This word literally means “cabbage,” which is not what we’re talking about here. “卷” is used in the sense of “内卷” (nèijuǎn, meaning “involved in over competition”), and “菜” implies “being unskillful at,” as in “菜鸟” (càiniǎo, referring to a “rookie”). This term coined by Chinese netizens refers to those who willingly participate in or are forced into over competing, but often fail in their attempts due to a lack of competence or experience.
Literally meaning paddle on a calm body of water or make strokes with one’s arms, this internet catchphrase are now used to describe people who work less hard than one usually should do.
“车尾箱” means car boot or trunk, and “集市” means market. Together the phrase means a car boot sales bazaar or tailgate flea market where people sell their unwanted possessions, often from the backs of their cars.
"密集母职" describes children as innocent and priceless, and assumes that mothers should be primarily responsible for using child-rearing methods that are child-centered, expert-guided, emotionally absorbing, labor intensive, and financially expensive.
“路边” means “roadside,” and “摊” means “stall” or “booth.”Roadside stalls or vendors made headlines in Chinese media recently after such major cities as Shanghai and Shenzhen lifted a ban on them.
“妆造,” short for “美妆造型” (měizhuāng zàoxíng), refers to the overall looks created by makeup, hair and an outfit; and “店” means “shop.”This term, often associated with special styles of distinctive looks, refers to niche-market studios that offers services in makeup, hairdressing and outfit-choosing before the clients are to attend certain functions or to get ready for photo shoots, particularly in dramatic looks.
“流水线” means “production line,” and “公主” is “a princess.” “Production-line princesses,” a popular spectacle on WeChat Moments during this May Day holiday, refers to young women dressed up as princesses from various ethnic groups posing for photos at such tourist destinations as Xishuangbanna and the Korean Ethnic Park of Yanji.
“特种兵式” means “SWAT-style,” and “旅游” means “tour, travel.” This term coined by Chinese netizens refers to a demanding way of traveling popular among the young, who try to visit as many destinations as possible in a limited time on a minimum budget. One such
“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.
“反向” means “reversal,” and “教育” is translated as “education.” This idea, popular among young Chinese parents, proposes to let children have their way and suffer the consequences instead of trying to reason with them and dissuade them from making bad choices.
“反向” means “reversed,” and “讨薪” means “demand payment,” or “ask for late salary.” As it more common to come across scenarios where employees ask for late salaries, this Chinese term that recently made headlines in the media addresses the issue of when an employer wants to “recover overpaid salaries” from employees.
"恩格尔系数," translated from the English term "Engel's coefficient," refers to the percentage of income allocated for food purchases. "拉满" means "to increase to the maximum." This Chinese term coined by netizens is a jokingly exaggerated way to say that one spends almost all of their income on food.
Literally translated as "graduation day," this Chinese term actually refers to "being fired by one's employer." The practice reportedly began with streaming site Bilibili, whose laid off employees were given a notice with the top line saying "Guidelines for Graduation Day."
"友谊" means "friendship," and "衰退" means "recession." This term is a literal translation of its English equivalent and a borrowed idea, although it seems to affect everyone in today's world.
"整顿" literally means "to straighten up," and "职场" means "workplace." This term coined by Chinese netizens refers to the scenario where young employees, particularly those born after 1995, are more aware of their rights and interests than previous generations, and refuse to work overtime without due compensation.
"周末" means "weekend," while "出家" means "to become a monk or nun." This humorous term coined by Chinese netizens refers to "volunteering at temples during weekends."
"娇妻" means "a coquettish wife," and "文学" means "literature." This type of content, brimming with complacency and self importance, is often derided by netizens who have an awareness of sex equality and female independence.
"四次元" means "four-dimensional," and "人类" means "humans." Chinese netizens use "four-dimensional human being" jokingly to refer to those people who think out of the box all the time and come to conclusions different from normal logical thinking.
Literally translated as "refusing to be defined," this term was first used by a vlogger on the streaming site Douyin. What people really want to express with this catchphrase is "the freedom of being different and not conforming."
"扶" means "to support," "弟" means "younger brother," and “魔” means “monster.” Chinese netizens coined the term with the same pronunciation as the Chinese for Voldemort, the evil English half-blood wizard from the “Harry Potter” series of books, for a comic effect. It refers to elder sisters from families where male offspring are much more valued than female.