囧(jiǒng) has been described as one of the “most popular single Chinese characters of the 21st century”. When you first see the character 囧(jiǒng), do you think it looks like an emoticon? So our word of the week is 囧 – ’embarrassed’.

Pronunciation

囧 is pronounced jiǒng.

Meaning

囧(jiǒng), the original meaning was “bright” in ancient times, but in modern China 囧 is used as a slang term meaning embarrassed. It’s not hard to see that 囧(jiǒng) looks like a face: the 八(bā) can be seen as a person’s eyes, and the lower part, which looks like a mouth, 口(kǒu).

Examples

人在囧途 (rén zài jiǒng tú)
Meaning: Person in an embarrassing way.

囧人(jiǒng rén)
Meaning: Refers to a person in an embarrassing situation.

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