Catch Phrase | 乙里乙气(yǐlǐyǐqì)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-07-28


“乙” is short for “乙方” (yǐfāng), which is translated as “Party B,” and normally refers to the side in a contract that offers services or selling products. In contrast, “Party A” is the buyer of the services and products. “里” is an auxiliary word with no specific meaning, and “气” means “trait, style.” This term, coined by Chinese netizens, refers to the extremely polite and even self-abasing demeanor of those whose jobs put them in a position of currying favor with others, such as realtors or sales agents.


A: 你昨天约会感觉怎么样?

Nǐ zuótiān yuēhuì gǎnjué zěnmeyàng?

How was your date yesterday?

B: 那个小伙子有点乙里乙气,我不太喜欢。

Nàge xiǎohuǒzi yǒudiǎn yǐlǐyǐqì,wǒ bú tài xǐhuan。

The guy was extremely polite to the point of being self-abasing, so I dislike him.