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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More stories by this author here.
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog