Continuing the trend of Chinese netspeak terms that are borrowed in from other languages, this week we have another three words that don’t entirely match up to their original meanings.
Kòng (控) is borrowed from “kon” (コン), the Japanese abbreviation of the English “complex.” As you might expect, it denotes a psychological fixation.
Creepy Lolita complexes aside, the character is most used in Chinese to describe an uncle complex, or dàshū kòng (大叔控). There’s no shortage of single 20-something women looking for a boyfriend who is 10 to 20 years their senior.
The character hā (哈) has long been used to represent laughter in Chinese text, but today it’s finding new use as a verb.
Fans of Korean and Japanese drama series often say they hāhán (哈韩) or hārì (哈日) to express their enthusiasm for the countries’ culture. People also say “I don’t hā ___” (我不哈__) to express their disinterest in a subject.
Orz, another Japanese borrowing, has less to do with letters than shape.
The combination looks something like a man kneeling down to kowtow, with the “O” as the head, the “r” as the arms and the “z” as the legs.
But today, “Orz” is less about admiration than showing your disbelief at the discovery of something truly ridiculous.