Do "lipstick on a pig" and "画蛇添足" share the same meaning? 画蛇添足 means "drawing snake with feet".

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    search web using e.g. "中文 lipstick on a pig" get many results, e.g. language.chinadaily.com.cn/trans/2009-08/17/content_8579764.htm
    – user6065
    Mar 19, 2018 at 4:22
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    I think the Chinese word (成语) for the "lipstick on a pig" is 对牛弹琴.
    – Blaszard
    Mar 19, 2018 at 5:02
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    more like 東施效顰.
    – Tang Ho
    Mar 19, 2018 at 5:26
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    "lipstick on a pig", I don't know how American think about this phrase, but to me it means "醜人多作怪".
    – r13
    Apr 26, 2021 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


画蛇添足 means 'ruin things by adding unnecessary, inappropriate addition'

Adding legs on a snake in a painting not only doesn't improve its quality , it actually ruins it by adding unnecessary, inappropriate addition

For example:

Man: "I love you"

Woman: "I love you too"

So far so good

Man: "I love you as much as I love my dog"

Now it is too much information, the second sentence from the man is '蛇足'(unnecessary, inappropriate addition)

"lipstick on a pig" means something entirely different. It means " wasted effort", a pig is a pig, no matter how much make up you put on it, it can never looked like a pretty lady.

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