The sickness that is not health related – Chinese slang on “mental weirdness”

Posted by Grace Feng on October 25, 2012

The sickness that is not health related - Chinese slangs on "mental weirdness"Usually it’s not appropriate to ask about people’s health issue for no reason. However, if you really have to ask out of necessity or sincere care, you can ask like this in Chinese:


nǐ shìbùshì bù tài shūfu?


You are not feeling well?


nǐ zuìjìn shēntǐ shìbùshì bùtàihǎo?


You are not feeling well lately?


However, today we will not talk about the terminologies of real sickness. We’ll talk about words of sickness that are not about health at all. They are Chinese slang that are used to describe a person’s “mental weirdness”.

The first and most used one that you have to know is:


毛 病:   毛 máo (hair)   bìng(illness)


“Hair illness”? People might need to deal with hair loss problem, but this word has nothing to do with that! If it is used on a thing, it simply means “problem”. However, if it is used on a person, then it is used as a slang to indicate that that person is kind of weird. Let me show you some examples:


zhège shǒujī yǒu máobìng。


The cell phone is having problem (broken).


zhège rén yǒu máobìng。


This guy has problem (behaving weird). [used as a slang]


If someone ask you, or you ask someone a question as below, then this should not be a simple question:


nǐ shìbùshì yǒu máobìng?



It’s more of questioning or insulting, just like you would say the following in English :


What’s wrong with you?!


Then what kind of 毛病 people could have? The following Chinese slangs will explain that to you:



(someone’s brain must be damaged, can’t think straight. [very popular slang today])






dànǎo duǎnlù


(someone is doing silly thing due to a short circuit in his/her brain)


nǎozi bù hǎo shǐ


(someone is doing silly things due to a malfunctioning brain)


chībǎo le chēng de


(do senseless things due to overeating)


chīcuòyào le


(act silly as if having taken the wrong pill)


méizhì le


(incurable – hopeless)




(incurable – hopeless)


Well, it feels like I’ve opened the Pandora’s box. My dear readers and friends, as good mannered as you are, please be careful to only use these words when it is absolutely necessary. :-)

However, knowing them will help you to understand oral communications between natives better. They are mostly used when people are talking about someone that either has done something that is really stupid or absurd, or has made a rather unwise decision, or has behaved insane and irrational, or simply is rotten to core. (from the speaker’s perspective of course).

They are also used between old acquaintance or friends when joking with each other.

Or, they can be used in oral disputes to attack people (cursing words). [Not recommended, mind you. :-) ]

If you know any other slang that is used in this purpose, feel free to share with us. Thanks! If you know any slang of this kind in your own language, please share it too.


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Category: Chinese slang

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2 Responses to “The sickness that is not health related – Chinese slang on “mental weirdness””

  1. nothing


    10-25-2012 4:29 pm

    There’s one that I scooped from my friend’s message: 脑子进水了

    Does that count? :-)


    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      10-25-2012 4:37 pm

      That’s a good one, Megan! Let me add a bit more explanation to it so to help other readers too:

      nǎozi jìnshuǐ le
      (water being injected into brain so brain can’t work well – are you out of your mind?)

      Thanks Megan!



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