1. The essentials
From the Chinese word for “cow”, Niu means, simply, awesome.
Eg. This tech news site is so niu!
The word “meng” comes from Japanese animation, and is used to say something is very cute. Maimeng (literally, to sell meng), means someone is pretending to be cute.
Eg. Chinese pop star Luhan is the love of my life. #mengmengda
This is an ancient Chinese character meaning light or window that Chinese net users have repurposed as an emoticon. It symbolizes a person with an open mouth, used to express shock, dismay, or awkwardness, or anything else the character conjures in your mind.
Eg. So I walked her all the way home, and then she was like: actually, I have a boyfriend. Friend: 囧.
Originally used to refer to male pubic hair, this term came from Baidu’s reddit-like forums, where football fans used it to refer to themselves in a deprecatory way. Now it means a loser, deadbeat, someone who has no chance of ever getting a house, a car, or a girlfriend.
Eg. She would never go for a diaosi like me.
This means even though you’re lying down you end up getting shot. When an innocent bystander manages to get hurt, they can use it to laugh at themselves.
Eg. I tangqiang in the Youtube comments section again. Yay…
The words literally mean “to hold grass”. Quite simply, this means “f—” because it sounds similar to the swear words in Chinese.
Eg. Wocao! I accidentally sent porn stickers to my work group chat again!
3. Dating terms
Memeda is a kissing sound used by couples on QQ and other kinds of messaging services to express their affection for each other. According to Baidu Baike, if you say it to someone and they say it back, it means your affections are reciprocated and you can try to get in their pants.
Eg. Hey babe, thanks for making dinner tonight. Memeda!
Literally means meet cannon. Comes from a slang term “to shoot a cannon”, meaning to have sex. If you’re setting up a cannon meeting, it means you’re trying to hook up with the other person, like a booty call or a one night stand.
Eg. If you use it the right way, WeChat can be a magic yuepao machine.
Literally, tall, rich and handsome. Refers to the ideal boyfriend, the Chinese version of prince charming.
Eg. Have you met the gaofushuai she’s dating? How do I get me one of those?
(with contributions from Stella Yu)