10 Common Vietnamese Slang Words for Love and Relationship

Vietnamese slangs for Love and Relationship

In this lesson, I’ll give you 10 interesting slang words in Vietnamese that native speakers use to talk about love and relationship.

You will come across these modern slangs on the News articles and on social media, so it would be fun to know and understand these words!

Now each slang will have an example sentence, so you’ll have better a understanding of their meanings and usage.

Now the first 4 words are used to call or describe different types of people.

So let's start!



1. Gấu ⎯⎯⎯ lover

Gấu literally means “bear” the animal, or “teddy bear” the toy, which people also use to call their boyfriend, girlfriend or lover.

The reason why people use the word gấu to call their lover, probably because Teddy bears are the symbol of love and being loved, and that’s why we often give them as presents to express our feelings!

Example:

Mình hay dẫn gấu đi chơi vào cuối tuần
I often take lover out on weekends

Here are some other Vietnamese words that you can use to call your lover:

  • người yêu ⎯⎯⎯ lover
  • bạn gái ⎯⎯⎯ girlfriend
  • bạn trai ⎯⎯⎯ boyfriend

2. Soái ca ⎯⎯⎯ ideal man

You will hear a guy being called soái ca for being this ideal type of man, for example handsome, smart, rich, caring, etc, that every girl dreams of.

The word soái ca is actually a Sino-Vietnamese word borrowed from the Chinese language.

And its meaning is actually gotten from Chinese love stories, where you have this handsome, powerful general, who is also romantic and loving, just like Mr.Perfect!

Example:

“Soái ca” chỉ có ở trong phim
“Ideal men” only exist in movies

To demonstrate, how about a song that titled "Soái ca" with Vietnamese subtitle?


3. Đào mỏ ⎯⎯⎯ gold digger

This word has a literal translation as “to dig mine”.

So can you guess what it refers to?

It’s “gold-digger”!

People would refer to a person being kẻ đào mỏ if he or she is in the relationship just the for money, not for love!

Example:

Cuối cùng cổ mới nhận ra, ảnh là kẻ đào mỏ
In the end she realized, he is a gold-digger

kẻ is a classifier for people, just like the word “người”. But it’s often used to talk about a person who is not highly respected by people or by the speaker

For example:

  • kẻ đào mỏ = gold digger
  • kẻ cắp = thief
  • kẻ thù = enemy

4. Sát gái ⎯⎯⎯ lady-killer

You would say a guy sát gái when he is very good at attracting women, and has his ways to make them fall for him.

We have a similar word in English which is "lady killer”.

Examples:

Ảnh nổi tiếng là kẻ sát gái. Đừng có quen ảnh!
He’s famous for being a lady-killer. Don’t date him!

Ảnh có biệt danh là kẻ sát gái
He is nicknamed the girl killer


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Now the next 6 slangs are verbs that talk about actions.

5. Kết ⎯⎯⎯ to have an interest in someone

When you kết someone, it means that you have an interest, or kinda like that person.

Let’s say you like someone, and you want to ask that person out, you can say something like ...

Example:

Anh kết em rồi. Em muốn đi chơi với anh không?
“I like you. Do you want to go out with me?”

6. Say nắng / Cảm nắng ⎯⎯⎯ to have a crush on someone

They both have the literal translation as “sunstroke” or “heatstroke”.

And the other meaning would be “to have an infatuation with someone” or “to have a crush on someone”.

Examples:

Mình không biết phải làm thế nào. Mình lỡ say nắng cổ rồi
“I don’t know what do to do. I accidentally have a crush on her already”.

Bạn đang yêu hay chỉ là cảm nắng?
Are you in love or just a crush?

In the above example, the word lỡ can be translated as “accidentally” or “not mean to”.

When saying that you [lỡ + do something], it means that you didn’t plan or mean to do it, and there’s nothing that you can do now.

Example:

  • lỡ tới trễ ⎯⎯⎯ not mean to come late
  • lỡ ăn hết ⎯⎯⎯ accidentally eat it all
  • lỡ xài hết ⎯⎯⎯ accidentally spend it all

Here's another song with the same title as our slang! It was pretty popular back in 2017.

This one with English subtitle and Vietnamese lyrics in the description.

7. Thả thính / Rắc thính ⎯⎯⎯ to flirt with someone

When you thả thính or rắc thính someone, it means that you flirt with that person.

Thính is actually a type of spice used in Vietnamese cuisine with "nem" or "gỏi", which we also use as fishing bait

Thả means “to drop” or “to release”, and rắc just means “to sprinkle”.

So in flirting, when you thả thính, it’s like you release your bait to lure people, and just wait for someone to catch it.

Example:

Cổ thích thả tính mấy anh trên mạng
She likes to flirt with guys online

Vietnamese slang - Tha thinh

8. Đổ ⎯⎯⎯ to fall for someone

Đổ literally means “to fall down” or “to collapse”, and the other meaning would be “to fall in love with someone”.

The word đổ often goes with our next slang word ...

9. Cưa / Cua ⎯⎯⎯ to flirt

They have the literal meaning of “to saw”.

Also refer to flirting and trying to make someone fall in love, just like when you saw down a tree and want it to fall down.

Cua is just another way of saying that people use for cưa.

People often use both “cua” and “đổ” in sentences like ...

Examples:

Ảnh cua cổ hoài mà cổ chưa đổ
He keeps flirting with her but she has yet fallen (for him)

Ảnh chưa cưa đổ Mai
He has yet to sweep Mai off her feet

10. Cắm sừng ⎯⎯⎯ to cheat

This word literally means “to stick the horns” or in this case “to cheat on someone”.

Example:

Ảnh vừa bị bạn gái cắm sừng
He just got cheated by the girlfriend

Other Vietnamese words that you can use instead of “cắm sừng” are:

  • lừa dối ⎯⎯⎯ to deceive
  • phản bội ⎯⎯⎯ to betray
  • ngoại tình ⎯⎯⎯ to have an affair

Here's the summary of all the slang words that we've have learned in this article:

  • Gấu ⎯⎯⎯ lover
  • Soái ca ⎯⎯⎯ ideal man
  • Đào mỏ ⎯⎯⎯ gold digger
  • Sát gái ⎯⎯⎯ lady-killer
  • Kết ⎯⎯⎯ to have an interest in someone
  • Say nắng / Cảm nắng ⎯⎯⎯ to have a crush on someone
  • Thả thính / Rắc thính ⎯⎯⎯ to flirt with someone
  • Đổ ⎯⎯⎯ to fall for someone
  • Cưa / Cua ⎯⎯⎯ to flirt
  • Cắm sừng ⎯⎯⎯ to cheat


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