Get 47% OFF All Plans
Get 47% OFF All Plans
CantoneseClass101.com Blog
Learn Cantonese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

The Complete Guide for Cantonese Internet Slang and More

If you chat with your Cantonese-speaking friends online or use social media, such as Facebook, you might struggle to understand Cantonese internet slang. However, most Cantonese slang words aren’t exclusive to the internet; you may also come across them in magazines and in daily conversations. Thus, it’s vital to learn Cantonese text slang and internet slang.

The problem is that your teachers and textbooks won’t teach you this Hong Kong slang because they aren’t official Cantonese. Cantonese slang might be very confusing to language-learners because they were developed very uniquely.

Don’t worry, though—here at CantoneseClass101.com, we’ll provide you with a complete guide for popular Cantonese internet and text slang.

Ready to learn Cantonese internet slang? What are you waiting for? Let’s delve into everything you need to know about internet slang in the Cantonese language; we’ll even show you Cantonese text slang in English words!

Table of Contents

  1. About Cantonese Internet and Text Slang
  2. Top Eight Hong Kong Text Slang with Numbers or Cantonese Words
  3. Top Eight Hong Kong Internet Slang Terms with English Characters or Words
  4. Bonus: How Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority Tries to Catch Up with the Trend
  5. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese


1. About Cantonese Internet and Text Slang

Before you learn Cantonese internet slang specifics, we’ll go over the fundamentals of what slang in Cantonese is.

“Slang” is 潮語 (ciu4 jyu5) in Cantonese.

Internet and social media have become a part of everyday life nowadays, especially among the younger generation. If you have Hong Kong friends on Facebook, Instagram, or online forums, you might find it difficult to figure out what they’re saying most of the time due to the heavy usage of 潮語.

What makes Cantonese slang difficult is that HongKongers mix Cantonese with English (some would call it Chinglish or Kongish), and written Cantonese with spoken Cantonese, all the time. Without any knowledge of Hong Kong culture and popular culture, a language learner might not be able to make sense of a sentence with 潮語 (ciu4 jyu5) in it.

To help you better understand Cantonese slang, we’ll be introducing the 潮語 (ciu4 jyu5) in two separate categories: one with numbers or Cantonese words only, and the other one with English characters or words.


2. Top Eight Hong Kong Text Slang with Numbers or Cantonese Words

If you’re searching for useful Cantonese slang, here’s a list of the top eight most popular internet slang with numbers or Cantonese words. Hopefully, this list of Cantonese slang words helps you find your footing in this often confusing world of foreign internet talk!

1- 巴打

Meaning: Brother (to address another man, usually on online forums)
Romanization: baa1 daa2

巴打 (baa1 daa2) mimics the sound of “brother.” Many male online forum users use 巴打 (baa1 daa2) to address each other, to suggest that they’re as close as brothers.

  • Example Sentence: 巴打,你食咗飯未呀?
  • Romanization: baa1 daa2, nei5 sik6 zo2 faan6 mei6 aa3
  • Meaning: Brother, have you had lunch yet?

2- 絲打

Meaning: Sister (to address another lady, usually on online forums)
Romanization: si1 daa2

絲打 (si1 daa2) mimics the sound of “sister.” Many female online forum users use 絲打 (si1 daa2) to address each other, to suggest that they’re as close as sisters.

  • Example Sentence: 絲打,你食咗飯未呀?
  • Romanization: si1 daa2, nei5 sik6 zo2 faan6 mei6 aa3
  • Meaning: Sister, have you had lunch yet?

High Five

3- 十卜

Meaning: Support; Endorse
Romanization: sap6 buk1

十卜 (sap6 buk1) mimics the sound of “support.” Many online forum users use 十卜 (sap6 buk1) to show support of a certain incident or a certain view.

  • Example Sentence: 我十卜呢件事。
  • Romanization: ngo5 sap6 buk1 ni1 gin6 si6
  • Meaning: I support this incident.

4- 粉絲

Meaning: Fans
Romanization: fan2 si1

粉絲 (fan2 si1) mimics the sound of “fans,” which also means “fans,” or someone who’s enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody.

  • Example Sentence: 我係艾迪瑞德曼嘅粉絲。
  • Romanization: ngo5 hai6 ngaai6 dik6 seoi6 dak1 maan6 ge3 fan2 si1
  • Meaning: I am a fan of Eddie Redmayne.

Three People Saying Goodbye

5- 88

Meaning: Bye
Romanization: baat3 baat3

88 (baat3 baat3) mimics the sound of “bye bye,” which also means “bye.”

  • Example Sentence: 我要走先啦,88。
  • Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 zau2 sin1 laa1, baat3 baat3
  • Meaning: I need to leave first, bye.

c6- 潛水

Meaning: Disappear; Inactive
Romanization: cim4 seoi2

潛水 (cim4 seoi2) literally translates as “diving,” but in a Cantonese slang context, it means “disappear.” This is because if you’ve dived into the water, you won’t be visible on the surface.

  • Example Sentence: 我喺個WhatsApp group潛咗水好耐。
  • Romanization: ngo5 hai2 go3 WhatsApp group cim4 zo2 seoi2 hou2 noi6
  • Meaning: I have been inactive in this WhatsApp Group for a long time.

A Man Jumps

7- 屈機

Meaning: Out of the league
Romanization: wat1 gei1

屈機 (wat1 gei1) means “out of the league,” with an emphasis on one’s intelligence and ability.

  • Example Sentence: 佢地咁屈機,贏梗。
  • Romanization: keoi5 dei6 gam3 wat1 gei1, jeng4 gang2
  • Meaning: It’s a sure win for them since they are totally out of the league.

8- 單身狗

Meaning: Bachelor
Romanization: daan1 san1 gau2

單身狗 (daan1 san1 gau2) literally translates as “single dog,” which refers to men who are single (in a slightly negative sense).

    Example Sentence: 我呢啲單身狗梗係過 lonely Christmas。
    Romanization: ngo5 ni1 di1 daan1 san1 gau2 gang2 hai6 gwo3 lonely Christmas
    Meaning: A single guy like me of course would be spending Christmas alone.


3. Top Eight Hong Kong Internet Slang Terms with English Characters or Words

A Couple Holding Hands

1- BF

Meaning: Boyfriend

BF is the abbreviation of “boyfriend.”

  • Example Sentence: 今晚我同我BF食飯。
  • Romanization: gam1 maan5 ngo5 tung4 ngo5 BF sik6 faan6
  • Meaning: I will be having dinner with my boyfriend tonight.

2- GF

Meaning: Girlfriend

GF is the abbreviation of “girlfriend.”

  • Example Sentence: 我一陣要去搵我GF。
  • Romanization: ngo5 jat1 zan6 jiu3 heoi3 wan2 ngo5 GF
  • Meaning: I need to meet my girlfriend in a short while.

3- FF

Meaning: Fantasize

FF originates from a science fantasy role-playing video game called “Final Fantasy.” In Hong Kong, FF is used to describe someone who fantasizes too much.

  • Example Sentence: 你唔好FF咁多。
  • Romanization: nei5 m4 hou2 FF gam3 do1
  • Meaning: You shouldn’t fantasize too much.

4- -able

-able is a suffix that we add to a word to make it an adjective.

  • Example Sentence: 呢個女仔真係GF-able。
  • Romanization: ni1 go3 neoi5 zai2 zan1 hai6 GFable
  • Meaning: This girl is desirably suitable to become my girlfriend.

5- -ing and -ed

As Cantonese doesn’t have tenses, we sometimes add -ing and -ed to suggest the time of the action.

  • Example: 通頂ing
  • Romanization: tung1 deng2 ing
  • Meaning: Working overnight
  • Example: 通頂ed
  • Romanization: tung1 deng2 ded
  • Meaning: Worked overnight
  • Example: 返工ing
  • Romanization: faan1 gung1 ing
  • Meaning: On my way to work

A Boy Who’s Dropped His Jaw

6- O嘴

Meaning: Shocked
Romanization: O zeoi2

“O” is an English character and 嘴 (zeoi2) means mouth. Together, O嘴 (O zeoi2) is “shocked” because your mouth would be wide open and look like an “O” if you were in shock.

  • Example Sentence: 聽到單新聞我O咗嘴。
  • Romanization: teng1 dou2 daan1 san1 man2 ngo5 O zo2 zeoi2
  • Meaning: I dropped my jaw when I heard the news.

7- GG

Meaning: Screw up; Game over

Originally, GG stood for “good game,” but after a while, people started to mistakenly think that it means “game over.” Right now, people usually use GG to describe things with a gloomy outcome.

  • Example Sentence: 我唔記得我約咗GF,今次GG喇。
  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 gei3 dak1 ngo5 joek3 zo2 GF, gam1 ci3 GG laa3
  • Meaning: I forgot my date with my girlfriend, I am so screwed up.

8- DM

Meaning: Direct message

DM stands for “direct message.”

  • Example Sentence: 你可唔可以DM啲細節俾我呀?
  • Romanization: nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 DM di1 sai3 zit3 bei2 ngo5 aa3
  • Meaning: Can you send over the details via direct message?


4. Bonus: How Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority Tries to Catch Up with the Trend

Thought slang is only for informal settings and should never appear in exams, let alone a public exam? To many’s surprise, Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority tried to catch up with the trends and included Cantonese slang in the HKCEE Hong Kong Chinese language public examination (similar to GCSE in the United Kingdom).

In one of the Chinese exam papers, the sentence “見鬼勿O嘴,潛水怕屈機” (gin3 gwai2 mat6 O zeoi2, cim4 seoi2 paa3 wat1 gei1) was included in the reading materials. This sentence contains three of the Cantonese slang words that we introduced above: O嘴 (O zeoi2), 潛水 (cim4 seoi2) and 屈機 (wat1 gei1).

Unfortunately, the endeavor of catching up with the trends by the Authority wasn’t appreciated by the candidates nor the general public, as this sentence barely makes sense.

This incident has quickly became the talk of the town, and in fact, “潛水怕屈機” (cim4 seoi2 paa3 wat1 gei1) itself has become a new slang word to laugh at things that don’t make sense. Some even wrote a song titled “潛水怕屈機” (cim4 seoi2 paa3 wat1 gei1).


5. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

I hope you found the Cantonese slang words introduced above fun and entertaining!

Do you want to further level up your Cantonese after mastering these Cantonese slang words? With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through your mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese