Most popular words of Chinese netizens [1]

杯具 (bei ju)Cups of Tragedy/bitter cups

The word 杯具(pronounced as beiju, means cups originally)is used by Chinese netizens quite often last year, especially when something bad happens.

The origin of the saying comes from a scene in a lectural programme of CCTV10, a professor said 悲剧 with an exaggerating facial expression. Soon, a picture with this facial expression and the subtitle 悲剧 on it has been widely spread among the netizens.


Initially, it is very likely that someone on the web typed 悲剧 into 杯具 by mistake. The word 悲剧 truly means tragedy and it has the same pronunciation as 杯具.

For unknown reason, the misspelling is loved by Chinese netizens and becomes more popular to say when the correct word is expected. Finally the word 杯具 has been endowed with the meaning of tragedy, and mixed with its original meaning of cups, turned into a phenomenon.

Now when something bad happens, Chinese netizens will say 杯具。

The pinyin input method is widely accepted in China. If you want to type some Chinese charactor by pinyin, the first step is to input its pinyin( its pronunciation), then to select among the options that match it. So a mistake such as 杯具 is able to get its soil to grow and bloom.



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