It seems I’m a bit obssessed with synonyms.
Just for fun, here is a list of 31 ways to say “idiot” in Mandarin, ranging from most common to least common.
1. 白痴 báichī – An idiot. Can also mean idiocy as a disease.
2. 傻子 shǎzi – Idiot. Less formal.
3. 呆子 dāizi – Same as 傻子 shǎzi.
4. 愚人 yúrén – Idiot in 书面语 shūmiànyǔ (formal/written language); literary register.
5. 蠢货 chǔnhuò – Idiot, a “stupid commodity”. Used as a term of abuse.
6. 蠢才 chǔncái – Same as 蠢货 chǔnhuò. Alternative form: 蠢材.
7. 傻瓜 shǎguā – Idiot, used either as a term of abuse or jokingly between friends. Literally, “dumb melon.”
8. 呆瓜 dāiguā – Same as 傻瓜 shǎguā.
9. 笨蛋 bèndàn – Idiot, as a term of abuse.
10. 二百五 èrbǎiwǔ – A simpleton. Slang. Literally, “two hundred and fifty” – have no idea why.
11. 蠢人 chǔnrén – Idiot.
12. 木头人 mùtourén – Idiot, specifically one who stares blankly, as if in a trance, or one who is slow in understanding. Dated.
13. 傻帽儿 / 傻帽 shǎmào[r] – Idiot or idiotic. Colloquial.
14. 草包 cǎobāo – Idiot. Literally, “straw bag”. Dated.
15. 脑残 nǎocán – Idiot. New and popular slang. Literally, “brain impairment.” Can also function as an adjective: “brain-dead”. Is often used to put-down the 富二代 fùèrdài – the supposedly idiotic children of wealthy families in China.
16. 饭桶 fàntǒng – A good-for-nothing – a “rice bucket” – that is, someone who can only eat but not doing anything of note.
17. 傻逼 shǎbī – Idiot. A popular new slang expression. Literally, “stupid cunt”. Probably derives from 牛逼 niúbī, “cow’s cunt”, another popular expression, which equates to “fucking awesome” in English. Appropriately vulgar, but extremely common. Alternative/polite form: 傻B.
18. 蠢驴 chǔnlǘ – Idiot. Literally, “stupid donkey.” Term of abuse.
19. 低能儿 dīnéngr – Idiot. Can also mean one who gets high marks in school but fails at life. Wenlin lists a third meaning as, “sb. with little or no ability in a certain area.”
20. 笨家伙 bènjiāhuo – “Stupid guy.”
21. 无知者 wúzhīzhě – Long-winded form of idiot – same as 愚人 yúrén.
22. 憨子 hānzi – Idiot. Rare, regional slang.
23. 笨瓜 bènguā – Same as 傻瓜 shǎguā and 呆瓜 dāiguā.
24. 笨贼 bènzéi – Idiot. Uncommon. Literally, “stupid burglar.”
25. 愚氓 yúméng – Idiot/fool. Uncommon.
26. 痴汉 chīhàn – Idiot/fool. Uncommon – probably another dictionary-only word.
27. 胸大无脑 xiōngdàwúnǎo – Not just an idiot, but a big-breasted bimbo. Slang.
28. 脑缺氧 nǎoquēyǎng – Literally, “brain lacks oxygen.” Refers not just to an idiot, but specifically one who can’t express oneself. You might say to such a person, 你脑子进水了 nǐ nǎozi jìnshuǐ le, meaning, “Your brain is flooded.”
29. 笨货 bènhuò – Idiot. Literally, “stupid commodity.”
30. 大傻个儿 / 大傻个 dàshǎgè[r] – Idiot. Northern slang, meaning, “big dumby.”
31. 笨伯 bènbó – Idiot. Uncommon. 书面语 shūmiànyǔ (formal/written language).
15 Comments to "31 Words For Idiot In Chinese"
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Great, i think it covers almost all of ways to say idiot in Chinese, it would be good to know, but it won’t nice to say them.
Haha! I love this!
I got myself into trouble in China when bartering, offering ¥250 and not budging! Eventually, after a little embarrassment, the 售货员 explained that I was insinuating he was an idiot and that he would happily take ¥249 or ¥251! When I questioned him, he explained that this saying came from a time when there were ¥500 notes. By calling someone 二百五 you are saying that they are only half of 500. This equates to saying something like ‘not all there’ or ‘one short of a six pack’ etc.
HaHa, very interesting.
But I think 流氓 is normally describe a guy who is disrespectful (to girls). And 傻B is a very rude word~~ Don’t use it if you don’t know how to use in China~~ otherwise you may get into trouble~~ LOL
Actually 流氓 is quite different to “idiot”; usually it refers to someone who has no regular job and tends to make trouble for others.
Obviously 傻逼 is not a polite word, however whether or not you offend someone by using it depends very much on the company you keep.
No, what he’s saying is that the article claims that 傻B is more polite or acceptable. It’s not, at all. It’s simply a lazier way to write an equally vulgar form (which, yes, your friends may or may not be cool with).
The original text is still misleading.
For what it’s worth, if you didn’t know, 傻逼 is *already* a euphemistic form. The *actual* character for cunt is 屄, which can make some Chinese uncomfortable just looking at it even when they’re well-bred enough that they don’t really know what exactly it is.
there is an other one: 你脑袋一半是水，一半是面粉。haha~ understand?
That’s a good analogy, I like it.
二百五 is slang for common person because it is said that there are only 250 common surnames in Chinese e.g. the pervasiveness of Wang, Li, etc.
Stupid in English: “Has great potential.”
You left off 2B…
I don’t quite remember the story but something like,
Someone accidentally killed the emperors dog/horse whatever.
The emperor wanted to know who it was.
He sent out a message to people like he was someone else, telling people that the emperor was stupid and deserved to get his dog/horse whatever killed.
The person who stepped forward to admit it was him would get 1000 Yuan.
Stupidly, four people said they did it, got 250 each and then killed…
Something like that…
How would you say “idiot” as in to your significant other, in kind of a loving manner?
笨笨 or 傻孩子.