The Cantonese expression 憎人富貴厭人貧/窮 (hate the rich, discriminate the poor) illustrated a mentality that is considered unhealthy. I am trying to find a simple description of this attitude

I came up with

小人心態 (petty-minded/ small-minded)

自大自卑 (arrogant and with low self-esteem)

So, the detailed description of 憎人富貴厭人貧/窮 would be 自大自卑的小人心態 (a pretty-minded, arrogant and low self-esteem mindset)

自大自卑的小人心態 sounds very wordy. is there a simpler term for it in Chinese or English?

Notice: 憎人富貴厭人貧/窮 doesn't limit to discriminate the rich and the poor, it also applies to discriminate the successful ones and the failed ones


Just think up 受害者心態 (victim mentality) -- everything bad happens to me is other people's fault

  • i think that, it should be “憎人富貴厭人窮”, the last character is “”, not “貧” Jan 20, 2021 at 1:51
  • @水巷孑蠻 Yes, I use 憎人富貴厭人窮 too, but 憎人富貴厭人貧 is also a valid variant
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 20, 2021 at 1:54
  • well, a regional difference? cantonese in hong kong vs cantonese in canton? 😸 Jan 20, 2021 at 1:56
  • 1
    @水巷孑蠻 Yes, 粵講粵過癮 is a 彿山 TV. show
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 20, 2021 at 1:58
  • further, i guess that the character “窮” is more used in cantonese. there was a song by “大 al”, named “ 鬼叫你窮” youtube.com/watch?v=cqcJsw6b7T8. 🎶 “鬼叫你窮呀頂硬上” 🎶 i sang this verse very often, when i was young 😹 Jan 20, 2021 at 2:08

3 Answers 3


I think it depends on what you mean by a "description of this expression". The deeper you go, the more you'll have to explain it, and it will have to touch on sociological and psychological research, for which Psychology & Neuroscience StackExchange might be better.

The Chinese expression itself is fairly transparent, with no words that are particularly difficult for native speakers.

In English, finding an equivalent translation is simple. But for the sake of literary expression, something more balanced would be more native-sounding. E.g.

to detest the rich and despise the poor

to have contempt for both rich and poor

to hate on rich and poor alike

I have even seen:

He who hates wealth hates poverty.

... but I'm not convinced that this is an accurate interpretation.

Explaining that it is a type of 小人心態 "a petty-minded attitude / the mindset of a villain" or 受害者心態 start to touch on what the original expression "means", and this requires a bit more context on what kind of explanation is needed.


You're thinking must have some basis to it because other dictionaries also describe the mentality behind the phrasing.


zang1 jan4 fu3 gwai3 jim3 jan4 kung4 {zēng rén fù guì yàn rén qióng}
to hate rich people and to loathe poor people, it means one is selfish and lacks integrity

This is quite striking to me since you usually won't find an analysis of the people who hold these types of views apart from simple mentions to: 封建思想、旧社会认为,etc.


憎人富貴厭人窮 as a mentality is simple to understand, you know it when you see it. My quest of defining this mindset has been difficult because people do things for different reasons. One person's reason for 'detests the rich and despise the poor' might be different from another person. That's why I came up with 小人心態 (petty-minded/ small-minded); 自大自卑 (arrogant and with low self-esteem) and 受害者心態 (victim mentality)

To test this theory, I am going to put this expression in contexts

  1. 不少中下層階級的人一方面對上流社會極度厭惡,認為他們靠家世,不用努力就能成功,社會實在不公平; 另一方面又對比自己處境更不堪的新移民厭惡萬分,認為他們學歷低下,好吃懶做才會如此貧困. 他們這種憎人富貴厭人窮的態度. 正是小人心態 (petty-minded)的表現


  1. 不少中下層階級的人一方面對上流社會懷着極大敵意,認為他們壟斷財富,操控社會,所以自己才沒有出頭機會. 另一方面又對比自己處境更不堪的新移民恨之入骨,認為他們壓低工資搶自已的工作. 他們這種憎人富貴厭人窮的態度. 就是這種受害者心態 (victim mentality)驅使的

My conclusion is, 憎人富貴厭人窮 is a mentality that can be caused by different mindsets. It is not practical to simplify it into just one

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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