As part of the Beijinger’s daily Mandarin Month series ahead of our June 25 Mandarin Mixer, we're bringing you some handy tips and tricks to make living in Beijing all the more enjoyable.

Today's post was inspired by a post on Chinese food slang sent out recently by WeChat foodies Spoonhunt, who introduced a few choice phrases. We decided to follow suit by filling out their list of common food-related slang in the hopes of further whetting your Mandarin whistle. Pepper your conversation with these to surprise your Chinese friends (or just to show off).

1. 土包子 (tǔ bāo zi)
Literally: Dirty steamed bun.
Meaning: An unsophisticated person that comes from the countryside.
Example: He’s never been to Yugong Yishan? He is such a country bumpkin.
他从来没去过愚公移山?真是个土包子。
Tā cónglái méi qùguò yúgōngyíshān? Zhēn shìgè tǔbāozi.

2. 兔子不吃窝边草 (tùzi bùchī wō biān cǎo)
Literally: Rabbits don’t eat the grass around their nest.
Meaning: One should not cause trouble in a place, group, or situation in which one regularly finds oneself.
Example: You're sleeping with that lady who works at the local pàichūsuǒ? Don't shit where you eat. 
你睡了你的派出所片儿警?兔子都不吃窝边草。
Nǐ shuìle nǐde pàichūsuǒ piànér jǐng? Tùzi dōu búchī wō biān cǎo.

3. 歇菜 (xiē cài)
Literally: Rest your vegetables.
Meaning: Knock it off, quit it.
Example: Knock it off, Yanjing kicks ass over Tsingtao any day.
你们歇菜吧,燕京比青岛强多了。
Nǐ men xiēcài ba, Yànjīng bǐ Qīngqǎo qiángduōle .

4. 绿茶婊 (lǜ chá biǎo)
Literally: Green tea bitch.
Meaning: A woman who looks innocent, but is actually mean to people.
Example: That girl is a total b***h, she danced with me at Vics and then totally made fun of my attempt at doing Gangnam Style.
那个女孩就是绿茶婊,她跟我在Vics跳舞,之后居然嘲笑我跳江南style。
Nà gè nǚhái jiù shì lǜchábiǎo, tā gēnwǒ zài Vics tiàowǔ,zhīhòu jūrán cháoxiào wǒ tiào jiāngnán style.

5. 好马不吃回头草 (hǎomǎ bù chī huí tóu cǎo)
Literally: A good horse will not turn back to eat the old grass.
Meaning: Don't cross the same river twice.
You are going back to eat that málàtàng that gave you lādùzi again? Don't cross the same river twice.
那家麻辣烫让你拉肚子,你居然还回去吃?好马不吃回头草。
Nà jiā málàtàng ràng nǐ lādùzi, nǐ jūrán hái huíqù chī? Hǎomǎ bùchī huí tóu cǎo.

6. 吃豆腐 (chī dòufu)
Literally: Eat tofu.
Meaning: To flirt shamelessly.
Example: I do my best flirting with my shirt pulled up, Beijing mankini style, at Hutong farmers' markets.
我努力把衣服弄成北京大爷比基尼的样子,准备在胡同的农夫市集吃豆腐。
Wǒ nǔlì bǎ yīfu nòng chéng běijīng dàye bǐjīní de yàngzi,zhǔnbèi zài hútóng de nóngfū shìjí chī dòufu.

7. 吃醋 (chī cù)
Literally: Eat vinegar.
Meaning: To be jealous.
Example: Don't be jealous that that barmaid at Great Leap is giving me all her attention.
大跃的女酒保对我全神贯注,你可别吃醋。
Dàyuè de nǚjiǔbǎo duìwǒ quánshén guànzhù, nǐ kě bié chī cù.

8. 老牛吃嫩草 (lǎo niú chī nèn cǎo)
Literally: The old cow eats the tender grass
Meaning: An older person who has a relationship with someone much younger than they are.
Example: If I see yet another old foreigner dating a Chinese woman 30 years younger than him, I'm going to barf.
每次我看见有老外跟比他小三十岁的女孩约会的时候,我都想吐,真是老牛吃嫩草。
Měicì wǒ kànjiàn yǒu lǎowài gēn bǐ tā xiǎo sānshísuì de nǚhái yuēhuì de shíhòu,wǒdōu xiǎngtù, zhēn shì lǎoniú chī nèncǎo.

9. 吃错药 (chī cuò yào)
Literally: Take the wrong medicine.
Meaning: Someone is acting strange.
Example: Are you insane? You just don't attempt go to the Forbidden City on a holiday.
你吃错药了吧你居然想要在节假日去故宫。
Nǐ chī cuò yào le ba? Nǐ jūrán xiǎngyào zài jiējiàrì qù gùgōng.

Be sure to pre-register for our June 25 Mandarin Month mixer (by clicking here) to take advantage of free booze, schmoozing with Mandarin teachers and fellow students, and more.

And keep checking our Mandarin Month page for new articles about the wonderful world of Chinese language learning, like how to say the f-word in Mandarin

Mandarin Month is brought to you by Pleco, Project Pengyou, Ninchanese, BenCham, BritCham, and MexCham

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Photos: cntuke


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