Looking for a colloquial Chinese translation of the English: Couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery


Presents an example of a minimally simple project that the person or group described is presumed unable to accomplish.

couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery

(UK, Australia, New Zealand, vulgar, slang, idiomatic) Is unable even to organise a project that requires no planning; is incompetent.  [quotations ▼]


couldn't organise a two-ticket raffle

couldn't organise an orgy in a brothel

couldn't organise a bun fight in a bakery

couldn't pour water out of a boot

  • What phrases are there in Chinese to express this kind of incompetence, i.e.: unable to organize something that doesn't involve any planning?

(Specifically talking about someones organization skills, of course.)

  • Do you prefer that the phrase be very vulgar? Jan 18, 2015 at 14:12
  • Can't hurt, won't hurt
    – Mou某
    Jan 18, 2015 at 15:19
  • I am almost certain an exact counterpart in Chinese doesn't exist, in which case it would be helpful to clarify the context in more detail, such as the person you're trying to describe is in high position or an ordinary Joe, as well as how rude is the expression you expect.
    – NS.X.
    Jan 19, 2015 at 1:46
  • Just anything that describes someone with no organizational skills.
    – Mou某
    Jan 19, 2015 at 3:06
  • Oxford funnily enough has this entry: he couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery 他即使到了酒厂都组织不了大家狂喝痛饮
    – Mou某
    Jan 19, 2015 at 3:17

3 Answers 3


昏庸无能 is very close. it means: have no ability to do even a very simple project. have no management skill to manage a team.

  • 4
    As native speaker I would like to point out that the phrase "昏庸无能" is usually used to describe a emperor.
    – mmjang
    Jan 19, 2015 at 11:55

一事无成This may seem a little different from what you want when translated directly,which is 'haven't done anything meaningful'.But,it is often used to describe a pernson who can't accomplish even the easiest assignment.I believe it's a pretty close one.

  • "achieved nothing in life" is not the same with "incompetent". Jan 20, 2015 at 8:08
  • Yeah,一无是处is better. Jan 20, 2015 at 9:04

The Chinese only have the plain and dry "组织能力差".

As for translation, there is a direct translation with a few touch-ups:


Added 酒鬼 because the Chinese is a less bibulous people, at least on paper.

A direct translation is good in this case because there is no comparable idioms exist in Chinese.

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