I'm loving learning some of these wise sayings, but I'm having a little trouble getting the deeper meaning.

It seems like it basically is "don't eat the hungry, don't read the stupid".

Does that basically mean "avoid eating foods lacking nutrition, and avoid reading books which lack intellectual nutrition/substance/value/intelligence"? Is there a native/fluent speaker who can help enlighten me? I feel like I'm going to love this phrase once I properly understand it.

Thank you!

2 Answers 2



I love it already, thanks for posting it.

Its meaning is something like:

Who doesn't eat becomes hungry,
Who doesn't study becomes stupid.

  • It is an analogy, compare the importance of feeding one's mind to feeding one's stomach
    – Tang Ho
    Feb 19, 2022 at 14:46
  • It is also a general admonishment that improper / incorrect actions or omissions have negative consequences. In other words, "Do the right thing" Feb 20, 2022 at 12:20

I guess this is the full story:

A student asks the teacher: "What is the importance of study/learning?"

The teacher replies: "The importance of study/learning is the same as the need to eat. If we don't eat, we will feel hungry. If we don't study/learn, we will stay as a fool. The feel of hungry will return if we don't eat the additional meal at a regular interval; the foolishness will stay with us if we don't continue to study/learn."

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