Continuing the series on Taiwanese slang that uses letters of the English alphabet in this post we’ll look at the letter ‘A’. The examples below are in common usage in Taiwan, and you’ll hear them all over the place, so have fun and enjoy using them. If you missed the post on the letter ‘K’ then go back and check it out after reading this.
To ‘A’ something means to steal it, and you use ‘A’ exactly like the Chinese word 偷 (tōu) “steal”. I wasn’t able to find the exact source of this usage, all I can gather is that it comes from Taiwanese – if you know more please post a comment below.
Zāogāo! Yǒurén A’le wǒ de jīchē
Crap! Someone stole my scooter
Here’s an example from a recent Taiwanese newspaper that uses ‘A’ to say that someone stole money:
郭力恆Ａ百億 難追回 (郭力恒Ａ百亿 难追回)
Guōlìhéng A bǎi yì nán zhuī huí
Guo Li Heng stole billions, difficult to recover
Barney also puts it well in this episode of The Simpsons:
Rúguǒ nǐ gěi wǒmen duō yīdiǎn de xīnshuǐ, wǒmen gēnběn jiù bùyòng A’dōngxī
If you paid us more (wages), we wouldn’t have to steal stuff.
The ‘A’ here stands for ‘Adult’ video. This is a noun so you can use it just like you would 電影 (电影) diànyǐng ‘movie’:
Wǒmen lái kàn A piàn ba
Let’s watch a porno movie
Fake or defective goods, but still of a high quality
The A here means fake goods that are of a good quality and commonly refers to fake designer hand bags which are very popular here, or fake jewellery.
A’huò de Rolex shǒubiǎo hěn pǔbiàn
Fake Rolex watches are really common
Yīnwèi wǒ méi qián mǎi míngpái de bāobāo, suǒyǐ wǒ jiù mǎile A’huò de
I haven’t got enough money for a designer bag, so I bought a fake one
You can also use B貨 and C貨 to refer to fake goods that are of lower quality.
If you know of any other uses if ‘A’ in Chinese then share them with us by posting below in the comments.