What will happen after Double 11?

Cutting ones hand off and eating dirt.

双十一(shuāng shīyī, The double eleven festival) is coming up. Every year on this day Chinese people will shop online like crazy. 


When you surf the web during this period you’ll definitely see two words 剁手 (duòshǒu, cutting ones hands off) and 吃土 (chītǔ, eating dirt).


What does it mean by 剁手? Some people are addicted to shopping, especially during shopping festivals. They often spend a lot of time and money buying unnecessary things. When they calm down they will regret their choices and say:

Zài mǎi jiù duòshǒu!
If I buy anything again I will cut off my hand!


They will off course not cut their hands off, and the same thing will most likely occur over and over. People who spend a lot of time shopping and claim that will cut off their hands are called 剁手党 (duòshǒu dǎng, cutting-hand party)

吃土 (chī tǔ, Eating dirt) means a person is so poor he has no money to buy food and instead has to eat dirt. 


Many young people, especially students and those who have just started to work, will spend all their money on shopping. They have to live frugally throughout the upcoming months. Therefore you will see people talking online, saying

Zhège yuè yòu yào chītǔ le.
I’ll have to eat dirt this month.

Dōu bié yuē wǒ chūqù chīfàn, cóng jīntiān kāishǐ wǒ gǎi chītǔ.
Don’t ask me to go out to have dinner, I’ll have to start eating dirt from now on.

Some people will even call themselves 吃土少年 (chītǔ shàonián, dirt eating boy) or 吃土少女 (chītǔ shàonǚ, dirt eating girl) as a joke.

How many items do you have in your Taobao shopping cart this double eleven festival? Are you ready to cut off your hand or eat dirt?

Alice writes columns for the GoEast Blog on studying Chinese and Chinese language. She completed her MA in Chinese language and literature at Nankai University.