In English I know of two colourful terms for blowing your nose without use of a handkerchief or tissue by holding one nostril closed and expelling mucus from the other:

(There are other terms too that I've learned since starting this question: farmer's blow, farmers handkerchief, bushman's hanky, warehouse blow...)

In English we would never use the plain turn of phrase to blow one's nose for this act, even if we didn't know the slang/jocular terms I listed above we would use some circumlocution to describe the (to us) irregular method of nose blowing.

Yesterday morning I saw a nice young lady perform this manoeuvre in the street outside my hotel in a town outside Chengdu, Sichuan. This cemented the notion I already had that this act is not stigmatized in Chinese culture. But I'm not sure whether it's considered a normal or plain way to blow one's nose using the usual Chinese expression for nose blowing.

Is there a slang, jocular, or colloquial term (or any other kind of term) for this act in Chinese? (I'm most interested in Mandarin but other varieties of Chinese are also interesting.)

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    I LOVE THIS QUESTION! Nov 16, 2013 at 20:48
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    Tried asking my SO this question but she tossed my phone back at me and screamed 恶心 so I'm not going to be much help but would love to see an answer, also in Australia we call this a farmers handkerchief
    – 50-3
    Nov 16, 2013 at 22:23
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    The key point of "bushman's blow" I've just learnt is in the absence of suitable catching material, i.e. blowing your nose with no handkerchief or tissue or sleeve, to the best of my knowledge, there's no equivalent Chinese term for this one. And for "snot rocket", the definition in Wiktionary seems just the "expelling" action without the key point above, we call it "鼻涕" in Chinese.
    – Stan
    Nov 17, 2013 at 2:03
  • @Stan: Well that's just the current state of the Wiktionary definition that a random person off the internet added. I've always interpreted the phrase to refer to the act rather than the projectile. So the usual term for blowing one's nose in Chinese is 'xi bi ti' but the term for this style is 'xing bi ti'? Nov 17, 2013 at 3:31
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    @Stan: I found a second reference/definition of each term to provide greater depth/perspective in case any source is poor quality or biased. Nov 17, 2013 at 4:30

2 Answers 2


From the comments it seems like we've already established that blowing your nose is accurately translated as "擤鼻涕". As far as I can tell (from experience and further online research), there is no popular slang for doing so. The closest way to easily describe such action would be something like "不用纸擤鼻涕".

However, I should point out that this action is in fact pretty stigmatized in the Chinese culture, especially in more developed regions. Chinese people are simply less self-conscious about what others might think of their actions, which is why you'll still see people doing it.


在中文的世界裡,沒有一個能夠清楚傳達(或是相對應) "Bushman's Blow" 的詞彙,

而上述的討論中,@hippietrail 所指的 "擤(ㄒㄧㄥˇ)鼻涕" 是 "Blow your nose".

若真的要闡述 "Bushman's Blow" ,"壓著一邊的鼻子,把鼻涕給噴出來" 則是可以被接受的。

PS:華人很少有 "Bushman's Blow" 這個動作,幾乎是 "Blow your nose" 比較多。

  • @People_in_Taiwan I would disagree with your PS, I see it on a daily basis, 老年男女。
    – tao
    Dec 11, 2013 at 5:19

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