In the comments section of Miracle Mandarin’ Facebook there is a message from a foreign follower called Jessica. “What is the meaning of 萌(méng)? Does it mean ‘cute’?” Today we’ll talk about the question of 萌.’
The initial meaning of 萌 was 萌生(come into being, arise; produce), i.e.产生 (to produce). For example: ‘This film produced in me the idea of going to Tibet to have a look.’ There is also the word 萌芽 (sprout, bud), which means: the seed of a plant has broken the ground and sprouted, a seedling has sprouted.
And there is a big difference between Asian and western girls. The style of dress and appearance of the fiften to sixteen year-old girls was quite mature and some of them even used make-up. If Chinese met girls like this on the street, most of them would consider them already to be adults. When as in China, even if they were university students or young people that had just come onto the job market, they would rarely do themselves up in such an adult style. In China, Japan and Korea, regardless of whether male or female, it is felt that women that look young and cute are the most attractive so women in these countries will do their make-up in a young style also representing sweetness and to look as cute as possible.
With this background, the modern meaning of to have 萌 is: ‘cute’. The first occurrence of this was in Japanese comic in which female characters were described as 萌. We can also say ‘she is extremely 萌’ (‘she is ‘cute’ in the extreme). Later this was also used to describe animals, e.g. ‘Giraffes are cute.’ ‘I find pandas cute as.’ In these sentences it functions as an adjective.
How do Chinese people use “萌”
to act cute