Chinese Internet Memes For 2009, Year of the Ox

From Tianya:

Year of the Ox’s Most Niu Internet Memes (Popular Terms)


考碗族 = kǎo wǎn zú
A group of people who specifically plan to take the civil servant exam.


小沈阳 = Xiǎo Shěn Yáng
A Chinese comedian who wears a dress and acts effeminate. He became very popular after appearing in the 2009 CCTV Spring Festival Show.


English word, often used to describe masculine men or behavior.


躲猫猫 = duǒmāomāo
Hide and seek. A young prisoner Li Qiaoming died while in a police detention center. When the police were questioned, they said he ran into a wall while playing hide and seek, and so “hide and seek” became a popular internet phrase.


人肉搜索 = rénròusōusuǒ
People using the internet to work together to do something such as finding a person.


这事儿不能说得太细 = “This matter cannot be gone into too much detail.”
The 170 yuan road usage fee that Tianjin city of China collected from car owners every month to repay a loan was attacked by public opinion. When asked just how much of the loan remained, a government official said one sentence: “This matter cannot be gone into too much detail”, immediately becoming an expression netizens use to sneer or ridicule.


踩地盘 = cǎi dìpán
Refers to good friends visiting each other’s homepage.


叉腰肌 = chāyāojī
National football head, Xie Yalong made this term popular when he criticized the Chinese national women’s football team saying this muscle is the most important to train but the women players did not know what he was talking about.


俯卧撑 = fǔwòchēng
Push ups. This became popular when a girl in Guizhou, China committed suicide jumping off a bridge. Her friend claimed he was doing push-ups while he was with her. It represents an attitude of only doing one’s own thing and not caring about other things.

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囧 = jiǒng
Jiong, to express being stupefied, surprised, shocked.


御宅族 = yùzháizú
Chinese word for Japanese word “otaku”, people who are too crazy about a certain interest/hobby.


GJM = guō jìng míng = 郭敬明
Short for Guo Jingming who was extremely despised for his “梦里花落知多少” plagiarism incident/controversy, thus making his name to mean “plagiarizing or copying”.


FB = 腐败 = fǔbài
Originally the corruption of government officials, now commonly used to refer to going out to have a nice meal.


FT = 分特 = fēn tè


路过 = lùguò
Passing by, a person who does not want to make a serious reply/comment but still wants to get points for making a reply. Words with the same meaning include: 无语 (wúyǔ, speechless, nothing to say), 飘过 (piāo guò, float/flutter by), 默 (mò, silently )…etc.


沙发 = shāfā
Refers to the first person to reply/comment.


太监贴 = tàijiàn tiē
Refers to posts that are not continued or further developed, especially when everyone is expecting more. Incomplete posts, like eunuchs (太监) who are “incomplete.”


灌水 = guànshuǐ
Refers to leaving meaningless posts/comments on the internet.


潜水 = qiánshuǐ
Refers to being in a chat room or on a BBS forum but not saying anything (lurking).


雷 = léi
Shocked like being struck by lightning.


打酱油 = dǎjiàngyóu
Getting soy sauce, meaning “it is none of my business” or “it has nothing to do with me.”


甫士 = fǔ shì
Pose, making a pose.


HC = huā chī = 花痴 = crazy person
BH = biāo hàn = 飙悍 = person who looks wild
CJ = chúnjié = 纯洁 = person who looks pure

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长草 = zhǎng cǎo
Strong, rapidly growing (like grass) desire to shop/buy something.


歪楼 = wāi lóu
Slanted/tilted/fallen building.


闷骚 = mēn sāo
A person (usually girl) who appears cold/unfriendly/reserved on the surface but is really enthusiastic/passionate/friendly within.


穿越 = chuānyuè
1. A popular theme of internet novels usually involving the main character returning to the past and becoming a beautiful girl or handsome boy;
2. A common reaction after being shocked.


劈腿 = pī tuǐ
1. Unfaithful;
2. Developing on multiple fronts.


楼上 = lóushàng
Comments or replies above.

There are many more well-known Chinese internet memes and of many of these internet memes are also not from the year of the ox but this netizen title the post this way.

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  • 4chuan

    this is really cool, but can someone maybe translate what the people in the cartoons are saying? otherwise they’re kind of hard to understand.

    • most of them aren’t really that interesting or funny. They’re just examples of how to use whatever the meme is. For example, the first one:

      Woman: Hey! What are you doing?
      Man: I’m “cooking” a bowl. Aren’t you always telling me to “take” the civil service exam?

      (烤cook, barbecue and 考 take a test sound the same)

      Not that interesting really. I like the post overall though.

  • JonnyD

    Wow. Great list. Thanks for all the hard work!

  • krdr

    I’ll add: Ding!

  • too yellow

    how could you forgot grass mud horse!

  • Peteryang
  • rory

    Pretty cool, but hasn’t the 俯卧撑 explanation been harmonized? As I remember, there were allegations made that the girl was raped and then thrown into the river, and that the guy involved was related to a local official. The ‘push-ups’ were part of the official police statement. This event led to the Weng’an Mass Incident, where a local police station was torched by several hundred rioters angry that there hadn’t been a sufficient inquiry into the girl’s death.

    Also, no 草泥马? LZ, what were you thinking??!!

    • krdr

      List is not compiled or made by Fauna. It is just re-post. Fauna even made disclaimer about list.

      • rory

        My comment wasn’t aimed at Fauna or Chinasmack, I know that it’s a re-post from another forum. It was a poor attempt at humour on my part, sorry – I should’ve made it clear that I was addressing the author of the original post. My point was that the actual story behind the 俯卧撑 was a lot more bizarre than the Tianya post implies.

  • DWR

    Good work! Thanks for collating the phrases together – makes it a little easier to keep up with developments!


  • Joe #2

    Doesn’t everyone know that you really have to beware of walls when playing hide & seek? They can sneak up on you!

  • KX


  • Kaiser Kuo

    沙发 has to be way, way older than 2009, yeah? Surely I was seeing that on comments back in 2005, 2006… am I wrong?

  • antelope

    Please don’t use the word “meme”. It is a cheap and pretentious figment that Richard Dawkins should never have dreamed up.

    It is the kind of word that teenagers might use to give themselves an air of sophistication, but in reality is just a mask of ignorance.

  • Rabelais

    For 剽悍 the picture uses the initials BH, shouldn’t this be PH? (I’m aware that the gloss gives us 彪悍 which is indeed BH).

  • too yellow

    贾君鹏, 你妈妈喊你回家吃饭

    • too yellow

      damn, somebody already got it before me

  • hey

    antelope… you do realise that meme is a real word and its current usage comes from the meaning of the word when used in a psychological context

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