须 - Beard

发 - Hair

皆 - All

张 - Spread/Open up

If it was directly translated, it would be something like "[someone's] beard and hair all spread open", but what does that even mean?

I can't really imagine how the person would look, so would the person have hair and a beard that stood up, like how someone would after their hair was affected by static electricity?

  • Interesting. I guess it may describe someone with totally disheveled beard and hair.
    – Ludi
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 17:46

3 Answers 3



Before he had finished speaking, he looked at Lord Guan and saw: His mouth was open, his eyes were starting, His beard and hair were all bristling and crackling!

Cao Cao was petrified with fear.

  • 很有意思!原文來自三國演義吧?
    – Ludi
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 21:25

Imagine a furious cat ready for fighting, what will it do? It will "须发皆张".


A literal translation: beard and hair both stand on the ends.

Metaphorical meaning: to describe someone is displaying extreme anger.

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