Chinese Phrases I Use In English
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Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:19 pm)

When I was learning Mandarin in Taiwan, I often spoke Chinglish, Chinese-English. Chinese has some wonderful words you can substitute for normal English words and give them more meaning.

I particularly enjoyed the creative but poorly-pronounced Chinglish in Joss Whedon's Firefly. Take any translations you find of them with a grain of salt, though—some poetic license has been taken. Some may also come from the Jin Yong wuxia novels that I've read.

I've started to use a few phrases from Mandarin here, so I'll try to document them here, along with any other phrases I think people may find interesting.

ban pigu: Literally, half rear-end. You guess what it means. Not a real Chinese phrase, it's a direct English translation I use.
sha gua: stupid melon, or just bonehead, silly, etc. More playful than mean.
fen cao: crap (Literally fertilizer)—this is used in mainland China. I like to use fen interchangeably with the English word fun, because they sound the same, but one means fertilizer and the other doesn't. You'll never know when I say something is "fun" if I mean it really is fun, or it's fen...
mi tian gong: This is how the Chinese "spell" fen. It's another way to say "crap", as above.
shen jing bing: crazy, wacko, nutjob, etc (literally nerve sickness)
gun dan: get lost, get out of here (literally roll eggs)
ben si, ben dan: stupid (stupid to death, stupid egg)
fang ni ma de gou chou pi : (literally, your mom's stinky dog farts) that's a bunch of crap. Often seen in Jin Yong novels, said when somebody says something completely false or ridiculous. As with most languages, referencing someone's mother in a phrase is usually indicative of an insult.
qi de yao si : mad to death
hao zi : rat (also lao shu)
ma fan : a pain, a bunch of trouble (eg. What a mafan!)

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