Euphemism and necessity are the mothers of invention in language. It should be no surprise that a lot of new Chinese words for relationships describe homosexual pairings and digital friendships.

基友

Jīyŏu

Jīyŏu (基友) is the latest Chinese euphemism to describe homosexual relationships or to poke fun at two male friends who are just a little too close.

Homosexuality has become a prominent topic in many years, and many netizens use the euphemism găojī (搞基) to describe homosexual men. The jī sounds similar to the Cantonese pronunciation of “gay.”

拉友

Lāyŏu

As you might expect, lāyŏu (拉友) has a similar meaning to jīyŏu. The term describes love between two girls.

Lā comes from the English word Lesbian. A single lesbian woman is a léisībiān (蕾丝边) and a lesbian couple is a lāyŏu.

点赞之交

Dĭanzàn Zhī Jiāo

Use of the term dĭanzàn (点赞) coincides with WeChat’s rise to become China’s dominant social networking app. Dĭanzàn zhī jiāo (点赞之交) describes friends whose relationship is mostly confined to WeChat: it describes two people who “Like” each other’s posts even when they barely know each other.

Diao Jiayi

About Diao Jiayi

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Diao Diao is a tomboy whose head is full of weird ideas. She's a little lazy, but she loves life and her family and is always up for a challenge.

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