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辣眼睛 (làyǎnjīng) Spicy Eyes—Hilarious Internet Slang

Feb. 15, 2017

General Chinese Spicy Eyes

After looking at the photo above are your eyes feeling spicy? What I mean is, does it feel like a pepper has been squirted in your eye? In Chinese, there is a fabulous internet phrase to describe when you are looking at something awful: 辣眼睛 (làyǎnjīng) or “spicy eyes.” It is a way of commenting on something that makes your eyes feel like they have been damaged, similar to the English phrase “makes my eyes bleed.”

“辣 ()” means burn/sting/bite.
“眼睛 (yǎnjīng)” means eyes.

On the internet in China, this word is used to describe things that people like to “吐槽 (tǔcáo) complain” about, it’s something they can’t stand to look at. It is an internet slang for when you read or see something that is super ridiculous or surprising. You can use it to refer to an article that is completely ridiculous or a look that is a complete eyesore.

Example:
Tā zhè shēn zhuāngbàn zhēn shì làyǎnjīng!
她  这   身        装扮        真    是 辣眼睛!
The way she is dressed up makes my eyes bleed.

Dialogue
A: Wǒmen gǎnjǐn líkāi zhè gè dìfāng ba!
A: 我们      赶紧   离开  这 个  地方   吧!
A. Let’s quickly leave this place!

B: Zěnmelā? Wǒmen cái gāng lái.
B:怎么啦?   我们   才   刚    来。
B: What’s wrong? We just got here.

A:Zhèlǐ de chǎngjǐng tài làyǎnjīng le, wǒ shí zài shòu bú le.
A:这里  的    场景     太  辣眼睛   了,我 实 在  受    不 了。
A: The setting here is too ridiculous, I really can’t stand it.

Quiz:
Which answer best describes the new internet word “辣眼睛 (làyǎnjīng)?”

A. It raining unexpectedly.
B. Getting pepper squirted in your eyes.
C. Seeing or reading something that is ridiculous.
D. Seeing a very attractive “spicy” person.
See Answer

Learn more awesome internet slang that will surprise your Chinese friends:
自黑 (zìhēi) self-mockery
When You Feel Crushed, Use “心塞 (xīnsāi)” in Mandarin

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