Embarrassment Slang
Illustration by: Wang Siqi

The Toe-Curling World of Awkward Chinese Internet Slang

A guide to expressing embarrassment like a Chinese netizen

China’s netizens are embarrassed. So embarrassed they’ve come up with new slang to express it. Some are so mortified they want to “find a crack in the ground to crawl into (尴尬到想钻地缝 gāngà dào xiǎng zuān dìfèng).” Others are “so embarrassed that their toes dig into the ground (尴尬到脚趾抠地 gāngà dào jiǎozhǐ kōu dì).”

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author Zhang Wenjie (张文捷)

Zhang Wenjie is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese. She loves to share the lifestyles, voices, and concerns of China’s Gen Z. She is also fond of collecting and displaying the flourishing slang expressions in the Chinese language.

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