Want China Times briefs English-speakers on a self-deprecating Chinese buzzword making waves on the internet this year:
The term “diao si” (屌絲) has been a buzzword among China’s internet community since the start of the year, with everyone from the hi-tech elite to white-collar workers and celebrities all referring to themselves by the word. So what does “diao si” mean and why has it become a cultural phenomenon?
[…] the word “diao si” was first coined by single, young men who feel they lead dead-end lives. They call themselves “diao si” because they feel they are at the lowest echelon of society.
Young Chinese have been trying to cope with the existential changes that their country’s economic shift has brought. They have lost their ability to communicate, their lifestyle, their drive and their enthusiasm for life. Under these circumstances, “diao si” is an accurate term for self-mockery.