Hold住 – What Disney & Spielberg Did To Be Successful

Not many get to where they are without hard work, perseverance and determination. Before Walt Disney became a internationally loved entertainment company, he was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Before Steven Spielberg became a renowned director, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. There are many examples of ordinary people that got to be very successful despite some setbacks because they “hold住”!

Definition & Use

“Hold住” (hold zhù):

It means for someone who’s facing a situation to persevere, keep at it, push through, to be full of self confidence What’s kind of interesting and different about this Chinese slang phrase is that it is a mix of English and Chinese! No, you didn’t read wrong.  It can be used in multiple, different ways and is used quite often.
要hold住” – has a kind of encouraging tone, something you’d say to cheer someone on (like 加油)

You’re a quarter of a mile from finishing a 5 mile race? You’d say “要hold住” to pep talk yourself into finishing, into holding on.

hold不住” – said when you can’t keep going or can’t persevere any longer

Your horrible boss nags you every day about things that aren’t part of your job description, makes you stay late and says you don’t deserve a raise? You’d feel like you’d “hold不住” and want another job, that you can’t put up with it any more.

Where It Came From

Hold住 all started when Miss Lin (also known as Xie Yi Lin – 谢依霖) talked on a variety show called “大学生了没.” Dressed up in costume, she spoke a mix of Chinese and English on this show with such humor and swag that it got over 101 million views on Youtube in just 11 days! From that moment on, she became known as “Hold姐”

You might’ve heard or saw this expression on FluentU as well.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Let’s take a look at some examples in the wild.   Example 1:

情人节送礼物很重要,大家一定要hold住 “

“qíng rén jié sòng lǐ wù hěn zhòng yào, dà jiā yí dìng yào hold zhù  “

“Sending gifts on Valentine’s Day is very important, everyone must persevere

  Example 2:

2012年考研HOLD住最后一段,顺利通关 “

“2012 nián kǎo yán HOLD zhù zuì hòu yí duàn, shùn lì tōng guān “

Pushing through the last part of the 2012 Kaoyan, passing smoothly”

  Example 3:


“nǐ hold zhù wēi bó shí míng zhì ma?”

“Did you keep your real name on Weibo?”

  Example 4:


“lín shū háo huà shēn ní kè sī píng mín yīng xióng, lì zhì gù shi hold zhù shén qí”

“Jeremy Lin is the average Knicks fans’ hero, his inspirational story holding some magic”

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos.

Experience Chinese immersion online!


  1. Hao Hao Report - May 9, 2013

    Someone thinks this story is hao-tastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe