Pimp My Characters: 衚衕, 666 and 爆改


Photo by Ivan Walsh, licensed under Creative Commons

Saw a cute variant of 「胡同」 (hutongs – traditional Beijing alleys) in a news article that caught my eye:


The headline translates to:

“Beijing Hutongs are too rustic, a group of foreigners spent four years pimping out a spicy soup shop, a butcher’s and a traditional board games room… the results were amazing”

I thought the use of 「爆改」(bao4gai3) as an equivalent to “pimp” as in “pimp my ride” was interesting, as well as the use of the slang term 「666」(liu4liu4liu4), used to stand in for 「溜溜溜」(liu1liu1liu1). Although 「溜」 is conventionally used for “skating” or “slippy”, here it’s used as slang for “with great and practiced skill”.

The news article has pictures of the designs here if you’re interested.

1 thought on “Pimp My Characters: 衚衕, 666 and 爆改

  1. 1.衚衕must be used for a while for the characters are able to type on iPad. By the way why people in Taipe call “iPad” as ” I pay”, and apple ” April”? You must be able to help.

    2. As your used of slang “pimp” is not translated by Google translate in Chinese, but vaguely in Japanese translation. Therefore, I cannot totally grasp the meaning.

    3. There are some fun in Chinese letters/characters to play with but I totally disagree with certain scholars as saying “It is the best in the world for writing/communication”.

    4. Refer to 衚衕,it put the “form” radical for better clarification of meaning, meanwhile it reverses the trend for simplification.

    5. Lately I spent time to research in a group of characters, ie 欲丶浴、裕。I am not able to point out the radical “谷” is a sound or a “form” (such as a box, bowl or a tub 口 、公) of utensils with extra strokes.


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