Chinese Urban Dictionary: 666

By Mia Li, May 15, 2019

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666, adv.very proficient in a skill; a task done extremely well.

A. Little Zhang just asked out the prettiest girl in the office and she said yes.

B. Wow. 666.

A. More like 666666.

Imagine you are playing an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) and your teammate just made a beautiful kill that saved your life. Your manners demand that you say thank you to your teammate. Can you type out ‘well done’? No! That’d take more seconds than you have right now because you are still in battle! Instead you press the number 6 for a couple of seconds and send out a ‘666.’

Phonetically the same as the character 溜 (liū) that means ‘proficient’ or ‘smooth,’ 666 is the universal online compliment for a task well done in games, an argument well-articulated on online forums, or a sentiment accurately described in the comment section. No need to choose input language or even use more than one key on the keyboard – you’ve commended your comrade and behaved like a community-minded and well-mannered online person. How efficient! 

The more 6s there are, the higher the compliment is. A long string of them means the deed commands such high praises that someone pressed the ‘6’ key for many precious seconds. 

Unlike in the Christian world, where the number 6 is associated with the devil, 6 has a positive connotation in the Chinese language and culture, due to its pronunciation being the same as liū. Things associated with the number 6 are said to always go smoothly. Phone numbers with 6s in them even cost extra at the telecom shops. 

666 can also be used in a self-deprecating way. You type ‘666’ when you clearly screw up, similar to the self-deprecating and sarcastic saying of ‘nailed it.’ 

Remember, the internet is just like a society in that you get what you put in. We should all give each other a compliment once in a while and give credit where it’s due, so that we can all have a good time in the wide cyber world.


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