吃土 “Eat Dust” is a popular phrase that Chinese people started to use a lot on the Internet since 2015.
There are several different interpretations of this simple phrase:
1. the mostly recognized one is that people use it to make fun of themselves that they are too poor to buy food, so the only thing they could eat is the dust.
2. the word could also be used to attack other people, just like an euphemistic way to ask them to “eat shit.”
3. some video gamers use it because when their characters defeated in game, they will usually fall off and face to the ground, looks just like they’re eating the dust.
If we bring this cyber word to a lager context of real world Chinese society, this could also reflects the very imbalance of money holding right now in China. Even though it’s a decade that plenty of opportunities are coming up for people to make money, there are still a large amount of people in China don’t have a good living condition, whereas Internet becomes a perfect platform for them to release their stress.