2016-04-03intermediate

Buzzword About Rich in Chinese

We often use “有钱 [yǒu qián]” to describe someone has a lot of money in Chinese. But are there any other words to describe this?
In this lesson, we will learn some popular internet buzzword used to describe the rich and the poor.

高富帅 [gāo fù shuài]

“高 [gāo]” means tall, “富 [fù]” means rich, and “帅 [shuài]” means handsome. So as you might guess, the word Gao Fu Shuai describes a man who is perfect not only when it comes to figure and looks, but also economic power. Sometimes these men are also called 男神 [nán shén] (Male God).

There is also a female equivalent of “Gao Fu Shai”, the “白富美 [bái fù měi]”. “白 [bái]” here means pale-skinned and nice to look at, “富 [fù]” means rich, and “美 [měi]” means beautiful with nice figure. Such women are also sometimes called 女神 [nǚ shén] (Goddess).

So what is the opposite of 高富帅 and 白富美? It’s the 矮穷挫 [ǎi qióng cuó]. It describes a man or woman who is short, poor, and unattractive. This word is most commonly used to mock oneself, and not to describe others. Another word with similar meaning is 屌丝 [diǎo sī] (loser).

You can use these terms like this:

Hover over any word to show translation
wǒ men
我们
我們
we, our
gōng sī
公司
公司
company, firm
yǒu
to have, there is
one
ge
classifier for people or objects in general
bái fù měi
白富美
白富美
"Ms Perfect" (i.e. fair-skinned, rich and beautiful)
 
I, me
hǎo
good, well
xǐ huan
喜欢
喜歡
to like, to be fond of
she, her
 
dàn shì
但是
但是
but, however
she, her
shēn biān
身边
身邊
at one's side
yǐ jīng
已经
已經
already
yǒu
to have, there is
one
ge
classifier for people or objects in general
gāo fù shuài
高富帅
高富帥
"Mr Perfect" (i.e. tall, rich and handsome)
le
(completed action marker)
 
zài jiā shàng
再加上
再加上
what's more, in addition
I, me
shì
is, are
ge
classifier for people or objects in general
ǎi qióng cuó
矮穷矬
矮窮矬
short, poor, unattractive person (self-deprecating slang term)
 
zěn me
怎么
怎麼
how, why
pèi de shang
配得上
配得上
to be good enough, to make a good match
she, her
ne
particle indicating that a previously asked question is to be applied to the preceding word ("What about ...?", "And ...?")
 
ài
alas, oh dear
 
……

Our company has a Bai Fu Mei. I really like her, but she already has a Gao Fu Shuai beside her. Besides, I'm only an Ai Qiong Zuo, so how could I ever be enough for her? Sigh...

Character set
Pinyin

土豪 [tǔ háo]

The original meaning of 土豪 [tǔ háo] is local tyrant, but nowadays it is a derogatory term for the newly rich, or someone who has a lot of money but doesn’t think twice when spending it.

Hover over any word to show translation
xiǎo míng
小明
小明
Little Ming (name)
zhēn
really, truly
shi
is, are
ge
classifier for people or objects in general
tǔ háo
土豪
土豪
(slang) nouveau riche
 
he or him
mǎi
to buy
le
(completed action marker)
wǔ shí
50
50
ge
classifier for people or objects in general
tǔ háo
土豪
土豪
(slang) nouveau riche
jīn
gold
píng guǒ
苹果
蘋果
Apple (company)
shǒu jī
手机
手機
cell phone
sòng gěi
送给
送給
to give as a present
he or him
quán bān
全班
全班
the whole class
tóng xué
同学
同學
fellow student, classmate
 

Little Ming sure is a nouveau riche. He bought 50 gold iPhones to give each of his classmates.

Character set
Pinyin

When the iPhone 5s was just released, it was not only available in the normal white and black color variations, but also in gold. The iPhone is considered very expensive by many Chinese, especially right after release when prices are high. Nonetheless, the gold iPhone 5S was popular in China, and many said that anyone who buys a gold iPhone must surely be a 土豪 [tǔ háo]. This led to the gold iPhone 5s also being known as “土豪金 [tǔ háo jīn]” in China.

有钱就是任性 [yǒu qián jiù shì rèn xìng]

任性 [rèn xìng] means wilful, or self-willed, so the phrase 有钱就是任性 means “rich but self-indulged”. It’s a phrase used derogatorily, often towards oneself. A popular English translation of this phrase is “rich and bitch”.

Hover over any word to show translation
he or him
huā
to spend (money, time)
le
(completed action marker)
wǔ shí
50
50
亿
100 million
měi yuán
美元
美元
US dollar
gěi
for the benefit of, to give
ér zi
儿子
兒子
son
bàn
to do, to manage
hūn lǐ
婚礼
婚禮
wedding ceremony
 
yǒu
to have
qián
money
jiù
just (emphasis)
shì
is, are
rèn xìng
任性
任性
willful, headstrong, unruly
 

He spent 5 billion dollars on his son's wedding. The rich sure are self-indulgent.

Character set
Pinyin

Starting out with this phrase, the sentence pattern “~就是人性” quickly became popular in China. Here are some examples on how you can use it to mock yourself.

  • 年轻就是任性 [nián qīng jiù shì rèn xìng] – young but self-indulgent
  • 成绩好就是任性 [chéng jì hǎo jiù shì rèn xìng] – top student but self-indulgent

Now you have some new vocabulary to describe the rich with your Chinese friends. They will certainly think your Chinese is very good, so you can tell them : 会中文就是任性 [huì zhōng wén jiù shì rèn xìng].