Catch Phrase | 鸡娃(jīwá)

Writer: Debra Li  | Editor: Stephanie Yang  | From:  | Updated: 2018-09-11


“鸡” means “chick,” and “娃” means “kids.” This word is derived from “打鸡血” (literally, inject chicken blood), a metaphor for “full of energy,” since chicken blood had been used as a popular stimulant to boost people’s energy in China during the 1970s. Today, people use the term “鸡娃” to refer to the common practice of parents arranging all kinds of learning programs and extracurricular activities for their children, in the hope that their kids will beat peers in academia and other areas.


A: 你孩子上几年级?报了什么培训班?

Nǐ háizi shàng jǐ niánjí?Bào le shénme péixùnbān?

Which grade is your kid in? Which training classes have you got him enrolled in?

B: 刚上小学,什么都没报。

Gāng shàng xiǎoxué,shénme dōu méi bào。

He’s a first-grader, and I haven’t enrolled him in any extra class.

A: 现在不鸡娃,你不怕以后上不了好中学?

Xiànzài bù jīwá,nǐ bù pà yǐhòu shàng bù liǎo hǎo zhōngxué?

You don’t arrange learning programs for him now, but won’t you worry if he cannot get into a quality middle school in the future?

B: 我不想给他太大压力。

Wǒ bù xiǎng gěi tā tàidà yālì。

I don’t want to press him too much.