Catch Phrase | 鸽了(gēle)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-09-29


“鸽” means “pigeon,” and “了” is a marker for perfect tense. This term, coined by Chinese netizens, derives from another colloquial saying “放鸽子” (fànggēzi, literal meaning: fly a pigeon), which actually means “to stand someone up.” Therefore, this term is used when someone fails to keep an appointment or to do something as they promised.


A: 昨天的约会怎么样?

Zuótiān de yuēhuì zěnmeyàng?

How was your date yesterday?

B: 我好不容易约到校花看电影,结果她鸽了。

Wǒ hǎobùróngyì yuēdào xiàohuā kàn diànyǐng,jiéguǒ tā gēle。

I finally got the campus belle to agree to go on a movie date with me, but she stood me up.