- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 297 Hour
- Reading permission
2. Do you freestyle?
你有freestyle吗？(nǐ yǒu freestyle ma?)
Last summer, the hugely popular music TV show “Rap of China” nudged hip-hop into the spotlight. In the first episode, one of the show’s judges, Canadian-Chinese pop singer Kris Wu, repeatedly asked contestants whether they “freestyled,” using the English term for improvised rap within an otherwise Chinese sentence.
The expression instantly went viral, particularly online GIFs of Wu asking the question. Before long, netizens all over China were jokingly asking each other, “Do you freestyle?”
Although the meme mocked Wu, he enjoyed a massive boost in popularity as a result of the show, and has since netted a string of endorsement deals for brands such as fashion house Burberry and cellphone maker Xiaomi.
The show also popularized a number of other terms, such as the English hip-hop culture term “diss” — meaning “to show disrespect” — and terms from Chinese dialects, such as Sichuanese, that appeared in rap songs.
3. Call for support
打call (dǎ call)
This term, which again mixes Chinese and English, is often misinterpreted as meaning “to call someone,” but in fact it’s used to rouse support.
The phrase originates in Japanese pop culture. During live concerts, singers often gesture for audience members to wave glow sticks in time with the music — a “call” for fans to wave in unison.
Later, influential Chinese social media accounts adopted the term and it became used more widely, eventually becoming a rallying cry for anything: a brand, a person, or a phenomenon.
During the Party’s 19th National Congress in October, the Weibo account of the Communist Youth League, a state-run youth organization, posted an image mosaic of nine quotes from President Xi Jinping’s opening speech. “Today, let us encourage ourselves and da call for the ‘new era,’” read the accompanying text, ending with a popular catchphrase to emerge from the weeklong event.
4. Pipi Shrimp, let’s go!
皮皮虾我们走 (Pípí xiā, wǒmen zǒu)
GIFs depicting a comic figure riding some sort of creature with the slogan “(Creature’s name), let’s go!” emerged as early as 2015, with an early version depicting a boy riding a monster from a collectible card game.
In 2017, a variant of the meme featuring a boy on a giant mantis shrimp shouting “Pipi Shrimp, let’s go!” went viral. Online sticker sets soon began to include their own crustacean-riding variations.
The sticker has been popular because it is cute, absurd, and versatile: Use it to say goodbye in a group chat, or when you’re leaving an argument in a huff.
5. That hurts, bro.
扎心了，老铁 (zhāxīn le, lǎotiě)
This meme originated from bullet screen comments on video-streaming sites. Laotie is a term from China’s northeastern dialects, meaning “buddy” or “bro,” while zhaxin literally means “to pierce the heart.” The phrase is often used humorously to feign heartbreak.
In August, a humorous Weibo post about a wife whose saucy dreams of amorous liaisons with a literal line of men were revealed through her sleeptalking was liked over 30,000 times. The post was titled, “Your wife had a bad dream, hahahahahahaha, that hurts, bro.”