Catch Phrase | 搭子 (dāzi)

Writer: Li Dan  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-27


“搭” is short for “搭伙” (dāhuǒ, meaning “to find company”), and “子” is often added to another character to form a noun, usually referring to a person (as in “喷子,” pēnzi, meaning “troll”). Coined by Chinese netizens, “搭子” refers to those people whose company we enjoy in a specific pursuit. For instance, people eat meals with “meal pals,” because they can order more dishes together to be able to try more flavors and avoid waste. There are also “travel pals,” “mahjong pals,” “movie pals,” “exhibition and other events pals,” to name a few. The trend of finding event-specific pals is popular among the Chinese young, who enjoy such simple, relaxed, and not so intense quasi-friendships.


A: 你怎么还不去吃午饭?

Nǐ zěnme hái bú qù chī wǔfàn?

Why don’t you go out for lunch?

B: 我的饭搭子出差了,一会儿叫个外卖算了。

Wǒ de fàndāzi chūchāi le, yīhuìr jiào ge wàimài suàn le。

My meal pal is away on a biz trip, so I’ll order a takeout meal to be delivered to the office.