I know a Chinese proverbial phrase. Translated literally into English, it says something along the lines of "Sky falls big pancakes". When used negatively in the phrase, "The sky does not fall big pancakes," it is generally used to warn against idleness.

What is the origin of the proverb? Also, I am not really sure if the object is pancakes. It may be a cookie or a flat cake or a flat flour wrap.


天上掉馅饼,means that free and delicious food like pies are falling from the sky. Or its negative form: 天上不会掉馅饼

Nowadays it usually means that people who are lazy are expecting something miracle but impossible will happen to them. For example:


This phrase came from a Chinese myth. After 嫦娥(the lady in the legend who swallowed the elixir stolen from her husband and flew to the moon) went to the moon, 后羿(the man in the legend who shot 9 suns out of 10 and saved the earth from the heat) was very sad and thought about her every day. When 嫦娥 found out his love, she wrote her love on a pie. Because she is on the moon, there came the phrase: 天上掉馅饼


Here is an explain by BaiDuPedia in Chinese:天上掉馅饼本指天空中降落类似馅饼那样的即免费又好吃的食物,泛指在自然生活中会无缘无故的发生一些可以满足人们欲望的物质或财富上面的事情;现在也贬指那些坐享其成,成天不务实际的人在假想一些不可能发生的事情,等待出现奇迹,天上怎么可能会掉馅饼。

馅饼 is a common food in China even today, it may be like a salty pie(I'm sorry, I have not met a pie). You get a 馅饼 from sky rather than you cook it, how lucky! You pay no effort. Thus, 天上掉馅饼 means getting something without effort; 天上不会掉馅饼 warns you that this thing will not happen, that is, you'd better do your best to get something. There is a fable story known by everybody in China <守株待兔>, it gives the same warning.

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