The Firefly and Serenity Database

Rim world speech[]

  • Truncate the "g" for "ing" words in spelling (final velar nasals become alveolar in speech) ("schoolin'")
  • Pepper with slang adjectives.
  • Double negatives. ("It don't mean nothin' out here.")
  • Using odd words and word forms in phrases.
  • Use "don't" instead of "doesn't."
  • Ain't.
  • Odd Words: druther, yonder, dang, plumb, right smart.
  • Prefixing "a" on gerunds ("a-runnin'").
  • No -ly on adverbs from adjectives. ("She described the plan real simple. That job's awful hard to do.")
  • Irregular verbs default to third person singular. ("We was goin' there. He got none of that.")
  • Malformed verbs. ("He growed up real good. He come by here last night. I seen it with my own eyes. He done run off again.")
  • Use mean sounding Chinese phrases.  (Ching-wah TSOU duh liou mahng.)


  • "Looks like we got us some imminent violence."
  • "We got no short of ugly ridin' in on us."
  • "I'm just feeling kind of truthsome right now."
  • "We're in some peril here."
  • "We just need a small crew, them as feel the need to be free."
  • "This here's a recipe for unpleasantness."
  • "I'm shocked my own self."
  • "We'll be there directly."
  • "But she does have an oddness to her."
  • "So I trucked out to the border, learned to say "ain't" and came to find work."

Frontier life[]

  • A-grade: Top notch; quality
  • Aim: To want, try, or intend to do something.
  • All-fired: truncated version of "all fired up" meaning very emotional or excited. ("Where'd she go gettin' all-fired jealous 'bout this?")
  • Awful, Dreadful, Mighty, Plumb, Powerful: Adverbs for emphasis. ("Gettin' awful crowded in my sky.")
  • Back-berth: Stupid, naive, inexperienced, unimportant or "slow". Derived from the nautical term for a ship's position in a harbor. As a naval metaphor, a "back berth" would be the last ship out of port, i.e. one trailing at the rear of a fleet, therefore meaning slowest and/or of least importance.
  • Bang-up: Great. ("They did a bang-up job.")
  • Brainpan: Refers to the skull which encases the brain. Another way of saying 'head'.
  • Bughouse: Mental hospital.
  • Chinese Checkers: A game still played in the 'verse. Placed on booths and tables in bars and some such.
  • Corpsified: Dead. Now resembling a corpse.
  • Docket: Schedule, calender, itinerary. Example: Wash (ep 1): “Nah, she [Inara] had a pretty full docket.”
  • Fancible: Fancy/fanciful
  • Fancy Rock: Another way of saying a well-to-do planet run entirely by the Alliance.
  • Fei-oo: s**t, po, junk, trash, garbage, dirt
  • Foodstuffs: Food
  • Foxhole: A makeshift shelter in a war zone.
  • Fuzzie-wuzzies: Folk who are easily swayed and comforted.
  • Git: Go away.
  • Gorram: A version of "God damn."
  • High ground: A spot not underneath foxholes in battle. Instead, literally on the war front.
  • Latrine: Fancy word for toilet.
  • “Let's hoof it”: Let's get going.
  • “Let's moon 'em”: Slang for Serenity's rear engine flaring up for a getaway.
  • Local color: Locals and their ideology. Ex: Mal: “Wash, we got some local color happening down here; a grand entrance would not go amiss.”
  • Mite: A bit/amount. Could be used to mean a small amount, or an intentional under-exaggeration of a large amount.
  • Moonbrained: Crazy, or unintelligent, used to describe a person or idea.
  • Neg: Negative.
  • Ornery: Stubborn, not passive.
  • Peck: A large amount.
  • Preacher: Anyone religious.
  • Pinched: To be held up or in a sticky situation; Plan went south; To be in a bind.
  • Pos: Positive.
  • Pretty: An adjective that has been adapted to also use as a noun. Kaylee uses it a lot. “Every piece of pretty is tagged for the scanners.”
  • Prod: A crony for someone of the expensive/diplomatic variety.
  • Purple-belly: A derogatory term used to refer to a member of the Alliance.
  • Rabbiting: Hightailing; running; fleeing.
  • Religiosity: Religion
  • Ruttin'/Rutting: f***ing
  • Run afoul: To get into trouble with.
  • Shindig: A party, usually with dancing.
  • Shiny: Good or valuable; "cool."
  • Size someone up: Judge how tough they are or what their intentions might be.
  • Sly: Frontier Slang for men who prefer other men sexually.
  • Sully: To taint
  • Suss (out): To figure out; determine
  • Tetchy: Sensitive or complaining.


  • Atmo: Atmosphere, as in to "leave atmo."
  • Being buzzed: Sensors from another ship are actively sweeping you.
  • Blowback: A vacuum effect created in the barrel of a firearm when it is discharged. Works in the same case for a ship going on full burn breaking atmo.
  • Clean your housing: To give a thorough beating (as in a spaceship's engine housing).
  • Crazy Ivan: Originally a submariner stunt/maneuver that was used to pull an pursuing vessel into attack range, usually used by the Soviet Navy. In this case it can be pulled on a ship with two side propelling engines in order to create a spinning motion. The engines are flipped so as to orient them in opposing directions long enough to pull a 180 degree turn. Once hydraulics are cut, it takes the lowering of a lever and the push of a button in the engine room, and it's good for going.
  • Dead in the Water: Floating, drifting; not going anywhere.
  • ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival. Pilot lingo.
  • Feds, Federals: Members of the Alliance, its military, law enforcement, or functionaries.
  • Fire it up: Start the ship.
  • Get this bird in the air: Launch the ship for take-off.
  • Go to blackout: Shut down power on the ship to avoid detection.
  • Go for hard burn/full burn: Burn through fuel cells; or fly fast.; use all engine power.
  • Green for: Referring to the light on a console that signals all systems are standing by for whatever purpose the light correlates to. (landing, docking, taking off, etc.)
  • On the drift: In space without fuel unable to travel.
  • Reavers: Madmen who live on the edges of civilized space, flying dangerous ships and preying on other space vessels.
  • Scow: A ship modeled after a large, flat-bottomed boat with squared ends. Used to haul bulky cargo (soil, sand, ore, etc). Can be retro-fitted to serve as transport vessels. They can hold between 15-20 families. Travelers pick them up cheap at government auctions. A few modifications and they serve well enough for a one-way push to the outer planets.
  • Skiff: A small ship (like a rowboat equivalent, but sky/space oriented) used in war.
  • Take the helm: Man the bridge. An old phrase that has transcended from the sailing days of Earth-that-was into the 2500s.
  • The Black: Space.
  • The Rim: Frontier planets, not the core.
  • The 'Verse: Inhabited space or the universe.
  • Trans-U: A commercial vessel. Old model; hardly ever in use anymore. One too many of them got hit by Reavers, likely.


  • Doxy: Sex worker.
  • Drops: Illegal, addictive, narcotic drugs.
  • Second story job: Breaking and entering robbery.
  • Scratch: Valuables.
  • The goods: Loot.
  • Went south: Problems appeared, the plan fell apart.
  • Tonic: Amateur or illegal alcoholic drink.
  • Bushwhack: Ambush.
  • Footpad: Pickpocket thief in a town.
  • Hornswoggle: To trick someone.
  • On the dodge: Wanted by the police.


  • Advocate: A lawyer.
  • Cortex: Widespread information network.
  • Genseed: Genetically engineered crop seeds used on freshly terraformed worlds.
  • Skyplex: Orbital city or space station.
  • Wave: A communication: text, audio, video, or holographic.


  • 3D Neuro-imager: A three dimensional provision of a brain scan. Simon uses one in the diagnostic ward at St. Lucy's hospital on Ariel.
  • BP: Abbreviation for blood pressure.
  • Byphodine: A med that slows the metabolic state so you can appear to be dead. Used in 'Ariel' and 'The Message'. Usually induces a vomiting side effect once it wears off.
  • Cardiac Infusers: Used to infuse whatever is needed in the heart to keep it working
  • Cortical Electrodes: By parsing the definition: a cortical is the outer layer of an internal organ or body structure. And an electrode is an electrical conductor meant to make contact with a nonmetallic circuit. Safe to assume that the said 'circuit' in this case would relate in a medical sense to the cortical.
  • Defibrillator: Gets electromagnetic currents to the heart in order to get it pumping again.
  • Dermal mender: A medical tool that mends severed skin—Simon got to use it for Mal's ear in the episode 'War Stories', thanks to the Councilor (a female client of Inara's) generously loaning the equipment for them to use.
  • DOA: Abbreviation for Dead on Arrival
  • Extractor: An instrument used to pull out things like bullet shards
  • Good Night Kiss: A narcotic compound, usually applied on the lips. Convenient for the low-and-dirty seducers who try and earn a swindle into their gig. Or for something of a more sinister nature, like Saffron in 'Our Mrs. Reynolds'.
  • Gurney: A transportable hospital bed/stretcher on wheels.
  • Hydrozepam: A medical supply worth about 200 credits.
  • Hypodermic needles, Hypo: Used to penetrate skin and allow liquids to either be injected or extracted. They serve a particularly good use in providing liquid meds that cannot be ingested (either because they're physically incapable, or the meds would be useless through a digestive tract).
  • Hypo-gun: Used to hold vials of meds that are injected by the gun.
  • Isoprovaline: An immune booster. A common medication, provided in Simon's med kit. Street value for a vial: Fifty platinum.
  • Medical monitor: Used to monitor vitals in patients hooked up to it.
  • Medvault: Where meds are located and stored in a hospital environment.
  • Propoxine: A medical supply that costs about 80 credits.
  • Pulmonary Stimulators: A method to stimulate major arteries. Usually a good idea if patients are cyanotic and unresponsive when attempting to resuscitate them.
  • “Pulse is thready”: Medical lingo. Thready refers to the strength of a patients pulse and not the rate, although they can often correlate. Thready means weak. The opposite of bounding or strong. Pulse rate is usually given in rate and rhythm. Bradycardic (Brady) and thready is slower than 60bpm (beats per minute) and weak while tachycardic (tachy) and bounding is faster than 100bpm and strong.
  • Standard Companion immunization package: Equipment provided for Inara from the guild, who graciously donates it to Simon in the first episode. Which materials are included in the package are unknown.
  • Syringe Gun: Inara keeps one such device in her chamber. It is fancier than the hypo-gun, with a an unmarked vial containing black liquid.
  • Vials: Used to store liquid meds such as smoothers (used to 'dope' patients)

Chinese phrases[]

The Chinese that became one of the two primary tongues of the 'Verse was originally known as Mandarin. China's official language, Mandarin (sometimes called Pekingese) was derived from the dialect once spoken in that country's northeast, primarily around the capital Beijing. Another major Chinese dialect was Cantonese, spoken down south in Guangdong Province. Way back in the Earth-That-Was days, the Chinese went through a brouhaha as to which of the two tongues to make official. Though no blood was shed far as we know, it was a verbal civil war. North and South fought with volleys of dead-waking hollers over the virtues of their respective cant. In the end, Mandarin won out as the national language. So instead of yat zeu, people shout qu si to tell folks to "go to hell."

Chinese is a very different tongue than English, and remains difficult for those who don't pick it up in their earliest years. Mandarin traditionally has four inflections—five if you count the fifth "soft" tone. You best enunciate each just right, or you might have folks scratching their heads, wondering why you're so upset about losing a shoe when you're really trying to alert them of a man overboard.

We said "traditionally", because in the 26th century, we go by New Chinese. Like English where new words constantly replace the old, and nobody utters the Earth-That-Was slang, Chinese got a makeover too. The progression of humans into a bilingual community evolved the original language into a newer stripped-down version. The main languages, Chinese and English, can each express certain subjects and ideas more efficiently than the other. Over time, folks figured out what these were, and started replacing different parts of speech with whichever language related their thoughts the best. A doctor in the 26th century wouldn't hope to explain chi flow in English, for instance, any more than a control station would give docking instructions in Chinese.

Words and phrases became further streamlined—curmudgeon sticklers would say "corrupted." But only those reared in true Old Chinese-speaking households would complain, and the accessibility made it much easier for lower-class folk of English-speaking heritage.

The above would read 'Speaking Chinese Like a True Spacer' in English. In humanity's new home, a collective of humans are able to swear in a 5,000+ year old language—with a cowboy twang.

The following phrases can be tossed into whatever situation seems most appropriate, or not. These just scratch the surface of possibilities for cursing in Chinese. While even educated, refined folk swear every now and then, you're more likely to hear most of these phrases out of a free-boosting fringe rat. Phrases are listed by the first letter of the phrase, and collected here thanks to Laura (Zoë's player) and the Serenity RPG.


  • A big pile of shit 一大坨大便 (Pinyin: yī dà tuó dà biàn).
  • A switch to those people's backsides is just good enough 鞭打她們的背就夠了 Byen Dah Tah Muhn Dug Bay Jo Go Lai (Pinyin: biāndǎ tāmen de bèi jìu gòu le).
  • Abracadabra-alakazam 天灵灵 地灵灵 / 天霛霛、地霛霛 (Pinyin: tiān líng líng, dì líng líng).
  • Accusing someone of lying, a ridiculous notion, or talking out of one's ass 放屁: Fahn Pi, literally "farting."
  • Agitate/flush someone out of hiding 打草惊蛇 / 打草驚蛇: Da Chow Jing Ser (Pinyin: dǎ cǎo jīng shé), literally "beating the grass to startle the snake."
  • Alas, not good, crud!, what a mess, too bad 糟糕: Jao Gao (Pinyin: zāo gāo), literally "spoiled cake."
  • All that's proper 所有的都适当 / 所有的都適當 (Pinyin: suǒyǒu de dōu shìdāng). Pronunciation: Suo-yo duh doh shr-dang
  • Alliance 联盟 / 聯盟: Lien Mohn (Pinyin: lián méng).
  • Do we have an understanding? Do you get it? 懂了吗? / 懂了嗎?: Dohn luh mah (Pinyin: dǒng le ma).
  • Ass, bottom, posterior 屁股: Pi Gu. (Pronunciation: Pee-goo)
  • Attributing an unfortunate longshot occurrence 夜路走多了总会见鬼 / 夜路走多了總會見鬼: Yeh Lu Jwo Duo Luh Jwohn Whei Jian Guay (Pinyin: yè lù zǒu duō le zǒng huì jiàn guǐ), literally "do enough nighttime travels and one will eventually see a ghost"; also a warning of future retribution.
  • Awesome or extraordinarily clever 高棍: Gao Guhn, literally "high pole."


  • Baboon's ass crack 狒狒屁股: Feh Feh Pi Goh.
  • Bastard, jerk 混蛋: Hwen Dan, literally "rotten egg."
  • Big boss or operator of a business 老闆,老闆娘: Lao Bahn; Lao Bahn Niang for female boss or proprietor's wife. Also informal appellation for acquaintances.
  • Big brother 哥 / 哥哥 / 大哥: Ghuh or Ghuh-Ghuh, the former is more intimate and connotes blood relation: Da-ghuh means "big brother" or "leader"
  • Big change 大變化: Da Bianhua.
  • Big sister 姊姊: Jieh or Jieh-jieh.
  • Big stupid pile of stinking meat 一大堆笨臭肉: Yi Da Dwei Bun Chou Roh.
  • Blessings on you, dear sister 祝福你、妹妹: Zhufu Ni, Mei-Mei. (Pronunciation: Tzoo-foo nee, mei-mei.)
  • Blindside or conspire against someone secretly 放冷箭: Fang Leng Jian, literally "shoot a cold arrow."
  • Bottoms up 乾杯: Gan Beyh, literally "dry cup."
  • Brilliant 精彩: Jing tsai
  • Browncoat: (slang for soldiers of Independent) Jone Yee.


  • Cheap Goods (Cheap Whore or Bitch) 賤貨: Jien Huo.
  • Check at once 馬上檢查: Ma Shong Jien Cha.
  • Cheering or urging someone on 加油: Jah Yoh, literally "add fuel," equivalent of "go (name)!" in English.
  • Choose the wrong method to handle a situation 抱薪救火: Bao Xin Jiu Huo, literally "bring wood to put out a fire."
  • Come in 請進: Ching Jin. Actual Chinese means "Please enter."
  • Commit blunder of great magnitude: Bie Woo Lohng.
  • Complete disarray or sheer pandemonium 天翻地覆: Tian Fan Di Fu, literally "sky tumbles while earth turns over."
  • Completely useless 天地無用: Tian Di Wu Yowng
  • Congratulations 恭喜: Gohn Shi.
  • Conniving or scheming person 鬼頭鬼腦: Guay Toh Guay Nown, literally "ghost head and ghost brain."
  • Cool 酷: Ku.
  • Oh, crap 糟糕: Tzao Gao (literally "messy cake").
  • Crap, shit 狗屎: Go shi
  • Crazy, go crazy 瘋了: Feng Le (Pronunciation: Fong luh)
  • Crazy dog in love with its own feces 愛吃自己的糞[的]狗: Ai Chr Jze Se Duh Fohn Diang Gho.
  • Cursing 罵髒話: Ma Jung Hwa, literally "chastise with dirty words."
  • Cute 可愛: Kuh Ai.


  • Damn or damn it 他媽的/該死/阿呀: 他媽的 Ta Ma Duh (literally "his mother's..."), 該死 Gai Si, 唉呀 Ai Ya.
  • Dangerous person or animal 危險動物: Wei Shian Dohn Woo.
  • Dangly piece of flesh 戰抖的一塊肉: Zhan Dou De Yi Kuai Rou. (Pronunciation: Jan-doh duh ee-kwai-ro)
  • Daydream or wishful thinking 白日夢: Bai Rih Mohn.
  • Dear god in heaven 我的天阿: Wo De Tian A. (Pronunciation: Wuh de tyen ah).
  • Demon woman 妖女: Yao Nu.
  • Deserving of bad consequence or fate, "You asked for it!" "That's what you get!" 活該: Hwo Gai.
  • Despicable 可惡: Kuh Wu.
  • Dirty bastard sons-of—王八蛋: Wang Ba Dan. (Pronunciation: Wang bao dahn).
  • Do something for nothing in return, or wasted endeavour without a payoff 義演: Yee Yan, literally "a charity show."
  • Dog-fucking 狗操的: Gou cao de. (Pronunciation: Go tsao de)
  • Done for or imminent doom, screwed 完蛋: Wong Dahn, literally "finished (cooked) egg."
  • Don't worry 放心: Fang Xin. (Pronunciation: Fahng-sheen)
  • Down payment: Shi Yan.
  • Dumbass 蠢: Chwen, descriptive, literally "retarded."


  • Earthshaking: Jing Tian Dwohn Di, literally "startle the sky and shake the earth."
  • Engage in a feces-hurling contest with a monkey 跟猴子比丟屎: G'en Ho Tze Bi Dio Se (Pronunciation: Gun hoe-tze bee dio-se)
  • Enough of this nonsense 夠荒[ ]: Go Hwong Tong.
  • Everybody, shut the hell up 你們都閉嘴: Ni Men Dou Bi Zui.
  • Everyone in the 'Verse 天下所有的人 "All people under Heaven": Tian Xia Suo You De Ren.
  • Everything under the sky, "All under Heaven" 天下: Tian Shia, can be used to allude to the world or universe.
  • Excrement 米田共: Mi Tian Gohn, slang, derives from the fact that when you stack the three characters - "mi" (rice), "tian" (paddy), and "gohn" (public or mutual) - from top to bottom in that order, they form the ideograph for excrement.
  • Explosive diahrrea of an elephant 大象拉屎: Da Shiong La Se La Ch'Wohn Tian.
  • Extraordinarily impatient Buddha: Zhen Mei Nai Xin De Fo Zu. (Pronunciation: Jen mei nai-shing duh fwo-tzoo)


  • Fear nothing but (fill in the blank) 天不怕、地不怕、只怕 _____: Tian Bu Pa, Di Bu Pa, Tze Pa...
  • Fellow, bloke 傢伙: Ja Hwo, also slang for weapon.
  • Female companion or girlfriend: Ma Tze, a somewhat derogatory slang; add Dow in front for "looking to get a girlfriend."
  • Filthy fornicators of livestock: Ung Jeong Jia Ching Jien Soh.
  • Fire! 開火,放火: Kai Huo (as in "open fire"), Fuhn Huo (as in cooking fire).
  • Fire at will or terminate with extreme prejudice: Dai Kai Sa Jeh, meaning "breaking the Buddhist vow against killing."
  • Flat-chested 荷包蛋: Hur Bao Duhn (Pinyin: he bao dan), slang, literally "eggs cooked sunny side up."
  • Foiled or ruined at the last moment 熟鴨飛天: Soh Ya Feh Tian, expression, literally "a cooked duck flies away."
  • Fool 傻瓜: Sha Gwa (Pinyin: shǎ guā), literally "stupid melonhead."
  • Friend, pal, buddy 朋友: Puhn Yoh (Pinyin: péng you).
  • Frog-humping son of a bitch: 青蛙操的流氓 Qing Wa Cao De Liu Mang. (Pronunciation: Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng)
  • Fuck you. Damn everyone in the 'verse. 你他妈的,天下所有的人该死 / 你他媽的, 天下所有的人都該死: Ni Ta Ma De, Tian Xia Suo You De Ren Dou Gai Si.


  • Gang or faction leader: Da Gher Da for male, Da Jeh Da for female, slang.
  • Garbage 垃圾: Luh Suh (Pinyin: lā jī; southern dialect: lè sè).
  • Get bold or audacious: 放胆 Fahn Dahn (Pinyin: fàng dǎn), literally "release courage."
  • Get lost 快走開: Kwai Jio Kai (Pinyin: kuài zǒu kāi).
  • Go all out, hold nothing back 拼命: Ping Ming, literally "fight for one's life."
  • Go far away very fast: 快去很远的地方/ 快去很遠的地方 (Pinyin: kuài qù hen yuan de dì fāng). Pronunciation: Kwai chur hun-rien duh di fahng
  • Go to hell 去死: Chiu Se, literally "go die."
  • Good or okay 好: How.
  • Good journey or bon voyage 一路順風: Yi Lu Shwen Fohn.
  • Good luck 祝好運: Joo How Rin.
  • Greetings, hello there 你好: Ni How.


  • Handsome 帥: Shwai
  • Happy development or fortuitous turn of event: How Shi Sung Chung, literally "a good show's about to start," can be used sarcastically.
  • Have desires above one's social / financial position, or beyond one's ability to realize 癩蛤蟆想吃天鵝肉: Lai Huh Moh Sheong Tze Tian Uh Zoh, literally "for a toad to think of eating a swan."
  • He or she 他、他的 / 她、她的 / 他們、他們的: Tah, tah-duh for his or hers, tah-muhn for them, tah-munh-duh for theirs.
  • Heal: Chou.
  • Heaven knows what 天曉得: Tian Xiao De. (Pronunciation: Tyen shiao duh)
  • Hell: Guai.
  • Hey! 喂!: Wei. (Pronunciation: Way!)
  • Holy testicle Tuesday: Shun Sheng Duh Gao Wahn.
  • Homewrecking tramp 狐狸精: Hu Li Jing, lit. "fox spirit."
  • How are you? 你好嗎?: Ni Hao ma
  • Hump: Gun.
  • Hurry up, faster 趕快: Gan Kwai.


  • I, or me 我: Wo (me), wo-duh (mine) pronounced "wuh"
  • I don't believe my eyes! 我不相信我的眼睛: Wo Bu Siang Seeng Wo Der Yen Jing.
  • I neither see nor hear you... 我對你不聼不見: Wo Dwei Nee Bu Ting Bu Jian.
  • I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone: Wo Siang Mei Er, Mei Seeng, Byen Shi To.
  • I/you saw his ghost 見他的鬼: Jian Ta De Gui. (Pronunciation: Jien tah duh guay)
  • Idiot, moron 笨蛋 / 蠢豬: Buhn Dahn, literally "stupid egg," or Chwen Joo, literally "retarded pig."
  • Idiots. All of you. 你們都是傻瓜: Ni Men Dou Shi Sha Gua.
  • I'm fucked 我肏: Wo Cao.
  • Impossible 不可能: Bu Kuh Nuhn.
  • Impressive display or visage but no substance 大槍無彈: Da Chiang Wu Dahn, literally "big gun, no bullet."
  • In someone's doghouse 冷宮: Luhn Gohn, literally "a cold palace," which is where an emperor confines those concubines who have fallen out of favor.
  • In that case, never mind 那沒關係: Nah Mei Guan Shee.
  • Is that so?/Oh, really? 是嗎?: Shi Ma?


  • Jesus 耶穌: Yeh Su. (Pronunciation: Yeh-soo)
  • Junk 廢物: Fey Wu. (Pronunciation: Fei-oo)
  • Jiang Jong Guo Hua: (講中國話) Like a True Spacer (lit. "Speak Chinese")
  • Just our luck, what terrible luck 真倒黴: Zhen Dao Mei. (Pronunciation: Jen dao mei)



  • Leader of a criminal operation 蛇頭: Sher Toh, literally "snakehead," derogatory.
  • Leave one to his own fate: Tze Sh'un Tze Mieh.
  • Let me repeat myself 我再講一次: Wo Jai Jiang Yi Chi.
  • Let's see how we're going to die! 看我們怎麽死吧!: Kan Wo Men Zen Me Si Ba!
  • Let's take a deep breath. 一起深呼吸: Yi Chi Shen Hu Xi. (Pronunciation: Ee-chee shung-hoo-shee.)
  • Life support failure: Shuhn Ming Shi T'wohn Gu Jong.
  • Like hell 見他的鬼: Jien Ta Duh Guay, literally "see his ghost."
  • Little brother 弟/弟弟: Di or Di-Di.
  • Little sister 妹/妹妹: Mei or Mei-Mei.
  • Long time no see 好久不見: How Jiu Bu Jian.
  • Oh, Lord/Oh, God: Lao Tien Fu. (Pronunciation: Lao tien foo)


  • Male companion or boyfriend: Kai Tze, also a somewhat derogatory slang.
  • Manipulate, or playing someone for a fool: Swa.
  • Merciful Buddha protect us: Rung Tse Fwo Tzoo Bao Yo Wuo Muhn.
  • Merciful God please take me away: Rung Tse Song Di Ching Dai Wuo Tzo.
  • Merciless hell: Ai Yah Tien Ah.
  • Mind your own business: Gwan Ni Tze Jee Dah Shr. (Pronunciation: Gwon nee ju jee du shu)
  • Miss: Shao Jeh, literally "little lady." Follows a name when addressing a known person, so River would be addressed as Tam River shao jeh, or simply Tam shao jeh.
  • Mister: Shian Shen, literally "born before me," also follows a person's name.
  • Monkey raping: Cheong Bao Ho Tze.
  • Monkey's ass: Ho Tze Duh Pi Gu.
  • Mother of god: Wuh De Ma.
  • Motherless goat of all motherless goats: Mei Yong Ma Duh Tse Gu Yong.
  • Muddled, mixed-up, confused: Wu Toh Wu Now, literally "without a head or a brain."
  • Motherfucker: Ta Ma Duh.
  • Mother-humping son of a bitch: Ta Ma De Hun Dan.
  • My ass is fucked: Wo Pi Gu Cao.
  • My Buddha-ancestor: Wo De Fo Zu.
  • My wife is not pretty!: Wo Tai Tai Bu Piao Liang.


  • No problem: Mei Wen Ti.
  • No work (to be found) at all: Me Gong Zuo Dou Mei You.
  • Nonsense: Fei Hua, literally 'crap talk.'
  • Not advised: Jwohn Gao Bu Yi.
  • Not enough: Bu Goh, or Hai Bu Goh for "not enough yet."
  • Not keeping a rendezvous: Fahn Gher Tze, literally "release a pigeon" but insinuating not picking up the bird at the destination.
  • Now, immediately, right away: Ma Shan (Mandarin), Ma Siong (Cantonese).
  • Nuts: Shiang Jing Ping or just Shiang Jing; Fuh Shiang Jing for "going nuts."
  • Nurse (as the profession, not the verb): Hu Shi.


  • Oddball or a goof: Chai Neow.
  • Of course 當然: Dahn rahn.
  • Oh Lord, you clearly know I'm helping do your Work, so why do you find me trouble? 主阿,你明明知道我是幫你做事,又何必找我麻煩呢?: Zhu Ah, Ni Ming Ming Zhi Dao Wo Shi Bang Ni Zuo Shi, You He Bi Zhao Wo Ma Fan Ne?
  • Oh my God 我的天阿: Wou Duh Tian Ah.
  • Old 老: Lao.
  • Old man / husband 老公: Lao Gohng.
  • Old woman / wife 老婆: Lao Puo.
  • Old friend, you're looking lively. 佬朋友,你看起來很有精神: Lao Peng You, Ni Kan Chi Lai Hen You Jing Shen, literally "Old friend, you're looking full of spirit." (Pronunciation: Lao pung yo nee can chi lai hun yo jing shen.)
  • One more cup of that brand, please: Qing Zai Lai Yi Bei Na Kapei.
  • One must be ruthless to be a great man: Wu Du Bu Juhn Fu, lit. "a person without poison is not a great man."
  • Ordinarily useless 經常沒用的: Jing Chang Mei Yong De. (Pronunciation: Jing tzahng mei yong duh)
  • Outdo someone or doing one better: Dao-Gao-Yee-Chi Moh-Gao-Yee-Juhn, expression, literally "the solution advances a yard, the problem advances a mile."
  • Over my dead body 除非我死了: Choo fay wuh sih leh, lit. "only if I die first"


  • Pal: Lao Sheong if addressee's older, Lao Di if younger; used for men only. P'n Yoh for "friend."
  • Panda piss: 熊猫尿 / 熊貓 尿Xiong Mao Niao. (Pronunciation: Shiong mao niao)
  • Pathetic wretch: Bei Bi Shiou Ren, literally "shameless dirty little person."
  • Penis: Ji Ba, slang. (Pronunciation: Jee-ba)
  • Peon, small fry, a nobody: Wu Ming Shao Jwu, literally "nameless little foot soldier."
  • Prehistoric: Lao Deow Ya, lit. "Old toothless one."
  • Pig's sty: Joo Fuen Chse.
  • Pile of sun-baked dog poo: 日烧狗屎饼 Ri shao gou shi bing.
  • Piss-soaked pikers: Niao Se Duh Du Gwai.
  • Piss washed: Xi Niao. (Pronunciation: Shee niao)
  • Plain, bland, bare: Yong Chwen Mien, slang taken from the namesake generic, flavorless noodle dish.
  • Please be quiet: 请安静一点 / 請安靜一點 Ching Ahn Jing Yi Dien (Pinyin: qing an jing yi dian).
  • Pledge (promise): 誓言 Shi Yan.
  • Pool of excrement: F'n Zse, can be used in an expression for "deep crap."
  • Pool of pig droppings: Joo Fuen Chse.
  • Precious, darling, sweetheart, treasure: 宝贝 / 寶貝 Bao Bei.
  • Pretty lady, hire me for the night and I'll open you like a flower: Piow Liang De Shao Ji, Nee Gu Wuo Hu Nee Shang Hao. Wuh Hwai Rong Nee Shung Kai Roo Hua.
  • Pretty lady, forget him and hire me: 漂亮的小姐,不理他,顾我 Piow Liang De Shao Jie, Bu Li Tah, Gu Wo...(Pinyin: piao liang de xiao jie, bu li ta, gu wo...)



  • Real man: 男子汉 / 男子漢 Nuhn Tze Huhn (Pinyin: nan zi han)
  • Really dangerous: 危险 / 危險 Wei Shan (Pinyin: wei xian), more poetic, Wo Hu Chung Long, which is "crouching tiger, hidden dragon," an expression for something dangerous.
  • Really is a genius: 真的是天才 Zhen De Shi Tian Cai. (Pronunciation: Jen duh sh tyen tsai)
  • Redundant, unnecessary complicating something: Wua Ser Tian Jwoo, literally "draw a snake and add feet to it."
  • Remorseless harridan: Bu Hui Hen De Puo Fu. (Pronunciation: Boo hway-hun duh puo-foo)
  • Retreat, run away: Joi Weh Sung Chiuh, phrase summarizing the last of the Chinese "36 Stratagems," which extols the virtue of fleeing to fight another day.
  • Ridiculously strange, illogical or nonsensical: 莫名奇妙 Mo Min Chi Meow (Pinyin: mò míng qí miào), literally "not understanding the peculiarity."
  • Ruined, finished: 完蛋了 Wan Duhn Luh (Pinyin: wan dan le).
  • Ruthless or savage beast of a person: Ching Soh.


  • Screw him/her running: Gun Ta Jwo Lu.
  • Screw you: Chwee Ni Duh, literally "eat yours."
  • Shameless hussy: Meh Lien Duh Jyah Jee, literally "faceless bastard prostitute."
  • Shiny, awesome, fantastic: Jahn!
  • Shit on my head: Ai Ya Jwai Leh.
  • Shit talk: Da Bian Hua.
  • Shut up: Bi Jweh.
  • Shut up and make us wealthy: Bi Jweh, Lung Wuo Mun Fah Tsai.
  • Shut up, you inconsiderate schoolboys: Bi Jweh Nein Hen Bu Tee Tyeh Duh Nan Shung.
  • Sir: Da Yeh. When used as a nobility, Nuhu Jwei following the name.
  • Smelled a fart: Wen Gua Pi. (Pronunciation: Wun gwa pee)
  • So guilty as to deserve a thousand deaths: Jwei Gai Won Se.
  • Soldier, fighter, warrior: Zhan Shi.
  • Son of a bitch: Wong Ba Duhn, or Go Neong Yung Duh for a more literal and vicious translation.
  • Son of a drooling whore and a monkey: Liu Kou Shui De Biao Zi He Hou Zi De Er Zi. (Pronunciation: Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze)
  • Speak now and quickly: Yo Hua Kwai Suo.
  • Speaking without a clue: Shiah Hwa, literally "blind talk."
  • Stop talking: Joo Koh.
  • Stuff all the planets in the universe into my ass: Tai Kong Suo You Di Xing Qui Dou Sai Jin Wo De Pi Gu. (Pronunciation: Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou doh sai-jin wuh dhu pee-goo.)
  • Stupid: Yu Bun Duh.
  • Stupid inbred stack of meat: Ben Tian Sheng De Yi Dui Rou. (Pronunciation: Bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-ro)
  • Stupid son of a drooling whore and monkey: Lio Coh Jwei Ji Neong Hur Ho Deh Yung Duh Buhn Jah J'wohn.
  • Suicidal idea: Tze sah ju yi.
  • Surrender, give up: Toh Shung.
  • Swindle: Gwai.


  • Take care, stay healthy 保重: Bao zhong, literally "maintain weight."
  • Talk nonsense: Shia Suo.
  • Thank you 謝謝: Xie xie. (Pronunciation: Sheh sheh)
  • That has nothing to do with it 那沒關係: Na Mei Guan Xi. (Pronunciation: Nah mei guan shee)
  • There's nothing about this plan that isn't horrific!: Juh Guh Jee Hua Juhn Kuh Pah!
  • Things never go smooth: How W'rin Bu Lai, Whai W'rin Bu Jwo.
  • This really is a happy holiday: Zhe Zhen Shi Ge Kuai Le De Jing Zhang. (Pronunciation: Juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan)
  • To throw in a monkeywrench: Gwai Ma Jeow, literally "twist a horse's legs (while it's galloping)."
  • Trouble, problem, complication 麻煩: Ma Fahn.
  • Tyrant, iron-fisted ruler 霸王: Ba Wong.


  • Ugly or perverted person: Joo Bah Jeh, insult taken from the name of the hoggish, lecherous character in the popular Chinese folktale, "Journey to the West."
  • Understand: Dohn, dohn-ma for "understand?", dohn-luh-mah for "are we clear here?"
  • Urine: Niao.


  • Very: Feh Chun.


  • Wait / hold on a second: D'un Yi Shia.
  • Warning someone against doing things "the hard way": Jin Joh Bu Chi Chi Fah Joh, literally "choosing to sip the wine of penalty over that of respect."
  • Water: Swei.
  • We, us: Wuo Mun, Wuo Mun Duh for ours.
  • We will enjoy your silence now: Bai Tuo, Uhn Jin Tee Dien.
  • Weak-ass sauce: Lan Dan Jiang.
  • We're in big trouble: Ai Ya Wo Mun Wan Leh.
  • What: Shuh Muh?
  • What the hell is this crap?: Juh Shi Suh Mo Go Dohng Shee?



  • Yeah, right (No, it's not!) 才不是: Cai Bu Shi.
  • Yes 是: Shi.
  • You 你,你的: Ni, ni-duh for yours, ni-muhn for plural, ni-muhn-duh for plural possessive.
  • You don't deserve it: Ni Bu Ying Duh Jur Guh.
  • You wanna bullet right in your throat? 你要我開槍?: Nee Yow Wuo Kai Chiang? Chinese characters actually mean "Do you want me to start firing/open fire?"
  • You wanna die?: Nee Tzao Se Mah? 你找死吗?: lit. "Are you looking for death?"
  • Young lady, little miss 小妹妹: Xiao Mei Mei.
  • Young one 年輕的, 幼齒: Nyen Ching Duh, or Yo Chr, slang for underaged (literally "infant teeth.")
  • You're crazy 發狂: Fa Kuang.
  • You're hurt 你受傷了: Ni Shou Shang Le.
  • You're mad/insane 發瘋: Fa Feng.