I remember that my dad used this occasionally when he was arguing with my mom. Google translate just returns smelly rock, but I know it's gotta be some sort of slang, as whenever my dad said it, my mom would get really upset. Point of note: my dad's from southern China, and my mom's from Shanghai, so it might be some sort of region specific slang. I've already tried Wikipedia with Mandarin Profanity and languagerealm.com. Unfortunately, I can't read Chinese, otherwise I'd look on Baidu.

Edit to clarify my question in response to comments: The pinyin is chòu shítou. 臭石头 could be homophomic with another character, though I remember that Mom always would say (in English) that he was calling her a stinky rock; she also said that he would call her things in Chinese that he wouldn't dare say in English, cuz then my brother and I would understand (hence why I think it was some sort of profanity). He would say something along the lines of "你是一个臭石头". Google translate returns smelly rock, and while it's definitely wrong, another thing that's smelly and hard is feces, so he could've been calling her feces/shit, though if that's the case, he could've just stuck with the other profanity he was using (some of which I did find in the Mandarin profanity of Wikipedia). Of note, I could also be a little biased now cuz I'm a lot more used to profanity than I was as a high schooler.

Also, it is possible that it was 臭屎头 (smelly feces head?), but I'm pretty certain that it was 臭石头.

  • 1
    The only thing I can guess is 茅坑里的石头--又臭又硬.
    – user4072
    Apr 24, 2018 at 3:35
  • Are you definitely sure it's 石头 and not something else? Although 堵塞化粪池的臭石头 does seem to be fairly common, as well as the xiehouyu songyuanyao mentioned above.
    – Mou某
    Apr 24, 2018 at 5:29
  • I've never heard of this term, the only related thing I can come up with is what songyuanyao said, the xiehouyu "茅坑里的石头--又臭又硬". But that just means "being stubborn" and is actually not that offensive. Apr 24, 2018 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


I've heard way worse when my mum and dad were arguing hahaha. I'm not sure if it is indeed what i think it is, but if it is, it's kinda cute and not that bad. Here is my guess:

Saying one person is like a rock when arguing is simply comparing that person to a rock, and why a rock you ask? Well, you can't win an argument with a rock, rock don't listen, rock don't change, rock never compromise because "it doesn't move". It's basically saying, "You are so stubborn!!".

Now why the term 臭 infront then? It's because if you just say ”你是一个石头“, it misses some "flavour" (See what i did there haha), your dad is just trying to show your mum who the boss is haha. Here is what I mean by that.

你是一个石头(You are a rock!!), flat, no emotions at all.

你是一个臭石头(You are a stinky rock!!), see how it portrays emotions better by simply adding the word "stinky"? It's just the way it sounds sometimes, as Chinese is a tonal language so the same sentence on paper might not mean the same when spoken

Again, this is my best guess, it could be a stronger word in different dialects.


If it's any use ...

I watched a Chinese series recently and they often used the expression 臭小子.

It literally means ''stinky little one'' but in context it clearly meant ''you little pup/git/rascal/etc '' or ''you sneaky little fox''.

It was always used as a kind of playful insult or to express that the insultee got the better of the insulter somehow.

I suspect that 臭石头 carries a similar meaning and usage.

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