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The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School: Everyday exclamations 哎呀/糟了/完了/郁闷

shut-up

哎呀 āi ya

A common interjection that can be used for a wide range of occasions: when you’ve forgotten something, when you’re impatient, when you’re bored, when you feel helpless, as a lead-in to scolding someone, etc. It isn’t exactly a word-more like a weighty sigh and roughly equivalent to “Oh Lord!” or “My God!”

 

糟了 zāo le

A very common expression of dismay. Literally “rotten” or”spoiled” and something like saying, “Oh shoot!” ”Darn!” or “Crap!” You can also say糟糕zāogāo, which literally means “rotten cakes,” but it’s less current.

 

完了 wán le

Same meaning as zāole (above). It’s pretty much like exclaiming “Crap!” to yourself. Literally, it means “over.”

 

老天爷 lǎo tiān yé

Literally “My father God” and sometimes我的天wǒ de tiān, literally “my heavens.” Equivalent to exclaiming “My God!” or “Oh goodness!” These phrasings are more common among older people; younger people usually shorten them to天哪tiān nǎ or simply天tiān:“Oh heavens!” or “Heavens!”

 

哇塞 wā sai

Shoot! Darn! Oh my God! Wow! Holy cow! An exclamation especially popular among girls.

 

该死的 gāi sǐ de

My God1 Holy crap! Literally “should die.”

 

气死我了 qì sǐ wǒ le

Argh! Damn it! Crap! Literally, “I’m angry to the point of death.”

 

可恶 kě wù

Literally “hateful” and said alone means something like “Darn!”

 

傻眼 shá yǎn

Oh no! Said in response to surprising, negative situations. For example, if you discover that your house has been broken into. Literally “dumbfounded eye.”

 

晕 yūn

Means “Dizzy” or “faint” and is often uttered to express surprise, shock amusement, or even confusion or disgust; that is, emotions that might make you feel faint.

 

倒霉 dǎo méi

Bad luck. You can say this when something unfortunate happens. This sentiment can be made slightly stronger by saying真倒霉zhēn dǎo méi, which means “really bad luck.”

 

郁闷 yù mèn

A popular term among young people, it means “depressed” but is used as an adjective for a much larger range of situations—when they feel pissed off, upset, disappointed, or even just bored. Exclaimed alone, one would say, “郁闷啊…””Yùmèn a …” meaning “I’m depressed…” or “Sigh…”

1 comment

  1. 郁闷…都没有人写评论…

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