Views: 4518|Replies: 3

13 Euphemisms for “that kinda thing” in Chinese [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2013-8-16 21:28:32 |Display all floors
I'm always keen to expand my Chinese vocablury so was delighted to find this:

We all know that Chinese can be a little challenging to learn, and one ofthe reasons is cultural. Certain topics are not talked about openly by mostChinese, or at least not directly. Enter the euphemism, thosedelightful ways of subtly referring to a taboo topic without outright naming it(and befuddling all foreigners in the process!).

Below is a list of Chinese euphemisms (委婉语)for sex. These are all somewhat subtle, but they vary quite abit in how modern or tactful they are. Just to be clear, if you use the words 做爱(“make love”) or 性 (“sex, sexuality”) or 性交(“sexual intercourse”), you’re not being subtle, and dropping thosewords in polite company is likely to cause some embarrassment.
OK, so here’s the list:

1.      sex:This one needs no explanation, except that since it’s an English word, ratherthan a Chinese word, it loses a lot of its taboo flavour in Chinese (thus it’scounted as a euphemism when it’s really just a translation).

2.      那个iterally, “that.” You know… that.

Example: 他们有没有……那个过?

3.      ML:Stands for “Make Love.” So once euphemized by translation, and then euphemizedonce again by abbreviation. I asked native speakers if there is a “ZA.” Youknow… for 做爱. Of course there isn’t. (And atfirst, before the clarification, native speakers were even confused about whatin the world I could be talking about. “ZA”? Zā?) This one is often usedonline.

Example: ML的时候

4.      happy:You may know this word as an innocuous English adjective, but in Chinese it cansometimes be a verb.

Example: 他们今天可能要happy一下。

5.      :This one is pretty easy to just translate, since the euphemism is directlyanalogous to the English “sleep with someone.” Just remember to use 跟 in Chinese: 跟……(somebody)睡觉.

Example: 她不会跟你睡觉。

6.      爱爱:So you know how in Chinese verbs can reduplicate, like saying 看看for “take a (quick) look”? Well, in this particular euphemism, the same littlegrammar trick is used for the verb 爱. Only it’s prettyunambiguous in Chinese. Cute, huh?

Example: 他们今天可能要爱爱。

7.      嘿咻:This one is a little hard to explain if you’ve never heard it, but it’s thesound someone makes when engaged in some kind of hard labour. The kind whereyou’re breathing hard. So it’s essentially an onomatopoeia turned into a verb.

Example: 在车里“嘿咻”[source]

8.      办事:This one is slightly problematic because 办事 is alittle bit hard to nail down even in the non-euphemistic sense. It’s kind oflike “get some work done,” or “handle some (official) business.” Perhaps themost (unintentionally) appropriate translation in this particular case is“handle affairs.”

Example: 男人、女人“办事”时喜欢开灯和不开灯的理由[source]

9.      发生关系:I love how spontaneous this one sounds. 发生 means“happen” or “occur,” and 关系 means “relations” or“relationship.” So sometimes “relationships happen.” The interesting thing isthat this one is actually fairly formal; it can be used as an almost classy euphemismwithout the need for any additional chuckling or winking.

Example: 为什么男女发生关系后一切都变了? [source]

10.  床上运:“Exercise in bed.” Need I say more? Often used as a noun phrase.

Example: 床上运动一周几次才正常?[source]

11.  上床:“Get in bed.” Again, this one isn’t too hard for an English speaker to decode.As with 睡觉, the pattern is跟……(somebody) 上床.

Example: 她不会跟你上床。

12.  房事iterally, “room affair.” I’ve actually never heard this one myself, but I’massured that it is definitely used, and sometimes even by doctors. It can alsobe used as a verb.

Example: 怀孕后多久不能房事,为什么? [source]

13.  云雨:Ah, “clouds and rain.” (Yeah, you know what I’m talking about!) This one isdefinitely the most poetic of the bunch. To me, it smacks of “the birds and thebees,” only classier.

I’ve got no examples for this one. My searchesturn up a whole bunch of Chinese people asking how 云雨came to mean 做爱 in ancient Chinese. It’s notnormally used in spoken Chinese.

Feel free to add any more. {:soso_e122:}

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2013-8-17 12:04:34 |Display all floors
Is it possible for you to translate the characters into pin yin? Some of us can't read characters very well.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2013-8-17 15:54:13 |Display all floors
Boilermaker21 Post time: 2013-8-17 12:04
Is it possible for you to translate the characters into pin yin? Some of us can't read characters ve ...

If you install Google translate it will also show you the phonetic (pinyin). Reverse the translation and it will say the words.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 2

Post time 2013-11-6 08:12:16 |Display all floors
You are a quick learner.
There are many other expressions.

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.