Patting the Horse’s Ass – How to Call Someone a Kiss-Ass in Chinese

In English “kiss ass” is a great way to describe someone who likes to suck up to other people. In Chinese the equivalent phrase involves patting a horse’s ass, so while the Chinese version isn’t as disgusting it still involves ass, just with less kissing.

拍馬屁(拍马屁)

Pinyin: pāi mǎ pì
English: to kiss ass; to suck up

Here’s a couple of examples that show how to use this verb:

大家都不喜歡拍馬屁的人(大家都不喜欢拍马屁的人)
dàjiā dōu bù xǐhuan pāimǎpì de rén
No one likes people who kiss ass

他很愛他老闆的馬屁(他很爱拍他老板的马屁)
tā hěn ài pāi tā lǎobǎn de mǎ pì
He really loves sucking up to his boss

In the example above the boss figure could be replaced by anyone, the structure being: 拍 (someone) 的马屁, for instance 拍他老师的马屁 “sucking up to his teacher”.

Here’s the noun, for when you straight up need to call someone an ass kisser.

馬屁精(马屁精)

Pinyin: mǎ pì jīng
English: a kiss ass, a suck up, a boot licker

你真是個馬屁精(你真是个马屁精
nǐ zhēnshi gè mǎpìjīng
You’re a real kiss-ass

老闆的身邊總是圍繞著馬屁精(老板的身边总是围绕着马屁精
lǎobǎn de shēnbiān zǒng shì wéiràozhe mǎpìjīng
Bosses are always surrounded by boot lickers

For further reading check out this article about 拍馬屁 Culture.

Image above by Taiwan’s 彎彎.