For 錢應該花在刀口上。刀口…… and spending money. How is spending money related to 刀口?

  • 1
    刀口 bkrs: fig。the most important place (edge in relation to knife) 2) 比喻十分紧要或危险的地方。 如:「钱要花在刀口上,才不会随便浪费!」、「我再也不要过这种刀口上舔血的日子了!」1) blade/edge of a knife 2) crucial point 3) cut; incision 4) occasion on which money can be spent to advantage 把劲儿使在刀口上 bring efforts to bear on the right spot 钱要花在刀口上 4) [where it's needed most; the crucial point; right place where sth can be put to the best use]∶最需要的地方 – user6065 Apr 24 '17 at 19:59

Look here: http://www.zdic.net/c/0/3f/99108.htm

刀口 means the right spot 花 means spend

钱要花在刀口上 You should spend/use your money where it is most needed.


"钱要花在刀口上" is derived from a saying "力量集中在刀刃上"(Use your strength on the blade). Then become a saying "**花到刀刃(口)上". => Use your ** on the needed/right spot.


After some more research, I found out a reason why that phrase can make sense. There is a saying:



When you have high quality steel, use it to make the blade of the sword

then "錢應該花在刀口上" is a variant of the saying above. Maybe it can mean, when you have limited money to improve a sword, spend it on the sword's blade (instead of on the handle or on the scabbard).


There is another idiom in Chinese culture:


Literally, it means one spend one dollar as two dollars. It is usually used to describe that kind of people who are shrewd in money matters。

So,I think the connection between money and 刀口 is because if you intend to 一分钱当两分钱花, then you have to cut one dollar into halves.

By the way, we usually say 刀刃 rather than 刀口。 But the two words have basically the same meaning.


In this sentence 刀口 doesn't means real blade, it means important things or right things.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.