ de diànnǎo bèi hēi le!)

A. blackened

B. blacklisted

C. hacked

3. If you want to get your friends to stop making fun of you, you can say____.

A. 别黑我啦!(Bié hēi wǒ la!)

B. 你真黑心!(Nǐ zhēn hēixīn!)

C. 我要拉黑你!(Wǒ yào lā hēi nǐ!)

See Answers

Learn vocabulary related to colors through this Chinese song

Learn Chinese colors from a Chinese song for children (Elementary)

Chinese Popular Words (Fun Stuff)

HSK Test

General Chinese (Beginner Level)

General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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