If you are learning Mandarin as a second language, one of the best ways to make it more interesting is to engage with several Chinese websites such as QQ, Douyin, or Weibo. While it may be a little confusing at the beginning, getting an acquaintance of the internet slang would make it more engaging and would actively jog your memory. Now, one of the most common habits you will find among almost all Chinese is the use of Chinese slang on the internet. Overall, internet slang is greatly used by those of the younger generation and slightly older folks who are well versed with the internet. You will also realize that China is a country with a great sense of humor, and humor is one of the best ways of learning and communicating.
That said, we will look extensively at the Chinese Internet number slang list.
How Chinese Number Slang Works
Before we look through the Chinese Internet number slang list, it is essential to understand the digits 0-9, and a couple of their world equivalents.
- Zero, 零 (líng), is often used to mean you.
- One (yī), is pronounced as ‘yao’ in some contexts to mean ‘to want
- Two (èr), which sounds almost the same as the word ‘hungry’ or love’
- Three (sān), which sounds similar to the word ‘life’
- Four (sì), which is considered the most unlucky number because it sounds like ‘death’ in Chinese
- Five 五 (wǔ), which is the most ideal onomatopoeia for crying
- Six 六 (liù), is identified as the luckiest number because its pronunciation is similar to the word ‘to flow’
- Seven 七 (qī), sounds similar to the Chinese word that means ‘to be very angry’
- Eight八 (bā), has a similar pronunciation to the Chinese word that means ‘goodbye’
- Nine 九 (jiǔ). Out of all the digits we have discussed, the number nine doesn’t have any other use aside from being numerical. For this reason, it is not part of the Chinese Internet number slang list.
Chinese Internet Number Slang List
- 7456; 七四五六 (qī sì wǔ liù)
This simply means you are making me angry. If you are going through an offensive conversation on the Chinese internet, or maybe come across something insensitive, or if you are going through a phase of grief and you find your tears or discomfort turning into anger, then using these numbers in a conversation would be ideal.
- 555; 五五五 (wǔ wǔ wǔ)
This is a crying noise. Most of the time, you will find that after people express emotion and it is met with deafening silence, or when they are upset, they tend to write the number 555. Wu wu wu is an onomatopoeia for crying, so this makes a lot of sense.
- 514; 五一四 (wǔ Yao sì)
When someone used this number in a chat, they are trying to say that they want to die. The majority of the time, people use this number when they are angry about something or when they are frustrated from something that happened in their day. While this number is often used to express disappointment, some people may take it too seriously.
- 250; 二百五 (èr bǎi wǔ)
This number means ‘idiot’. In ancient China, traders and every other Chinese national preferred to string together coins in stacks of 1,000 because it was the best way to signify an impressive hunch. 500, on the other hand, represented ‘half a stack’ and was used the politest term used to describe average people. With time, came the common insult ‘250’ which was used to describe anyone who was too dumb.
- 886; 爸爸六 (bā bā liù)
This sounds just like bye-bye in Mandarin. So, most people use the number 886 at the end of a chat to show that they are signing off, or they prefer to catch up much later.
- 520 五二零 (wǔ èr líng)
People use the number 520 to tell the text recipient that they love them. As we discussed in the previous section, each of the numbers has a similar pronunciation as different words in the Chinese language. The number 5 means ‘I’, 2 means ‘love’, and 0 means ‘you’. When put together, they all create the word ‘I love you.
- 1314; 一三一四 (yī sān yī sì)
When you read this in Chinese, it sounds similar to ‘one life, one world’. These words are sometimes used to mean ‘forever or ‘for the rest of my life. So, when you look through different conversations, you will realize that most people use this number when trying to make a promise to the recipient.
Also, some people use 520 and 1314 together to mean ‘I love you forever.
- 2013; 二零一三 (èr líng yī sān)
This number is the simplest way to tell your lover or friend that you will love them for life. So, if you feel as though writing 520 1314 is too long to write, then you can opt for the number 2013, to communicate your message.
When it comes to Chinese internet slang, it means ‘You are doing amazing sweetie. Also, you will find that most Chinese gamers put the number ‘666’; in the group chat to stand for ‘smooth/slick’; when they see that their opponent has made an impressive skill. Also, it sounds a lot like ‘job well done’ or ‘good luck in the game’.
Internet slang is often coined in response to different events, the desires of users to simplify and update the Chinese language, and the influence of the mass media and foreign culture. What happens is, slang that first appears on the internet is adopted by different internet users to become the means of communication in everyday life. That said, Chinese internet slang includes content relating to all aspects of mass media, economic issues, political topics, and social life among other aspects in life.