Catch Phrase | 伴手礼(bànshǒulǐ)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-11-17


“伴” means “to accompany,” “手” means “hand,” and “礼” means “gift.” Originating from the local dialect in Taiwan Province, this term refers to the souvenirs and small gifts a person buys for their friends and family at home while on a trip to another place. Not expensive, such gifts are often specialties of the destination and meant to convey good will. The most common gifts given by Taiwanese originally were cakes and cookies. The term likely came from the idea that people didn’t want to visit their friends empty-handed and felt the necessity to bring a small gift to “accompany” their hands.


A: 这是我上周出差给你带的伴手礼,希望你喜欢。

Zhè shì wǒ shàngzhōu chūchà gěi nǐ dài de bànshǒulǐ,xīwàng nǐ xǐhuan。

This is a small gift I bought for you on my business trip last week. I hope you like it.

B: 谢谢,这种北方点心我最爱吃了。

Xièxie,zhèzhǒng běifāng diǎnxīn wǒ zuì ài chī le。

Thank you! These snacks from the North are my favorite.