Is that your man or a meal ticket?

Let’s face it—there’s nothing like having someone to take care of you, whether you’re sick, sad or shopping. Well, especially if you’re shopping. A spree is a great way to lift your spirits! That’s where having a “男朋友 (nán péngyou) boyfriend” comes in handy. In China, it’s the man who is expected to pay for everything. Tough love, right? It gets tougher. Now there’s a nickname for these poor guys. Let’s find out what it is!


“男朋友 (nán péngyou)” means “boyfriend” in Chinese. “男 (nán)” means “man,” and “朋友 (péngyou)” means “friend.” While like everywhere Chinese is spoken there are regional accents, and Taiwan is no exception. So when they say “男朋友 (nán péngyou),” it sounds more like “男票 (nánpiào).”  This is funny because “票 (piào)” means “ticket” or “banknote.” So now many ladies on the mainland jokingly call their generous boyfriends “男票 (nánpiào),” especially on the Internet. It’s like they’re calling their men meal tickets! At least they’re being honest about it, right?

1. 男票 (nánpiào): n. boyfriend

Zhè shì wǒ de nánpiào.
这    是  我 的   男票。
This is my boyfriend.

Tā gēn tā de nánpiào chǎojià le.
她  跟  她 的   男票     吵架   了。
She quarreled with her boyfriend.

2. 男朋友 (nán péngyou): n. boyfriend

Tā dàizhe nán péngyou lái cānjiā jùhuì.
她  带着   男     朋友       来  参加  聚会。
She brought her boyfriend to the party.

HSK 3 quiz

1. What does “男票 (nánpiào)” mean?
A. ticket
B. friend
C. boyfriend

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