Questions tagged [idioms]

Questions related to idioms, maxims, sayings, and other expressions consisting of a combination of words that has an indirect, figurative meaning.

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2answers
62 views

What are the meanings of 三分顏色上大紅?

According to https://www.easyatm.com.tw/wiki/%E4%B8%89%E5%88%86%E9%A1%8F%E8%89%B2%E4%B8%8A%E5%A4%A7%E7%B4%85 it is stated as: 字面意思:給三分顏色你就可以上大紅色,就等於不自量力,自大。明明做不到這事情都說可以做到,人家給三分顏色就想染大紅色,染得到嗎? 後來形容:...
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1answer
103 views

Is there a idiom or term to describe someone who don't see you as the same level as them?

The best I can think of are the combination of: 讽刺意味 (to have the "smell" of irony on you) and 很偏激 (very extreme or biased)。 举个例子/For example: Everything you say or do is viewed as ignorant(...
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5answers
141 views

Precise meaning of 马到成功

So I just happened to watch a youtube video that has displayed in the background an artwork with horses and the phrase 马到成功. Google Translate offered these: It's a success. Gain an immediate victory....
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1answer
79 views

What is the meaning of 及义?

One of Confucius sayings contains the construction 言不及义. It carries the meaning "unable to talk on serious topics", from what a dictionary gave me. However, I was interested in the per-...
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1answer
61 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 21 (中文填字遊戲)

A new puzzle for July 2021 The hunter doesn't know he is being hunted extremely foolish 在水滸傳中的梁山泊排第一百零七位,綽號鼓上蚤的人物 If you want to deliberately frame others, you can always find excuses Busy ...
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5answers
45k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
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1answer
57 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 20 (中文填字遊戲)

Puzzle for June 2021 「病從口入」下句 Lengthy article (or speech) Asking a tiger for its skin (Make deal with dangerous people) Busily run around or move around for a certain purpose Bragging without ...
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1answer
233 views

What is the origin of the word 鬻?

The word 鬻 (yù) appears to originate as a joint pictogram from: 粥 depicting the rice and two whirls of steam on the sides 鬲 (pronounced lì?) a cooking vessel Later 粥 alone came in use to express the ...
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1answer
57 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 19 (中文填字遊戲)

Another puzzle for May-2021 One of the three dynasties in the Three Kingdoms period ruled by the 曹 family A poem that was written by Cao Zhi (曹植). Fictionalized the author's encounter with a goddess ...
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2answers
129 views

Literal meaning of 無奇不有

The correct meaning of 無奇不有 would be: full of extraordinary/bizarre things. But why don't the individual characters not add up to the intended meaning? This is not the only idiom that I found ...
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1answer
154 views

Is there an explicit/crude saying for bravery in Chinese?

I am looking for something similar to the english 'having big balls' as an indication of bravery.
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1answer
65 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 18 (中文填字遊戲)

A new puzzle for May-2021 All or nothing Bathe A modern metaphor for a person’s life with extreme luxury and indulgence, without restraint (有關紂王的典故) Everyone wants to get to a higher position ...
2
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1answer
361 views

Do "lipstick on a pig" and "画蛇添足" share the same meaning?

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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1answer
109 views

What does 出人头地 mean?

The idiom 出人头地 chūréntóudì means “stand out among one’s fellows”. How to mix the above four words and arrive at the above meaning?
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2answers
73 views

What does 按部就班 mean?

I have checked the dictionary, the following are the meanings for Idiom and its components. could not get how ‘keep conventional ways’ was the meaning derived. can share more light on this? thanks ...
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1answer
59 views

Idioms Quiz of 23

Idioms Quiz of 23Q for Idiom lovers Q1. 小华的爸爸是围棋高手,你在他面前夸耀自己的棋技,不是____吗? Q2. 自从那次火灾后,村民一听到孩子的惊叫就_____以为又是哪一家失火了。 Q3. 世界上没有_____的事情,要成功就应该付出努力。 Q4. 这个电视剧向人们提出一个 _____的问题:中学生应该追求什么? Q5. 小女孩由于找不到妈妈,...
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3answers
218 views

What is the meaning of 妖星?

I'm trying to make sense of the word 妖星 ("demon star") which I have encountered in a Japanese phrase. This word does not appear in any Japanese or Chinese (English) dictionaries I've run across, but ...
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1answer
78 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 17 (中文填字遊戲)

A New puzzle for April 2021 Launch a direct attack on the enemy’s headquarters Makes people happy and satisfied (especially when someone gets the deserved punishment) Notorious Extremely urgent ...
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3answers
123 views

Four-character idioms that contain an allusive pair

I am interested in finding some examples of four-character idioms that contain exactly a pair of allusions, different in source but similar in nature, that were often compiled by a specific literary ...
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4answers
115 views

成语 and 俗语 emphasizing adaptation

I would like to know what chinese 成语 or 俗语 can be used to emphasize the need of people or generations to adapt to the given situation or environment. Thanks.
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3answers
727 views

Does 没有办法 have the same idiomatic meaning in Chinese that "No way" does in English?

"No way" in English has a couple of meanings. Like, it can be used to express surprise. Does 没有办法 also carry some idiomatic meanings?
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1answer
90 views

Why 看 is used in 我看得目瞪口呆?

Going through this sentence. 我看得目瞪口呆。I was stunned/dumbfounded. 看 means see, why see in this sentence?
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1answer
82 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 16 (中文填字遊戲)

A new puzzle for March 2021 Steal the bell while covering your ears (deceiving yourself that you are deceiving the others) Revenge one's personal vengeance in the name of official business ...
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4answers
799 views

冰雪聪明... only for girls?

Is the expression 冰雪聪明 (bīng xuě cōng míng) really only used for girls? The literal translation is "snow smart" and I understand it means something along the lines of "extremely smart" but the times I'...
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1answer
81 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 15 (中文填字遊戲)

A new puzzle for Feb 2021 It’s better to see it with your own eyes than hear it hundreds of times. It often takes many twists and turns to get what you want Good for others and oneself Boxing ...
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2answers
83 views

Up close and personal equivalent

How do you express something similar to “up close and personal”? Like this sentence: She likes to get up close and personal.
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1answer
87 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 14 (中文填字遊戲)

Please solve the following puzzle Untidy (of one's appearance) Too poor that there is no place to insert an awl. Describes as poor as nothing It is the collective name of the three most prominent ...
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1answer
53 views

Attack them when they are unready, take them by surprise : 这个成语有多少方法可以说?

Could you please let me know which of these sound right and why the other ones sound wrong? I'm not sure about the difference between 不 and 无. 出其不意,攻其不备 攻其不备,出其不意 攻其无备,出其无意 攻其不备,出其无意 攻其无备,出其不意 都可以用吗
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3answers
369 views

How did 黑鍋 "black wok" semantically shift to mean "blame for a crime"?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/38716 spurred this question. 黑鍋 - Wiktionary (literally) black wok (figuratively) blame for a crime How did "black wok" semantically shift to mean ...
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5answers
305 views

How to translate 因為所以科學道理?

I heard this from native speakers but am confused about its meaning. I understand every word but this phrase itself does not make much sense to me.
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1answer
117 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 11 (中文填字遊戲)

李白名詩: 「舉頭望明月, ?????」 Hate the social status quo and the state of the world Grammar mistake The peach blossom is the same but the missed person is nowhere to be seen Go between and put things ...
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2answers
100 views

Is there a common idiom equivalent to "tomato tomahto" in mandarin?

I'm being very nitpicky with a coworker (20s, first language is mandarin) and I'm trying to tease myself playfully by saying something along the lines of "tomato tomahto" in mandarin. I'm ...
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1answer
92 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 13 (中文填字遊戲)

Please solve the following puzzle A grain of rice in the sea. A metaphor for something small and insignificant To bluff Disappear without a trace, no news, or nothing to follow Idiom The multi-...
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1answer
87 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 12 (中文填字遊戲)

Please solve the puzzle below sharp tongue (edit: the first character was replaced by a Homophone) A match made in heaven Come back to life by borrowing a corpse (a metaphor for things that have ...
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1answer
159 views

看图说成语: What chengyu do these sketches refer to (from a grade-3 语文 textbook)?

This chengyu puzzle is on page 66 of a grade-3 语文 textbook (上册). I'm fairly sure I can get the top-left one, and the middle-right one, but not the others. I present this as a chengyu puzzle (a ...
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1answer
191 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 10 (中文填字遊戲)

Please solve the puzzle below People use their collective wisdom and abilities to work together (something good) Happens twice Give no quarter Awesome skill Miles of waves Overly militaristic; ...
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2answers
140 views

Chinese idiom puzzle 9 (中文填字遊戲)

Please solve the puzzle below Hints: Use the power of others to dominate Like bathing in the spring breeze Rock breaking shock the sky It's like disappearing all at once A very long distance ...
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1answer
68 views

Why is 系 pronounced xì (not jì) in the idiom 解铃还须系铃人?

With regards to the idiom: 解铃还须系铃人 jiě líng hái xū xì líng rén CC-CEDICT: lit. whoever hung the bell on the tiger's neck must untie it (idiom) / fig. whoever started the trouble should end it I'm ...
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1answer
71 views

Chinese idiom puzzle 8

Please solve the following puzzle Describe a woman's husband is not good (nowadays refers to get together with a bad partner) 語出《詩.王風.中谷有蓷》 A live and death matter Everyone has one 遏後語 "年晚煎堆&...
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1answer
68 views

"Single drop of red" (Wuxia)

I have this only via oral tradition, but wanted to ask about it here b/c I assume this is where the Chinese scholars are. Where does this phrase appear in the Chinese literary tradition, what are the ...
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2answers
138 views

Is the following text grammatically correct?

Would you be so kind as to help me correct this text? I am currently trying to incorporate more 成语 and more complex vocabulary in my writing. -- 首先,你必须试探你的对手,因为他的话靠不住。不要让他的想法弄垮得稀巴烂你的思想。其次,你应该每天选择自己的战斗。...
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5answers
3k views

Should I use "闷声发大财" or "闷声大发财"?

闷声发大财 闷声大发财 Both are widely used among the Chinese people, which one is the correct one?
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1answer
97 views

What 莲 means? does it has a "social" meaning, if it's used in everyday life?

I think that '莲' literally means "lotus" but I heard some people saying that it also has a bad meaning, if somebody calls you like that you should be offended. Can someone explain me why? ...
2
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4answers
3k views

What does 降维攻击 mean?

The idiom 降维攻击 is quite popular in Chinese chatting rooms. Interestingly, it's used almost in any context. What's the origin and meaning of it?
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4answers
4k views

What does 狗改不了吃屎 mean?

What does 狗改不了吃屎 mean? I think it is a proverb. Something do to with god? In my research, is it similar to 江山易改,本性难移?
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7answers
779 views

How to say something "gets old fast"?

Describing something as 'getting old fast' is a very common phrase in English to describe something that as tedious, but it has the nuance that the thing may not be boring initially. Is there a ...
2
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6answers
209 views

What is the role of chengyu (成语) in a sentence?

I've learned some chengyu (idiomatic expression), and I see many are used in different position in the sentence. For example: adjective -> 那个人看来有点不三不四 noun -> 我集市看到人山人海 adverb or verb? -> ...
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3answers
274 views

Is there an expression similar to the English "gut feeling" in Chinese?

Is there a metaphor or idiom that has a similar meaning to "gut feeling", as a metaphor for "intuition" or "instinctive feeling", in Mandarin Chinese?
2
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2answers
45 views

另當別論 : 另, 別 superfluous? What does 當 add?

ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003), p 561. I can't access the "slightly revised through July 2005" ed. I also quote Wiktionary. Why both 另 and 別? Aren't they redundant? ...
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3answers
94 views

Chinese Idiom puzzle 7

Please solve the following puzzle To win a war, you need XX, YY, and 人和, What are XX and YY? All formed by nature, no traces of man-made carvings One hand covers the sky. ( Describes someone use ...