Why Thai Laugh When Chinese Cry?

Pig - er bai wu

Er bai wu (250)

One friend of mine recently told me a curious story. He had a girlfriend from Thailand. She was half Thai, half Chinese. And they were communicating a lot by messenger. During one of their online conversations he “told” her a joke and in response got a message:

“555”.
“What’s wrong?” – he asked – “Why are you crying?”
“No, no, I am laughing” – she answered.
“How come? 555 is crying”
“No, 555 is laughing!”

I think that you already understood the reason of their confusion. They were referring to different phonetizations of the same symbols.
While their chat was mainly in English, they sometimes exchanged some internet slang in Chinese. But this time the girl made a mistake and used “555” in Thai variant which sounds as “hahaha” (something that English speaking netizens cipher as LOL or ROFL). However, my friend used the Chinese variant and it sounds as “wuwuwu” which stands for crying.

Well, most of my blog’s readers are foreign guys married to or dating or wanting to date Chinese girls. Thus, it’s not uncommon for you to spend time on internet and have an online chat with your Chinese soulmates. Some of you even know Chinese, this knowledge varying from simple “ni hao” and “xie xie” to ability of fluent talk.
But independently of your language level you can quickly incorporate some popular Chinese slang idioms into your vocabulary and use them in online conversations.

Chinese internet slang follows similar rules to English slang. It is either direct abbreviation – like “BRB” (be right back) or phonetization of certain symbols which produces a different meaning – like “c u” (see you).

Lets begin with the most widespread expression used in the end of chat.
88. Easy, right? “8” in Chinese is “ba”. Two “eights” stand for “ba ba” or “bye bye” .
This is quite straightforward and it’s easy to see the link. A little bit more difficult to understand why an affectionate way to say “bye bye” has “6” (liu) in the end and is written as 886. I myself don’t know and will leave it for your further exploration ;-)

The second most popular abbreviation is “520”. These numbers are pronounced as “wu er ling”, and due to some similarity to “wo ai ni” (我爱你I love you) – one can use them to express love… However, you should be very careful and not forget the correct order. Otherwise you risk to make a shameful mistake, since “250” is used to label someone as “idiot”.

Saying that a girl is beautiful can be reduced to just four letters “PLMM” (漂亮妹妹 piao liang mei mei). And sharing the information about family is even shorter. Elder sister is just “JJ” (姐姐 jie jie) , while elder brother is “GG”(哥哥 ge ge).

If you would witness two onliners exchanging the following codes
– 5376
– 8147
you shouldn’t think that they are playing “bulls and cows” game. In fact, they are having a meaningful conversation :-)
5376” is translated as “I am angry” –> “wu san qi liu” ( 我生气了wo sheng qi le). And the answer “8147” is “Don’t be angry” –> “ba yao si qi” (不要生气 bu yao sheng qi).

Another example of a dialog could be
– 596
– 098
where “596” stands for “I have to go” –> wu jiu liu (我走了wo zou le) and “098” for “Okay, go!” –> “ling jiu ba” (你走吧 ni zou ba).

Well, let’s not forget our goal and in the end learn few more sweet words… errr… sorry, few more sweet numbers that you can send to your beloved.

We, Chinese have our own way to say “XOXO”. It goes like that: 770880, “qi qi ling ba ba ling” (亲亲你抱抱你 qin qin ni bao bao ni) and means “kiss and hug you”.
And instead “miss you” you can just type “360”, “san liu ling” (思恋你 si lian ni).
If you feel that the girl is your only one, why searching for words when five digits are going to express it better? “04551” or “ling si wu wu yi” will tell her “you are my only one”! (你是我唯一 ni shi wo wei yi).
Finally, when you are overwhelmed with emotions and ready for commitment – look no further and bravely type “5170”, “wu yao qi ling” (我要娶你 wo yao qu ni) –> I want to marry you.

88 - bye bye

88 (bye bye)

Armed with this simple mathematics/linguistics you are now qualified for highly sophisticated online conversations.

C u, 88, Crystal Tao

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30 Comments on "Why Thai Laugh When Chinese Cry?"

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Mark
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

I knew some of these already but I had no idea how big this was :shock: . I’m gonna use these in my English classes, thanks!

Chris
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Great article Crystal. I only knew 88 and 520, the rest were all new to me. Good to know for the future. I’d be very interested to learn more about Chinese slang!!

maxiewawa
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

“Well, most of my blog’s readers are foreign guys married to or dating or wanting to date Chinese girls.”

哈?Really? I’m neither…

Han
Guest
Han
6 years 4 months ago

Isn’t 886 more affectionate because it expresses the 哦 at the end? As in 拜拜哦? Someone also taught me 584131420: 我发誓一生一世爱你 “I swear I’ll love you my whole life”. Now that’s commitment! :shock:

Colmer
Guest
Colmer
6 years 4 months ago

:?: :!: I thought it was 521 not 520….

Daya
Guest
Daya
5 years 8 months ago

Excellent one Crystal….

rob
Guest
rob
5 years 8 months ago

what does SPOOL\\s\50041 mean please help

knuts
Guest
knuts
5 years 8 months ago

thank you for your very informative post.
but would you maybe know what HC in Chinese Internet slang means?
I can’t find or figure it out.
thanks :D

tairua
Guest
tairua
5 years 8 months ago

I have been called LP by a chinese girl what does this mean. And any idea what CC stands for if you have a relationship.

Thanks

ZhuBaJie
Member
5 years 8 months ago

thanks Crystal, these make me feel really old, as I don’t use any of them! Well, except 88; I’ll try a couple out with my fiancee and see if she knows them.

I have to say though, I don’t think proposing over internet chat using numeric abbreviative slang is very romantic… :lol:

knuts
Guest
knuts
5 years 8 months ago

hi Crystal,

sorry for not posting earlier, but thank you very much for your reply. Later I realized that it should have been better, if I had given you the context or a link to that thread,but I think you are right :D

would you maybe know what is meant by 油菜? Now url of that same thread
http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=967489461

thanks in advance

knuts
Guest
knuts
5 years 8 months ago

hi Crystal,

thank you very much for your help and explanation. You are amazing for your knowledge and for taking time to reply to my question :D

kj
Guest
kj
5 years 7 months ago

could “886” mean “bye bye, love you”

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 4 months ago

Learning slang in any language is a lot of fun, though it can be difficult to know the exact right context. And if you use it just to prove that you know Chinese slang, that can be a bit annoying, though I guess you have to try it for a while to get a better understanding of the right social context. Anyway, this reminds me of an article I wrote recently about popular Chinese slang from 2012, including 杜甫很忙Dùfu hěn máng. “Du Fu is very busy.” http://mandarinhouse.com/chinese-slang-2012

rsdrdsfdsfdsfs
Guest
rsdrdsfdsfdsfs
3 years 2 months ago

how do chinese people abbreviate 100k, 200k etc?

covertrui
Guest
covertrui
1 year 7 months ago

886 is 拜拜了 or similar variant, so its like cuter because it kind of has more of a ‘im telling u im leaving now’ feel than simply ‘bye’

Garwin Kim Sing
Guest
Garwin Kim Sing
1 year 7 months ago

Hi Crystal,

Normally my girlfriend in China ends our QQ chats with 88 or 3166. She also ended one recently with 886, so I guess I should feel flattered. But one time she used 3Q88. Do you know what that means?

Liwen
Guest
Liwen
1 year 6 months ago

San q ba ba. Thank you bye bye?

GKS
Guest
GKS
1 year 6 months ago

Thanks

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