Why Chinese people say ‘Keng’ ? | Chat With Chinese

By Ning Shuang, Yang Mingzhuo


How to express the feeling when we unluckily buy some low-quality stuff, suddenly be loaded with full packs of tricky work, find out ourselves be cheated by someone, or simply lagged back in games by a green hand teammate?

In daily chat, there is a Chinese character “坑” (keng) that delivers all these anger and gloomy. Literally, “keng” refers to a pit, hole, or depression, and its meaning also extends to describing the feeling when be stumbled by a “pit” or “hole”that the poor goods, tough work, anyone or anything “dig” for us, as well as trapping or cheating someone. Always combined with other intensifiers, this character is widely used in combinations expressing emotional meltdowns, such as “好坑” (“hao keng”, the former character a intensifier)in the picture, and the buzz word “坑爹”(“keng die”, teasing the “victims” as those dishonest’s fathers unfortunately trapped by them.).

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