Essential Chinese: Frappuccino

I recently learned that xing bing le  is Chinese for Starbucks’ frappuccino. This is pretty exciting because I recognize each character from another context, so I feel like I actually understand the whole, as language and branding, not just as sounds to memorize and repeat.

Xing is the first character in the Chinese word for Starbucks, 星巴克. Starbucks has combined meaning and pronunciation in their Chinese name, so xing is the word for star, and the rest of the name is phoenetic.

Bing means ice, like in my beloved bing ka fe.  For drinks it means cold. You order an ice water to get a cold water. (Or a colder water… the Chinese consider cold drinks unhealthy, so half the time a bing shui means a not-actually-steaming water.)

Le means happiness, like in Xin Nian Kwai Le, Happy New Year.

星冰乐.  Starbucks’ Ice Happiness. Pretty accurate name for a frozen coffee drink in a Yangzhou summer.

This entry was posted in Yangzhou and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *