New Internet Slang: Kēngdiē 坑爹

Recently, I’ve noticed a word making waves in the weibo-sphere and even in my oral English classes:

  • kēngdiē 坑爹 = dishonest [defraud father]

I’ve heard it used in the following contexts:

  • The kēngdiē doctors (坑爹的医生) didn’t know what they were talking about. They just told me to take some medicine and go home!
  • That cafeteria is so kēngdiē! I paid 7 yuan and only got a little plate of food.

Supposedly, it came from some Japanese cartoon but I’m not sure about the details.

I also asked my students if it was considered to be profanity (cūkǒu 粗口), and most of them say it’s not.

6 Replies to “New Internet Slang: Kēngdiē 坑爹”

  1. This is the first time I heard this term. It is interesting. Keng1 , the original meaning is a hole or pit, for example, wo3 wa1 le5 yi2 ge5 keng1 我挖了一个坑 I dug a hole. But, keng1 also can be used as a verb, which means got cheated got tricked. For example, you can say, wo3 de5 qian2 bei4 ta1 keng1 le5. 我的钱被他坑了 My money is gone because something bad he did and it caused me lost the money.
    Die1 is father. Usually father is the authority in a Chinese family. If a guy is that audacious and bad that dares to trick or cheat the father, then it mean that guy is pretty dishonest and also very vicious.
    Language is always growing, it is very interesting — we always can find something to study:)

  2. My Chinese friend was explaining this to me the other day! He wasn’t sure whether or not he would translate it as “rip-off,” but that’s kind of the way I understood his explanation. Your examples are pretty much along the same lines as his… It’s good to see it here because now I know for sure it’s not just a regional word. 🙂 I don’t remember him explaining the its origin, though…

  3. Hey wow, I see my linking to the MDBG annotated version was nicely made redundant by your automatically linking everything to an MDBG annoted version already. You’re way ahead of the game!

  4. Thanks for sharing! This is news to me since I usually hear 骗子(piàn zi) for someone who is “pulling one over on you,” but know that this is extremely offensive if said directly to someone.

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