Funny Chinese-English Cross-Language Puns in Taiwan!


In Singapore, English has been absorbed with local languages in the very creative Singlish form of speaking. In Taiwan, English has not been so completed absorbed and mixed but there are many English words that are used in cross-language puns. It’s often even used in official messaging so that the public gets a laugh and remembers the official message.

What’s quite common in recent years is the funny use of the word “Bear“.

Do you know what “有 bear 来” refers to?

Yes! It is derived from the Chinese chengyu “有备而来(yǒu bèi ér lái)“, which means to be well-prepared.  The English word “bear” sounds like the Chinese word “备” (bèi) and it’s used in the above official banner with a bear to warm people to be careful and well-prepared for disasters.



Let’s take a look at a few of the most common cross-language puns in Taiwan! Are you ready for the delightful cheesiness?

Example 1


( xī xuè guǐ chī là ma? )

Do vampires eat spicy food?


The answer is NO because vampires always say ” BLOOD! ” which sounds like ” 不辣的(Bú là de) “!

Example 2


( zhū, gǒu shì shén me yánsè? )

What color are pigs and dogs?


The answer is BLUE because the Chinese chengyu ” 猪狗不如(zhū gǒu bù rú)” sounds like ” 猪狗 blue “!

Q : Do you know what else is BLUE?

A : Knives and guns!

Because of the Chinese chengyu ” 刀枪不入(dāo qiāng bú rù).”

Dim Sum Warriors paid members can watch the video below to know more about the meanings, usages, and historical stories behind the chengyu:

刀枪不入 dāo qiāng bú rù

Note: It’s a members-only content so be sure to log in before watching.

Example 3


Q:Tony 出门要带什么??

( Tony chū mén yào dài shén me? )

What does Tony take with him when he goes out?


The answer is WATER because ” 拖泥(Tuō ní)” in the Chinese chengyu ” 拖泥带水(tuō ní dài shuǐ)” sounds like ” Tony ” and ” 带水(dài shuǐ)” means to take water with him.

Example 4


Q:为什么 Alexandar 压力很大?

( wèi shén me Alexandar yā lì hěn dà? )

Why is Alexandar under so much pressure?



A:Because the Chinese chengyu ” 压力山大(yā lì shān dà)” sounds like ” Alexander “and the idiom describes someone who is very stressed. 

Do you have more yummy, funny, cheesy Chinese-English puns? Did you create your own?

Please share your Chinese-English cross language puns with us on IG @dimsumwarriors

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