In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (~13m45s), after not immediately getting her way about her room 文佳佳 yells at Frank who is helping her with her luggage:

photo of my TV
(Alternative image link.)

你就是个托 我算是看清楚了

It means "you are a 托" and is some kind of insult, but I don't know what means in this context. It makes no sense to me (maybe it's related to 衬托). The CC-CEDICT definitions are:

prop / support (for weight) / rest (e.g. arm rest) / thanks to / to hold in one's hand / to support in one's palm / to give / to base / to commit / to set / torr (unit of pressure)
to trust / to entrust / to be entrusted with / to act as trustee

Question: What does 你就是个托 mean in this context?

  • 托 is a noun here. It's often been 儿化. This dictionary definition helps: 帮助行骗者诱人上当的人 E. g. 他是个托儿。
    – dan
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 4:05
  • Perhaps, its English equivalent can be a 'shill'? Hope English speakers can help to confirm it or suggest another alternative words or phrases. Thanks!
    – dan
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 4:13
  • 1
    Not native speaker but I believe shill is accurate. You can also say that person is a decoy, or they are hired/paid.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 5:47

2 Answers 2


"托" is a verb, meaning "perform intermediary, agency-like activity as the third party". For example, "我想托你办事" means "I want you to perform intermediary activity for me, solving my issues". In china, the third-party agency or intermediary amounted a negative reputation for often exploiting both sides by making use of information asymmetry.

"托儿", aka 托er, is a derogatory noun for someone who performs agency activities. Usually, the "托儿" pretends to be a neutral third-party (without COI) to build buyer's trust, but what he actually does is to help the merchants to sell below-standard merchandise to the buyers.

In your specific case, Tang Wei thought Xiubo was her friend, but later she was unsatisfied, therefore thinking Xiubo as a for-profit agency who exploits her ignorance.


In this context, "托" means the person who pretend to involve an activity or to support someone to perform a scam typically. It is related to 衬托, but derogatory sense only.

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