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Discover the top 10 Chinese buzzwords of 2023 2023年十大网络流行词

That's Mandarin 2023-12-18 17:28



Last week, the linguistics journal Yaowen Jiaozi, or《咬文嚼字》(Yǎo Wén Jiáo Zì), released the top ten buzzwords of 2023, highlighting significant linguistic trends and popular phrases of the year.

Let's see what they've discovered.

Top 10 Buzzwords of 2023


The term "buzzword" in Chinese can be translated as 流行词 (liú xíng cí) or 热词 (rè cí). Both terms refer to popular words or phrases that gain widespread usage and attention within a certain period, often reflecting the current cultural, social, or technological trends.


流行词 (liú xíng cí) ∙ buzzword; popular word
热词 (rè cí) ∙ buzzword; popular word

Èr líng èr sān nián shí dà liú xíng yǔ
Top 10 buzzwords of 2023

01. New Productive Forces

Leading the tech-related vocabulary is 新质生产力 (xīn zhì shēng chǎn lì) — a term that represents a leap in productivity, driven by technological innovation.

xīn zhì shēng chǎn lì
new productive forces

02. Two-way Efforts

双向奔赴 (shuāng xiàng bēn fù) means both sides working together towards a shared goal, getting closer to each other.

shuāng xiàng bēn fù
two-way efforts

03. Large-scale AI Models

This word is related to a series of AI applications, including ChatGPT and Ernie Bot (AI chatbot service product of Baidu) which have had a significant impact on social production and daily life.

réng ōng zhì néng dà mó xíng
large-scale AI models
(lit. "AI -large-scale-model")

人工智能 (rén gōng zhì néng) ∙ artificial intelligence; AI
大模型 (dà mó xíng) ∙ large-scale model

文心一言 (Wén xīn yī yán) is a Chinese name for Ernie Bot, an AI chatbot service product of Baidu.

04. Village Super League

In July 2023, all the eyes of soccer fans and tourists alike were drawn to the soccer fields in Rongjiang County, where the viral 'Village Super League', also known as 'Cun Chao', took center stage.

Teachers, policemen, farmers, students... all the players on the ground weren't professional players, yet the final of the 村超 (Cūn Chāo) was just like last year's World Cup final!

Cūn chāo
Village Super League

05. Special Forces-style Tourism

This new way of traveling is about seeing a lot of places while spending as little money and time as possible. Travelers try to visit many sights and learn about history and culture quickly, almost like they're on a special mission.

tè zhǒng bīng shì lǚ yóu
special forces-style tourism

06. Standing Out from the Crowd

Before being 显眼 (xiǎn yǎn, "to be impressive", "to stand out from the crowd") was seen as being too in-your-face, craving to get everyone's attention. But today being 显眼 (xiǎn yǎn) is also about having an energetic and enjoyable personality that brings happiness and a positive vibe.

xiǎn yǎn bāo
standout individual
(lit. "prominent-package")

显眼 (xiǎnyǎn) ∙ standout; eye-catching

07. Dopamine Outfit

"Dopamine" is a vital substance in our bodies that affects our movements, thoughts and emotions. It's also playing a crucial role in our well-being and happiness.

The trend of 'dopamine outfits' uses vibrant colors to make people feel happy. Beyond colors, 'dopamine' now mean more than just a vibrant color — it's used for things that bring joy.

多巴胺 [穿搭]
duō bā àn [chuān dā]
dopamine [outfit]

多巴胺老师 (Duō bā àn Lǎo shī) ∙ Dopamine teacher

08. Dazi, or Mate

If you spend enjoyable time with someone due to shared interests or engage in activities together, you can call this person 搭子 (dā zi) — a buddy or a mate.

Through social platforms, young people can find various types of 搭子 (dāzi) such as "meal mates," "travel buddies," "exercise buddies," and even "shopping companions," or "weight loss buddies".

dā zi
buddy; mate; companion

麻将搭子 (májiàng dāzi) ∙ mahjong buddy

09. Emotional Values

Initially, "emotional values" or 情绪价值 (qíng xù jià zhí) were a marketing term that measured customers' perceived emotional benefits against costs.

Now, it shows how someone can affect others' feelings. Bringing comfort, joy, and stability raises their emotional value, while the opposite reduces it.

qíng xù jià zhí
emotional values

10. Questioned, Understood, and Turned Into

In the show "iPartment", one of the characters, Lin Wanyu, prioritized her career over marriage. At first, viewers criticized her, but over the years, they realized that love isn't everything and started to relate to Lin Wanyu. A phrase, 'Questioned Wanyu, understood Wanyu, and turned into Wanyu,' trended on social media.


When parents were strict, kids didn't get it and felt angry. As they grew up, they understood their parents' perspective. When they became parents, they identified with their parents' ways, saying, "question parents, understand parents, become parents."

zhì yí [Wǎn Yú], lǐ jiě [Wǎn Yú], chéng wéi [Wǎn Yú]
questioned [Wanyu], understood [Wanyu], and became [Wanyu]


"Ài qíng Gōng yù"

IPartment is a popular Chinese romantic sitcom that tells the story of the lives of seven young adults in their mid-to-late 20s who are neighbors in an apartment complex in Shanghai. The show is generally regarded as one of the most successful Chinese sitcoms of all time.

Source: That's Mandarin
Editor: wanwan

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