Learn Chinese Word – Chui Niu

In this episode of “Bite the word”, we are going to learn a new word which is related to an animal – 牛. 吹牛 (chuī niú)。“吹”,the first tone, blow; “牛”,the second tone, cattle. “Blow a cow”? Can you blow a cow and let it move? Definitely NO! So, don’t brag! 不要吹牛!


吹牛 (chuī niú)

You may ask: Horses or sheep are heavy too. Why don’t you say ‘blow a horse or a sheep’? Well. Actually,“吹牛” is the abbreviation of “吹牛皮”. “牛皮”means cowhide. In ancient China, people thought cowhide cannot be blown into a round shape, because cowhide is too firm and too big. So if someone say: I can blow a cowhide, he must be bragging. In Chinese, we use “吹牛” or “吹牛皮” to describe a man who always talks big regardless of reality.


Dialogue 1

wǒ yǒu shì jiè shànɡ zuì hǎo de qì chē.

A: 我有世界上最好的汽车。

I have the best car in the world.


bié chuī niú le , kuài qù xiū chē bɑ !

B: 别吹牛了,快去修车吧!

Don’t brag. Your car is waiting for you to repair!



Dialogue 2

Linda shuō tā de nán pénɡ you hěn shuài

A: Linda说她的男朋友很帅。

Linda said her boyfriend is very handsome.


 tā jiù ài chuī niú , tā ɡēn běn méi yǒu nán pénɡ you !

B: 她就爱吹牛,她根本没有男朋友!

She is very good at bragging. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend!


Video explanation:

If you have any questions about 吹牛, tell us in the comments. If you want to learn more video lessons, visit our youtube Chinese lessons. MeetMandarin YouTube Channel brings you practical and fun Chinese lessons. You can find videos of different levels about Chinese pronunciation, grammar words and more!


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