Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is a four character phrase for which I have found no accurate translation online. I hear it all the time around CNY.


share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

This is an expression wishing the listener good luck. Any equivalent English expression will do: "Best of luck in all your endeavors", "May your every endeavor prosper", etc. The use of the character 万 (wàn, meaning "10,000"), here just means "many" or "all".

share|improve this answer
In this kind of expressions, the English equivalent word of 万 is 'million' which means 'a great/huge number of'. you will find words or phrases like: 万岁, 千秋万载, 千千万万... – Fivesheep Jan 20 '12 at 20:33
Usually in wishes, though, you'd say "all" or "every" in English. Even using the large number "million" would be sort of limiting your good wishes! (Also, it's worth being clear to learners that wan4 does NOT mean "million" literally!) – Terry Waltz Jan 21 '12 at 3:08
万 can be more accurately translated as "myriad", which also means 10,000 but more often is used to refer to a large multitude in English; this usage is coincidentally very similar to that of Chinese 万. – Claw Jan 8 '13 at 8:00

If you get PeraPeraKun plugin (avail for Chrome and FireFox) it gives you the meanings of all of these idioms on hover.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
  1. gas and gaiters
  2. everything is just fine

A idiomatic usage to show you hope everyone will be fine or send a congratulation messages to others when Lunar New Year come. It often comes like "祝各位新的一年心想事成,万事大吉"

It's congratulatory speech.

share|improve this answer
What the heck does gas and gaiters mean?!? – Stumpy Joe Pete Dec 13 '12 at 1:56
@StumpyJoePete 估计是古代英语,这应该是所谓的“雅” – frame99 Dec 13 '12 at 8:33
@frame99 I looked it up. It's referencing a Dickens novel. Anyhow, not a phrase I've ever heard anyone use. – Stumpy Joe Pete Dec 13 '12 at 16:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.