Words of the Week: Fart Folk Suffer System’s Mistakes

Words of the Week: Fart Folk Suffer System’s Mistakes

The  comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens or encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.

tǐ kuī pì sī 体亏屁思

Short for “It’s all the system’s fault, but the fart people are the ones who suffer; I can’t help but obsess over this” (dōu shì tǐzhì de cuò, chīkuī de shì pìmín, wǒ bùjīn xiànrù le chénsī 都是体制的错,吃亏的是屁民,我不禁陷入了沉思). Often used alongside the abbreviated phrase society’s sickness, my medicine.

The “system” in this case can refer to the government, institutions, or society—any large system whose flaws create inequality or injustice.

Wusiyingnianbabaxiluopu (@吾思英年巴巴西洛普): Lately there’s been a bit more of “ suffering the system’s mistakes.” I’m afraid that middle-aged folks, faced with a status quo they can’t stand, will come to realize they are powerless to change or choose it, and that they’ll become Mao fans, or… Aiya, the little birds outside are singing so happily. (May 5, 2016)


Can’t get enough of subversive Chinese netspeak? Check out “Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang,” our ebook of dozens of new terms and classic catchphrases, presented in a new, image-rich format. Available for pay-what-you-want (including nothing). All proceeds support CDT.

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.