Creative English with Chinese Characteristics

Just in case you missed these English language Chinese coinages, here’s a sample:

> Smilence 笑而不语

> vi. When you are expecting some answers from your Chinese audience, you may just get a mysterious smile and their silence only.

> 动词 当你期望从中国听众那里获得一些回答的时候,你只得到了神秘的微笑和他们的沉默。

The rest of the list is here, but here’s a taste of what you’ll find:

– Democrazy
– Togayther
– Freedamn
– Shitizen
– Divoice
– Animale
– Amerryca
– Innernet
– Yakshit
– Departyment
– Suihide
– Don’train
– Corpspend
– Jokarlist
– Vegeteal
– Sexretary
– Canclensor
– Carass
– Harmany

Smilence is definitely the best one. It’s interesting how some of them don’t work very well from the perspective of a native speaker of English, while others are pure gold.

Via China Digital Times.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Fantastic list. My buddy and I coined “gaysian” to describe the gents with feathered bangs who coordinate their pink sweatshirt with their girlfriend’s.

    This character is found across East Asia but I am most familiar with Gaisianus Sinensis.

  2. Some of them work far better in Chinese than they do in English – 妓者 being one of them. Repwhoreter might have been a better term than Jokalist 🙂

  3. As an American English speaker, “smilence” doesn’t quite work for me. Said out loud, it sounds like “smile” + “violence” and not “smile” + “silence.”

  4. I wish I knew smilence when I was teaching grad students. Great way to describe their reaction most of the time.

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