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'Small target' among 2016's top Chinese words and phrases

By Xing Yi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-22 09:40

The year's top Chinese words, catchphrases and internet buzzwords were released jointly by National Language Monitor and Study Center, Commercial Press and People.cn in Beijing on Dec 20.

The word of the year in China is gui (规), meaning rules and regulations, and the word bian (变), meaning change, is chosen as the representative character for world affairs, according to the list makers.

Top catchphrases include xiao mubiao (small target, 小目标), now a sarcastic expression originating from the advice to the young given by China's richest businessman Wang Jianlin in August, who said, "You shouldn't be that ambitious. Set a small target first, like earning 100 million yuan ($15 million)."

(Read more: Advice of China's richest man goes viral)

Another phrase honghuang zhi li (洪荒之力), meaning one's full strength and energy, went viral on internet when it had been used by Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui in an interview during the Rio Olympics, saying that she had tried her best and was satisfied with the results in an exaggerating tone.

(Read more: Why power of honghuang drove netizens crazy?)

Internet memes as well as big events in world news also hit the list, translated as "the small boat of our friendship" (友谊的小船), "to slouch down like Ge You"(葛优瘫), US Presidential election, and South Korea's presidential scandal.

More than 10,000 words and phrases were nominated in November, and received 5.87 million votes from netizens.

Around 20 experts from universities, media and publishing houses participated in choosing the top words.

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