What does 555 mean in Chinese?

As society evolves and the internet advances even further, internet slang has become the most popular mode of communication that is embraced by almost all generations. Internet slang is described as the unofficial or non-standard form of language used by people on the internet to communicate easily with each other. A good example of internet slang is ‘brb’ that stands for ‘be right back’ or another common one which is ‘lol’ which means ‘laugh out loud.

Now, one of the most common habits you will find among almost all Chinese is the use of Chinese slang on the internet. This is mostly true if you are using Chinese social media websites to understand the culture or learn the language. You are likely to find a large number of numbers that flood every search engine result page. One of the most common numbers you will find is the ‘555’ that is often used to respond to another. But, what does it really mean? Read on to find out!

What does the number 555 mean in Chinese?

Before talking about the meaning of ‘555’ in Chinese, we need to understand what the number 5 means. 5 (五), which is pronounced as wu, is directly associated with the five elements, that is, water, wood, earth, fire, and metal. These elements are said to be the basis of the world in ancient Chinese culture, and they are all affiliated with the Chinese emperor. Based on this background, the number has a historic significance in Chinese culture.

The number 5 was also associated with the Tiananmen Gate that is the main entrance to the forbidden city and has about 5 arches. Also, the Chinese have used the number 5 to classify their 5 flavors (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty) and to identify the five sacred mountains in China (Taishan, Hengshan in Shanxi, Huashan, Hengshan in Hunan and Songshan).

In modern society, the number 5 is used widely in various internet terms, and it has different meanings depending on who exactly is using them. Overall, the numeral 5 in China is pronounced as Wu. So, if you use the number sequence 555 in a chat on any Chinese website, it will be interpreted as though you are whining or crying, because it carries the onomatopoeia for crying (wuwuwu).

While most people use the number 555 to express sadness, others use it to express some sort of delightful pity towards a situation, which is practically sarcasm. In serious contexts, it simply shows that one is not happy or is somehow hurting, but in gaming contexts, you will realize that the number 555 is often sarcastic.


All the numbers of Chinese Internet slang will always spark some kind of curiosity in anyone and everyone. So, when you come across this number, you will notice that the thread has a somber mood or one that is purely sarcastic. All in all, the number 5 is considered auspicious and can be associated with good or bad luck depending on the context.

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