神马都是浮云

神马都是浮云 (shénmǎ dōu shì fúyún)is a Chinese phrase I learnt yesterday which means something like “everything is fleeting / transient” or “nothing is permanent”. The 神马 part is internet slang for 什么 (shénme) = what, and 浮云 [浮雲] (fúyún) means floating clouds, fleeting, transient. This is apparently a popular phrase in China at the moment, particularly online.

Another phrase that’s popular online at the moment is 有木有 (you mùyou) instead of 有没有 (yǒu méiyǒu) = “have not have” – this is a typical form of question in Mandarin Chinese. For example, 你有没有时间? (nǐ yǒu méiyǒu shíjiān?) = Do you have time? If you translate such questions literally into English they can sound rude – “You have not have time?” or “You have time or not?”, but this is fine in Chinese.

Sources:
http://www.mdbg.net
http://baike.baidu.com/view/4531752.htm
http://baike.baidu.com/view/5347838.htm

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This entry was posted in Chinese, Language, Words and phrases.

3 Responses to 神马都是浮云

  1. Weili says:

    “For example, 你有没有钱? (nǐ yǒu méiyǒu shíjiān?) = Do you have time?”

    Seems like you were actually thinking about money ;) But then again time is money ;)

  2. Simon says:

    Oops! I’ve corrected that now.

  3. Alex Moen says:

    I recently came across the mu thing as well. Apparently the different words or sounds other Chinese dialects use are found to be funny to those who speak Mandarin. I believe a commercial also helped make this phrase popular.