In a Chinese TV series 敢死队(第11集). it seems hard to understand why the peddler says to the detective (11:05) "what do you call(what is meant by) tired of living, I am looking for someone", "什么叫活腻歪了(northern dialect)" does not seem to be related to anything before or after

11:01;怎么着 老大
11:05:小贩:什么叫活腻歪了 我是来找人的
11:20:侦探:伍队长能有你这种穷亲戚 (侦探打量着小贩)

see also https://dict.leo.org/forum/viewUnsolvedquery.php?idThread=1088168&idForum=48&lp=chde&lang=de

4 Answers 4


This part of the conversation doesn't sound natural to me. A rhetorical question like 什么叫xyz is only used after the other person labeled him xyz. Without a previous line like 你是活腻歪了吧, the usage seems out of the blue and ambiguous. After watching the video, I think what happened is there is something along that line in the original script but got edited out from the final version.

A conversation like this should go:

A: 你小子是活腻歪了吧?也不看这什么地方,就敢往里闯。

B: 什么叫活腻歪了,我是来找人的。


A: Are you courting death? Look at this place, do you think you can barge your way in?

B: What do you mean by courting death? I am simply looking for someone.

  • Yes this sounds most likely; poor editing Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 8:00


(1)活腻歪is meaning don't want to live anymore. for example, if you wanna jump into the sea, i will say "you are 活腻歪了"

(2)so, the meaning of '什么叫活腻歪了' is 'what is the meaning of 活腻歪了?' it is a rhetorical question.

(3)'什么叫活腻歪了 我是来找人的', so, the 小贩 was not wanna die, he just wanna find someone (我是来找人的)


  • thank you very much, the question itself seems to contain the information supplied by answer 1 except for "rhetorical question" (subt. h. n. punctuation marks, of course 什么 means it is a question). Questioner simply does not understand the reason for posing this rhetorical question, it seems like a bolt out of the blue. Or does it mean that approaching the "侦缉队总部" involves some conceivable danger (of course one might think so, this being Chinese police in the service of the Japanese occupiers), however the easygoing remainder of the dialogue seems to contradict the existence of any danger.
    – user6065
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 5:26
  • @S.Rhee I translated both meanings and feelings. The police was trying to scare the street vendor. Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 9:02

Same as 找死(court death). Widely used in north-east China.

  • Or simply "活膩了"
    – Henry HO
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 6:26

1.(形声。从肉,贰( èr)声。本义:肥)

2.同本义 [fat] 腻,肥也。——《说文》

Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/276705.htm

腻了 originally expresses the feeling of having eaten too much fat, i.e. something is good, but one nevertheless wants no more of it.

活腻了 expresses similar attitudes towards a comfortable living.

When asked as a question, the tone is like saying, "What's bothering you? Too much money in your pocket?" The understatement is "I will take your money away from you if that is the case."

Another example, "Life has been too good for you?" The understatement is I'll make it hard if that is your complaints.

活腻了? Directly translated as "fed up with life?" The understatement is what you are doing now is bringing an end to your life.

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