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Cantonese Slang of the Week: Buddha-type

By Jenny Leung 3 January 2019 | Last Updated 28 December 2020

Made-up vocabulary known only to locals, words that consist of a mix of both English and Chinese, and double-entendres that make absolutely no sense—these are just a few of the things that make Cantonese one of the hardest languages to learn. So, we thought it was about time we gave you folks a quick lesson on some funny terminology, common phrases, and the latest Internet slang. We guarantee it will score you a few extra points with the locals!

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Buddha-type: 佛系 (fat6 hai6)

One of the most popular slang phrases of 2018 was “Buddha-type,” which means that you are calm, relaxed, and just all-round zen in general—much like the almighty Buddha himself. Getting pushed around on the train? Not a problem. Someone taking a long time to pay in front of you? That’s ok, you can wait. Your best friend fighting with you over a guy or girl? Meh, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. A Buddha-type person is spiritually so far above us that nothing ever fazes them. Not a bad attitude to take on the new year, we reckon.

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Jenny Leung

Senior editor

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.