First, let me tell you what "er" means. Translated into English it means "two," but it is also a currently popular term among Chinese internet users for someone who is ignorant or an idiot. When Chinese people use this phrase to kid their friends, they may use Chinglish (Chinese translated directly into English) and say "ni hen two," which means "you are very two!"
In China, you might hear a person say they are going to buy a bottle of sauce, when in fact they have no intention of literally buying sauce. Rather, "buying a bottle of sauce" implies they do not want to devote much time or energy to an activity. The next time you hear a Chinese person say they "just want to buy a bottle of sauce" for an upcoming competition, do not ask them if the competition is some sort of a sauce competition or you will seem very two!
Another new phrase of note is "qin," which originated from Taobao, a Chinese auction and online retail website similar to eBay. Qin was first used by sellers on Taobao to address their customers on the website, coming from the Chinese phrase "qin ai de" meaning "dear one." Later on, the usage spread across the Chinese webosphere and is now commonly used on many Chinese websites. Now, qin is used tongue-in-cheek in viral Internet videos, causing a lot of laughter among viewers.
To Chinese people, these terms add an element of comedy and entertainment to their daily conversations. For foreigners visiting China, these unique phrases lend a better understanding of modern Chinese culture. When understood and used well, they can endear a foreigner to his or her Chinese companions!
Interested in upping your Chinese Internet slang? Here is a list of some commonly used terms:
- GG (from geegee) older brother.
- JJ (from jiejie) older sister.
- PF (from pei fu) admire.
- PP beautiful.
- 42 yes.
- SF (from xi huan) to like.
- 88 bye bye.
- 94 (from jiu shi) that is.
- 3Q thank you.
- 520 I love you.
- 5555 (from wuwuwuw) the sound of crying.