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6 Vietnamese Slang Words in the South Through Illustrations

ABROADER November 04, 2022 4 minute read

How to become 100% Vietnamese? Try learning these interesting top 6 Vietnamese slang words in the South to make a huge impression! Let’s hop on!

For international students, there are different aspects of doing an internship in Vietnam other than gaining professional experience in your field. Once you are traveling to a new country, you want to absorb yourself in as much of the culture as possible. You might want to make friends with many locals and have simple conversations in their language. But how do you do that? Do you know that the most effective way to strike up a conversation anywhere is to know their slang? Today we are going to show you some interesting slang in Vietnamese through illustrations. We think they may help you impress the locals!

All Illustration Credits go to Saigoneer.

Lên Dĩa

“Len dia” is another universal phrase spoken from schools to offices which often means to be put into a nerve-wracking situation or any situation that the speaker doesn’t like to be in. School students use it when they are about to enter a quiz or an exam and for office workers, this often means they are about to go into a monthly evaluation meeting.

Bánh Bèo

“Bánh bèo” is a popular phrase among young people in Vietnam. We use this word to describe a girl who is basic, typical of gender stereotypes, and does not possess much personality. This slang is mainly used among close friends and in a joking manner. Sometimes people would just use “Bánh bèo” to refer to all women and if done right, the usage wouldn’t come across as being offensive.

Bá cháy bọ chét

This is the ultimate favorite slang, especially by middle-aged Vietnamese men. “Bá cháy bọ chét” (literal meaning: awesome flea) is slang used to describe when something is really really awesome. Or you can imagine saying in English something like “awesome possum”.

And how about a “bá cháy bọ chét” internship in Vietnam like our international friends had made?

Kỳ đà

So you are on a date with a Vietnamese girl when you suddenly come across another friend you both know and he/she started talking continuously and asked you two out for a meal. How do you call this person in Vietnamese? “Kỳ đà” literally means a “lizard”. It is also often used in a situation where a person is nosy, uninvited, and makes a particular situation worse.

Đi bão

This slang originated from Vietnamese people’s nationalism and their endless passion for football (American soccer). During the peak football seasons, you will hear people telling each other to “Đi bão” if their favorite team wins, this often means that they will have a celebration with motorbikes racing around the city. And brace yourself if any chance while you are here that the national team wins, there is going to be a legit celebration all around.

And it’s how we “Đi bão”

Đi húi cua

Finally, it is a very simple word, “Đi húi cua” which means to go have a haircut.

Above all, do you enjoy our collection of Vietnamese slang? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more articles like this. And come to Vietnam to use these interesting words with customized in-person internships and study abroad in Vietnam!

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