Screwed Over? In a “坑 (kēng)”? This Lesson May Help!

screwed over

As you know, the context and tone of how you say a word or expression in any language can change it’s meaning and intention. In English, you might jokingly say to your friends “you really screwed me over!” during a friendly game of Monopoly. However, you might not want to say that to your boss or in-laws!

In Chinese, we have an expression that is gaining popularity online and is generally used in a joking manner. The expression is “你 (nǐ) + 坑 (kēng) + 我 (wǒ), you screwed me over / buried me”. It’s become a popular expression on the Internet to express dismay and annoyance at someone, especially while playing online video games remotely. “你坑我 (nǐ kēng wǒ)” could be used in a number of scenarios such as betrayal, being “set up” or having your plan foiled.

Of course, with friends it’s popular slang and is not taken so seriously.

So, how did “你坑我 (nǐ kēng wǒ)” come about?

The root is “坑 (kēng)” which is a noun meaning anything related to a “hole, pit or hollow” and generally has an unpleasant meaning.

Zhè tiáo lù shàng yǒu hěn duō níkēng.
这    条   路   上    有    很多       泥坑。
There are too many potholes in this road.

Nǐ kě bǎ wǒ kēng huài le!
你 可 把 我   坑     坏  了!
You have really got me into a fix!

Chinese Popular Words
General Chinese (Beginner Level)
General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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