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Cantonese Slang of the Week: Guanyin's Soldiers

By Jenny Leung 15 February 2019

Made-up vocabulary only known 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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canto slang guanyin soldiers

Guanyin's Soldiers | "Kwun Yum Bing"

Valentine’s Day – either you love it, or hate it. And for Guanyin’s Soldiers, February 14 is definitely a busy day.

As you may or may not know, Guanyin (pronounced ‘kwun yum’ in Cantonese) is known as the Goddess of Mercy in Chinese folklore, but in modern terms, Guanyin is used to describe attractive women whose beauty is so overwhelming that they exude a goddess-like ora. With this in mind, let’s move on to the soldiers, or in Cantonese, ‘bing’. Different from how we normally perceive soldiers to be, Guanyin’s soldiers are not as heroic as you might think. In fact, this term is (usually) given to men who are willing to do everything in their power to please, worship, and even sacrifice themselves for the girl of their dreams, or in this case, their Guanyin – all in the hope that one day, their goddess will notice them and acknowledge them as a potential suitor. Awww.

Read more! Discover more funny stories about Hong Kong on Localiiz.

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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.