Embarassing Underwear Story

During the winters in China, it is very common (almost necessary) to wear long johns or long underwear. Being a foreigner, I’m not used to wearing long johns, but there was one day when the weather was as cold as -20 C. It would have been crazy not to have been wearing long underwear that day, and indeed I was crazy enough not to. I was even keen enough to tell my Chinese friends this. Funny enough, instead of telling them that I wasn’t wearing long johns, I had informed them that I wasn’t wearing any underwear.


A common mistake by foreigners is to call long underwear “nèikù” (内裤), which in Chinese actually means “underwear”. The right term to use is “qiūkù” (秋裤)。As a foreigner speaking to a local the Chinese, it is quite embarrassing but common to tell him/her that you’re not wearing any underwear. Even more embarrassing is to ask your Chinese friends whether or not they’re wearing underwear!! Don’t make this same embarrassing mistake!

  • http://forums.developerone.com/member.php?u=41739 Ex Girlfiend

    Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is a lot more than I expected for when I stumpled upon a link on SU telling that the info is quite decent. Thanks.

  • Jengo

    This reminds me of the time I was getting out a cab in Beijing and told the driver that I would wait for the receipt. I said “maipiaor”, when I should have said “fapiao”. What I actually said was that I would wait for the oatmeal.

    Good thing the driver didn’t have a hotplate handy!