What you’re about to hear is explicit and not safe for work.
That’s right, we’re going to share Chinese swear words in Mandarin.
Now, swearing in Mandarin is not the same as swearing in German, French, or Spanish. One falling inflection in the wrong place and your swear word could now mean “I want some eggs.” This may come as a hurdle to some learners who are more comfortable with pronunciations and inflections holding a bit less important. So, practice your Mandarin tones whenever you can.
The translations from Chinese to English sound like odd curse words. Don’t let that confuse you.
Some of the more humorous translated curses are the most offensive in China and Taiwan. Let’s dive in!
21 Chinese Swear Words You’ll Hear From Mandarin Speakers
Eggs. Yup, Eggs!
A good deal of Chinese swear words uses eggs. It’s not quite clear why. Maybe it’s the smell. Either way, eggs play a large factor in Mandarin curses and insults. These vary from rather innocuous to downright mean. No one has the definite answer, but eggs and Chinese curse words go together quite well.
Anyway, here are just some of the basic Chinese swear words you can use:
1. 坏蛋 (huài dàn)
Let’s start with some light ones. This literal translation is “bad egg” and isn’t too hurtful, though you could be calling a person wicked. However, use precaution whenever calling someone a bad person in any situation. Especially when it involves eggs.
2. 笨蛋 (bèn dàn)
Translated to “stupid egg,” you’d use this one when calling someone a moron, or an idiot. For a more expansive Chinese curse word to use on the not so smart, keep reading.
3. 王八蛋 (wáng bā dàn)
By combining two words, we get “tortoise egg.” In English, we’d likely be told the word is used to describe a stupid man. However, it could also be attributed to a more popular and hurtful description: a cuckolded man.
4. 滚蛋 (gǔn dàn)
The translation may mean “rolling egg,” but it means something much stronger in English. 滚蛋 is used when you want to be left alone, or you’re telling someone to “fuck off.” means “fuck off”.
5. 糊涂蛋 (hútú dàn)
A rube, a dummy, a fool, a sucker, or someone who’s just outright clueless. This egg-based insult pretty much covers the gamut of adjectives for the simple.
6. 混蛋 (hún dàn)
We may know this as a bastard. However, the literal translation of the Chinese curse word “mixed egg” means something much more detailed and insulting to the person’s mother. Hitting the family bloodline is big in Chinese cursing. No word on if this would be what Westeros calls Jon Snow.
Less Offensive Yet Still a Swear Word in Mandarin
The following Mandarin words introduce you to some of the more tame things to say. Some of these words are like how past generations would be astounded by the common practices of today’s culture.
7. 我靠 or 我尻 (wǒ kào)
It used to mean “butt” in Mandarin. Today, however, this Taiwanese colloquialism is closely associated to “fucking awesome!” or “holy shit!”
8. 牛屄 (niúbì)
In Chinese slang, this curse word means “f*cking awesome” as well. It is rather innocuous and considered a rather tame curse word. The literal translation, “cow vagina,” might be a different story.
9. 拍马屁 (pāi mǎ pì)
In English, you might be a brown noser or a suck up. In Mandarin, that’d be the case as well. However, the literal translation to “patting a horse’s butt” is way more fun of a description to throw into the conversation.
10. 滚开 (gǔnkāi)
Literally, it means to “roll away” but it is much more associated with the English version of “go to hell.”
11. 屌絲 (diǎo sī)
When you want to call someone a loser, this is the Chinese word to use. How that connects to the literal “male pubic hair” is up for interpretation. The common belief is that this used to mean a person of low stature but is now a bit of self-deprecating online humor.
Not the Worst Thing to Say (Mild Chinese Swear Words)
When you’re mad, but not too mad, some of these swear words can get you started on your Chinese cursing journey. Expect to hear Mandarin speakers using some of these insults when angry with situations and other people:
12. 靠北 (kào běi)
Feeling annoyed with the people around you? Then use this Taiwanese slang when you want someone to shut up. It also works when expressing your general annoyance with someone.
13. 干 (gàn)
Having a bad day? Nothing in the world turning out how you’d expect? When everything goes wrong, and you just need to say “fuck,” say 干.
14. 账 or 混賬 (hùnzhàng)
This works as “damn” or “bullshit.” No word on if this is the title of the famous card game, but it has a nice ring to it, yeah?
15. 你丫挺的 (nǐ yā tǐng de)
If you find yourself in Beijing and feeling the need to do some cursing, you’ll love this local slang. We can’t guarantee what will happen after you say it, but at least you know that you know some local slang curse words, right?!
16. 下老子一跳 (Xià lǎozi yī tiào)
It literally means “scared me to jump,” but this Chinese curse word is better at asking people WTF are they doing. It works perfectly when driving or navigating the city streets.
Getting Pretty Mean Now (Explicit Chinese Words)
Ok, now these Chinese curse words bring out some of Mandarin’s harshest words and phrases. Use with extreme caution. Some of these are likely to escalate a situation in a moment’s notice. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
17. 你他妈的看什么? (nǐ tā mā de kàn shénme?)
As a common phrase in major cities across the world. Sometimes you just have to ask, “what the (eff) are you looking at?” While this runs close with 下老子一跳, 你他妈的看什么 seems to have an extra level of specificity to it.
18. 贱女人 (jiàn nǚ rén)
This is the Chinese curse word for “b*tch.” Use in with extreme caution. Unless you are talking about a female dog. Then, use a bit more liberally.
19. 变态 (biàntài)
Did a creep invade your personal space? Want them to get out of there? In Mandarin, this swear word covers “pervert” and an array of similar low-life. Use on the subway, nightclubs, or anywhere creeps may be.
20. 肏你妈 or 操你媽 (cào nǐ mā)
If you want to see things escalate quickly, consider using this. Whether saying “(Eff) your mother” or calling someone a “motherf*cker,” this one is a Chinese curse word gem.
21. 肏你祖宗十八代 (cào nǐ zǔzōng shíbā dài)
As mentioned above, the insulting bloodline is a deep cut in Chinese. So when you use a swear that translates to “(eff) your ancestors to the eighteenth generation,” you know it’s a rather tense situation.
Now that you’ve got a taste for all the Chinese swear words out there, keep going. There are some doozies out there that weren’t fit for publication!
More from Mandarin
Asia is a massive continent, and is home to about 4.46 billion people who speak close to 2,300 languages – …
You've learned some basic Chinese words and phrases, but now you're ready to take it to the next level with Chinese idioms. You've come …
Chinese insults words are different than what an English speaker may expect. What we think as some of the most …