Chinese Curse Words: Your 2024 Guide

If you’re looking to learn Chinese curse words, you’re in the right place. This no-frills guide provides insights into the strong language of Mandarin, its significance, and the social intricacies of its use. Equip yourself with the knowledge to comprehend and, if you dare, to deploy these potent phrases with care.

Key Takeaways

  • Crack the code on Chinese swear words by learning their meanings and nuances—‘笨蛋’ means ‘idiot’, ‘混蛋’ is ‘scoundrel’, and there’s even a rich selection of egg-based insults like ‘坏蛋’ (bad egg).
  • It’s not just swearing; it’s an art—understanding when and how to use Chinese expletives is crucial, especially with ones that involve family references or those that can offend someone’s honor.
  • Wanna swear like a native? Use platforms like Lingopie to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and language, but always remember to be culturally sensitive and respectful in your profanity prowess.

Common Chinese Swear Words: A Beginner's Guide

Chinese culture and language

For beginners, the complex world of profanity can be overwhelming. This includes bad Chinese words and curse words that may seem intimidating for those just starting to learn them. Some commonly used expressions in this linguistic realm are (bèn dàn), (hn dàn), and (èr bi w) which correspond to ‘idiot’, ‘scoundrel’, and ‘dumbass’ respectively. It is important not only to understand their translations, but also when and where these words should be appropriately used as they are usually employed to express anger or disdain towards someone else.

笨蛋 (bèn dàn)

One common Chinese insult is “” (bèn dàn), which literally translates to “stupid egg.” Although it may sound endearing, this term carries the same connotation as calling someone an idiot or fool in English. It’s not a severe insult but can effectively convey frustration or annoyance towards someone.

When teasing a Chinese friend using this phrase, one might say something like “” (N sh ygè dà bèn dàn), which means “You’re a clumsy fool.” Keep in mind that context and regional dialects can alter the meaning of this expression.

混蛋 (hún dàn)

The next Chinese insult we will discuss is (hn dàn), which can be translated as ‘mixed egg.’’ It carries a strong connotation, similar to calling someone a ‘bastard’ or ‘asshole’ in English. This term questions an individual’s origins and should not be used lightly as it may cause offense.

While using this word may add intensity to your conversations in Mandarin, it must be done responsibly to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

他妈的 (Tā mā de)

One commonly used expletive in China is “” (t m de), which can be translated as “holy shit” or “damn it”. This versatile phrase is often employed to express a range of emotions, including anger, frustration and surprise. Due to its offensive nature, it’s important to use this expletive carefully and with an understanding of its context.

Depending on the region within China where it is being used, the meaning and usage of may vary slightly. Before casually using this phrase in conversation or writing, one should make sure they fully understand how it will come across and potentially offend others.

Egg-Based Insults in Chinese

Egg as a symbol

Moving on from the basics, we will now delve into a particular category of Chinese curse words known as egg-based insults. These types of curses hold great weight in Chinese culture and are not to be taken lightly. Terms like “huài dàn,” meaning ‘bad egg,’ or “wáng b dàn,” which directly translates to ‘turtle egg’, are used to attack someone’s character and ancestral heritage.

The widespread understanding and usage of these insults among different regions that speak Mandarin emphasize their cultural significance and universal relevance within the Chinese language community.

坏蛋 (huài dàn)

One of the most frequently used insults involving eggs is “” (huài dàn), which literally means ‘bad egg.’’ This term is commonly used to describe someone who has a wicked or unpleasant character. Despite its seemingly benign translation, it carries significant weight and should be approached with caution. Depending on the context, it can either serve as playful teasing among friends or a serious attack.

王八蛋 (wáng bā dàn)

The term (wáng b dàn), which translates to ‘turtle egg,’ is a highly offensive curse word. It holds the same weight as calling someone a ‘son of a bitch’ in English and suggests that person’s low status or poor character. As with other vulgar language, it is important to use this insult appropriately and refrain from using it recklessly.

Family and Relationship-Based Swear Words in Chinese

Family and relationships in Chinese culture

Chinese culture includes a range of insults that are based on family and relationship terms. For example, phrases like (n mèi), which translates to “your sister,” or (n dà yé), meaning “your uncle,” are commonly used as insults. These words not only convey anger or frustration, but also challenge one’s family honor, a sensitive topic in Chinese society.

你妹 (nǐ mèi)

The phrase “” (n mèi), meaning ‘your younger sister,’ can be used to express disdain or disbelief. Originally intended as a less offensive alternative to the more vulgar term “” (n m de), it has now taken on an insulting connotation. While it may be commonly heard in casual conversations, using this phrase should be avoided in formal or professional contexts to avoid causing offense.

你大爷 (nǐ dà yé)

One common insult in Chinese is “” (n dà yé), which literally means ‘your big uncle’. This term, like other curse words, can be considered offensive and disrespectful towards one’s elders when used seriously. Its severity depends on the context and may not carry as much weight when said playfully or among friends.

拍马屁 (pāi mǎ pì)

In Chinese culture, there is a phrase called (pi m p) which refers to someone who flatters or sucks up to others for personal gain. Although not technically considered a curse word, it carries negative implications and can be seen as an insult towards the person on the receiving end. This term is commonly used in various social contexts within Chinese society.

Sexual connotations in Chinese culture

The Chinese language has a variety of swear words related to sex. Two commonly used ones are (zhung b), which means ‘acting pretentiously,’ and (ni b), translated as ‘f*cking awesome.’’ These words have strong sexual connotations and can be very offensive, so it is important to use them carefully and understand their potential to offend in certain situations.

装逼 (zhuāng bī)

The Chinese slang term (zhung b), which can be literally translated as ‘pretend to be a pussy’, is commonly used to describe individuals who are trying too hard or showing off in an exaggerated manner. Despite its crude translation, it serves as a way to criticize pretentious behavior and insincerity in someone’s actions.

牛逼 (niú bī)

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a phrase known as (ni b), which has a rather unconventional literal translation of “cow vagina.” This term is often used in online forums and social media to express admiration or approval for something impressive. It’s important to use curse words appropriately and understand their cultural context before using them.

Using Chinese Swear Words Appropriately

It is important to recognize that Chinese swear words cover a wide range of categories and their usage requires an understanding of cultural context. Although one word can convey intense emotions, it must also be acknowledged that these terms can offend if used incorrectly.

Understanding Context

Understanding the context is crucial when using Chinese curse words. The impact and strength of these terms can significantly vary depending on various factors, such as the specific situation and relationship between those speaking. It’s vital to evaluate the circumstances carefully and not solely rely on the explicit definition before incorporating these words into conversation in order to ensure they are suitable and do not lead to unnecessary misunderstandings or conflicts.

Being Respectful of Cultural Differences

The use of Chinese curse words is tied to the country’s heritage and customs, so it is important to be mindful when using them. Disregarding this can be viewed as a lack of respect for those from China. If one does decide to employ these terms, it should be done sparingly and with proper consideration for the culture and its people.

Learn Chinese Curse Words With Lingopie


For individuals seeking to deepen their knowledge of Chinese curse words, Lingopie is a valuable resource to explore. This language learning platform provides access to real Chinese TV shows and movies as an entertaining and engaging method for language education. With the aid of video tools and speech recognition technology, users can enhance their learning experience.

Lingopie offers a variety of popular Chinese television programs and films that allow learners to fully immerse themselves in both the language and culture. It’s an excellent opportunity for discovering new vocabulary related specifically to Chinese curses while gaining insight into local customs.


How to Learn Chinese with TV [2024 Guide]
In this guide, we explore the best ways to learn Chinese through Chinese dramas, videos and movies. And, to help you choose which Chinese TV show is right for your level, we’ve categorized the approach into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels with a focus on vocabulary. So, get ready to

FAQS About learning Chinese Curse words

It is common for individuals to have questions about learning Chinese curse words, and if you are one of them, rest assured that you are not alone. People often wonder about the cultural implications surrounding these words and their frequency in daily conversations. It’s crucial to note that regardless of language, it is always important to use curse words respectfully and with sensitivity towards culture.

So remember, when it comes to using Chinese curses or any other kind of profanity, respect should always be a top priority. Being culturally aware will ensure appropriate usage during conversation.


To sum up, Chinese swear words provide a distinctive perspective into the values and customs of those who speak this language. They are vibrant, impactful, and able to express various feelings. They must be employed carefully and with consideration for the culture and individuals involved. Remember that learning a language entails not only mastering its vocabulary, but also comprehending its cultural intricacies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is profanity in Chinese?

Profanity in Chinese refers to obscene and rude language.

What is 250 in Chinese insult?

The number 250 is considered an offensive term in Chinese, often used to insult someone by calling them a “moron” or “stupid.” Its pronunciation is similar to the phrase for two hundred and fifty - “er4 bai3 wu3,” which serves as a way of labeling foolish individuals.

What is the Chinese word for rude?

In Mandarin Chinese, when you want to indicate that someone is acting in a disrespectful or impolite manner, the term “rude” can be used. This word is pronounced as “” (c l) and can be incorporated into your speech to convey rudeness.

What is the Cao Ni Ma curse?

One of the most offensive swear words in Chinese Mandarin is “Cao Ni Ma,” a vulgar curse that combines expletives for intercourse, the possessive pronoun “your,” and the maternal figure. This phrase is widely considered highly insulting and disrespectful within the language.

How frequently are swear words used in daily Chinese conversations?

The use of swear words is prevalent in everyday Chinese conversations, particularly those pertaining to sexuality. They are viewed as impolite and debatable within the context of Chinese culture.

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