2021 Buzz Word - A Year in Review







We're officially counting down to the end of 2021! Before we fast forward to 2022, let's look back at what was trending this year through the top 10 buzzwords.


The top 10 buzzwords of the year have been released by the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Centre, an institution administered by the country's Ministry of Education, after checking billions of posts on Chinese social media for trending terms. Through the ten buzz words of the year, we could draw a vivid picture of the age of post-pandemic.


2021 Buzz Words






The Age of Awakening | 觉醒年代

Jue xing nian dai / The Age of Awakening is the name of a revolutionary TV series about the founding of China's Communist Party in the early 20th century. It was made to mark the 100th birthday of the Party on July 1 this year, the series has become one of the most popular television shows in China since it was released at the beginning of this year.


Eternal God | YYDS永远的神

The four English letters are the initials of yong yuan de shen, meaning “forever God” in Chinese. It was first used by players of a popular internet game, and later was adopted by many internet users to express their admiration and high esteem for their idols. In the summer of this year, Chinese competitors at the Tokyo Olympics such as Su Bingtian, the first-ever Asian-born sprinter to break the 10-second barrier of the 100 metres event in track and field, were hailed as YYDS by the mainland public. In western pop culture, the phrase GOAT – Greatest Of All Times has similar effect.

表达对某人的高度敬佩额崇拜。2021年东京奥运会期间,不管是杨倩夺得首金,还是全红婵一场决赛跳出三个满分,或是“苏神”站上百米决赛跑道,全网齐喊“YYDS”,奥运期间一度刷屏。在西方流行文化中也有类似的说法,如GOAT – Greatest Of All Times。

Double Reduction | 双减

The policy to ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring for students undergoing compulsory education. The term  known in Chinese has appeared widely on the internet after state authorities announced harsh education reforms to rein in excessive academic workloads caused by the country's highly competitive education system.


Breakthrough the Defense | 破防

Originally used by online game players, it evolved to describe a person who is affected after their psychological defense is brokenthrough.


Metaverse | 元宇宙

Yuan yu zhou is a hot buzzword within Mainland' business circles, although this new industry is not understood by many people yet and is still evolving. In the past few months, metaverse-related jobseekers have become highly pursued in China's job market.


2021 Buzz Words




 Lying Down


I didn't understand it, I was just in shock

Super! | 绝绝子

Delivered in a naughty tone, Jue jue zi is used to express praise. It can be roughly translated as "terrific" or "fantastic" in English. It was first created by fans of a comprehensive television art programme to encourage their idols.


Lying Flate | 躺平

The term directly translates into "lying flat", refers to people who give up or do nothing and have a defeatist attitude. This type of attitude has permeated Chinese society in recent years as many young people have become tired of the notion of working themselves to the bone, with many reaching the conclusion that no matter how much effort they invest, they cannot change their fate in China's increasingly unequal and competitive society.


It is not that hurtful but extremely humiliating | 伤害性不高,侮辱性极强

This slang term first came into being to describe the situation of a woman in an online viral short video clip who seemed lonely at a table shared with a couple who explicitly showed off their love by clipping dishes with chopsticks to each other and ignoring the woman's presence. It later evolved into a term to describe a person's embarrassment.


I didn't understand it, I was just in shock | 我看不懂,但我大受震撼

Originally used by online game players, it evolved to describe a person who is affected after their psychological defense is brokenthrough.


MetaverseWe are ready to build a powerful China | 强国有我

The phrase is from the oath sworn by 1,000 primary and middle school students at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on July 1 this year during the Communist Party's centenary celebrations. The full pledge goes: "please be assured, the party, that a strong country has me", young students vowed to make their contribution to China.



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