Translate 表面風光、內裏陰乾 in english.

Where is this ancient idiom coming from by the way?

closed as off-topic by songyuanyao, Tang Ho, xqMogvKW, NS.X., user3306356 Jan 11 '17 at 11:43

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  • 3
    The following idioms have the similar meaning. 虛有其表 (空有華麗的外表,卻無實際的內涵。 The appearance is gorgeous, but there's no practical content.) 魚質龍文 (外表似龍而實質為魚。 It looks like a dragon, but is a fish actually.) 外強中乾 (外表看似強壯,內實虛弱乾竭。 The appearance seems strong; in fact, the immanence is weak.) 色厲內荏 (外表嚴厲而內心怯懦。 Severe appearance, but cowardly mind.) – vuluvsa Jan 7 '17 at 4:42

It is not an idiom, but a typical 順口溜 (Jingle)

表面(on the surface)

風光(look good)* short from 好風光(good scenery)- something look good in people's eyes)


陰乾(slowly dry up in dry dark place)

It means 'someone seems well off in the public's eyes, but in reality, is flat broke.'


I'd like to recommend another.

In simplified Chinese, you can find a similar but different one


金玉其外, on the surface it is gold

败絮其中, but inside it is just rubbish

It's very impolite to describe a person in this way. That means this guy is actually an asshole but masked with a polite, friendly and gorgeous appearance.

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