The saying 既要做婊子,又要立牌坊 is used derogatorily to describe someone who does bad things but want to have good reputation. Does it have a reversed or non-derogatory version which is also a saying or idiom? For example, when you want to praise someone who tells truth about something, meanwhile hurting someone/some people's feelings.

  • 话糙理不糙?? These saying are usually not for praise, but advice.
    – wolfrevo
    Jan 15 '18 at 10:51
  • If this is: to have bad intentions but still want a good reputation then to opposite would be to have good intentions but not expect anything in return? No? What you’re looking for seems to be: to do the right thing depspite bad consequences. Is that right?
    – Mou某
    Jan 16 '18 at 4:19
  • Consider 好事不留名。
    – dan
    Jan 20 '18 at 10:27

I'm not entirely sure what should be the opposite of 既要做婊子,又要立牌坊

Here's some suggestion:

1) opposite of "doing bad deeds but asking for good reputation" in a sense of "doing good deeds but ends up in bad reputation":
- 好心着雷劈 - meaning trying to help others but ends up [being strikes by lightning] - another idiom usually meaning people do bad things and punished by god via lightning.

2) opposite of "doing bad deeds but asking for good reputation" in a sense of "doing good deeds but bad results":
- 殺人放火金腰帶,修橋鋪路無屍骸 - meaning those that murders and burn down house ends up being rich and powerful, and those that helps with repairing road and bridge ends up dying with their body not found

Honestly I do not find my answer a better fit than others, but more options for you

  • I originally meant something in the first sense. But I also find the second one a better fit for my purpose. Thanks~
    – Ivan Huang
    Jan 18 '18 at 3:17

“既要做婊子, 又要立牌坊” describes someone commits to do something without the resolution of facing its consequence. For example, someone sells snake oil but feel bad about taking money from poor people (if you really want to be a con man, you can't avoid being ruthless)

The opposite expression would be "吃得咸魚抵得渴" (since you committed to eat salted fish, being thirsty is expected)

  • I think OP's interpretation makes more sense.
    – dan
    Jan 15 '18 at 14:00

One reverse version would be 大义灭亲.

If you put your family member into jail because of his/her guilt, that definitely hurt your family feelings but this behavior usually be praised (usually by others).


May be 良药苦口,忠言逆耳? This means the good medicine tastes terrible, and the sincere advice sounds vicious.

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