Chinese Urban Dictionary: Nixi

By Mia Li, March 15, 2017

1 0

Nixi / nìxí / 逆袭 n. a vengeful comeback; v. to defeat those who defeated you, to strike back.

A. Why does that bureau official look so familiar?

B. He went to high school with us!

A. Oh my God, is he who I think he is? He was failing every class and almost didn't graduate.

B. Well he nixi-ed on us, and he’s now in charge of trillions of yuan.

Some people say that life isn’t a competition. That’s only because they are winning. At high school reunions you often realize that your old classmates make more money than you do, have better-looking spouses than you do, and are raising smarter kids than you are. 

You feel defeated. You start to fantasize about appearing at the next reunion looking better than ever, successful enough to ‘one-up’ your former classmates and win back their respect. 

Nixi is exactly such a scenario. It’s when you turn defeat into victory, pity into respect. You regain all the face you've lost – and then some. It’s when whoever doubted or looked down on you must concede that they were wrong. Nixi is the moment when the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan.

Nixi is, therefore, one of the sweetest feelings. It is little wonder that a whole genre of fiction has been dedicated to the phenomenon and its ability to make you feel vindicated. Disgruntled ex-employees love to fantasize about buying the company they used to work at and firing the boss. Ex-boyfriends love to read about coming back to – and then dumping – their ex-girlfriends. 

Fantasy aside, the Internet is filled with advice on how to pull off a nixi – how to nixi your exes, your boss, your business rivals or even childhood friends. It usually involves having plastic surgery, doing Crossfit, taking over a company or winning the lottery. (Watching a lot of TED talks is somehow a good first step.)

Those who pull off nixi are worshipped, their legends spread far and wide. People love to talk about how Jack Ma nixi-ed on his school teachers who didn’t believe in him, or how Angelababy’s childhood friends thought that she wasn’t pretty enough to become a pop star. 

In truth, most attempts to nixi will fail, and we will continue being pathetic the way we are. But it serves as a source of hope – a beacon in the dark sea of self-improvement. Remember: When all else fails, we will always have TED talks.


Read more Chinese Urban Dictionary

more news

Chinese Urban Dictionary: RongGeng

Ronggeng is the act of re-purposing other people’s fun language into your own to seem more charismatic.

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Yunv Wugua

Literally meaning “rain girl has no melons,” the phrase makes little sense – who is rain girl and why doesn’t she have any melons?

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Zhuxin

Sometimes, when you make an offhand comment or are just thinking out loud, a certain type of person assumes that you mean things you don’t, or goes hunting for the ‘hidden motives.’

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Renshe

That person you see yourself as on social media is called renshe, which means "character design."

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Anli

Welcome to the hyper-corporate and hyper-consumerist China, where names of international conglomerates and their business models are everyday verbs.

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Qiushengyu

We all know that the best way to make a person prove his or her love for you is to torture them.

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Gaojihei

Conversation is the playground of the wits and your gaojihei game will keep your audience on their toes.

Chinese Urban Dictionary: Fengkou

From Jack Ma to Elon Musk, everyone is looking for the next fengkou.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives