angela627 Post time 2012-1-6 15:37:08

Chinese allegories 歇后语

These are two-part allegorical sayings. The first part, which is always stated, is the literal meaning of the expression. The second part is the unstated, implied meaning of the expression.

guān qǐlái dă luó - míng shēng zài wài
关起门来打锣 - 名声在外
Close the door to beat gongs - be well-known

hán dōng là yuè de mă fēng wō - kōng kōng dòng dòng
寒冬腊月的马蜂窝 - 空空洞洞
A hornet's nest in severe winter - empty; hollow; devoid of substance

hăo mă zāo biān dă - rěn rŭ fù zhòng
好马遭鞭打 - 忍辱负重
A hardworking horse is whipped - show great fortitude under humiliating circumstances

hòu bàn yè zuò měi mèng  - hăo jĭng bù cháng
后半夜做美梦 - 好景不长
Have a beautiful dream after midnight - good times don't last long; pleasant hours fly fast

gŭ dŏng diàn lăo băn - yăn lĭshì huò
古董店老板 - 眼里识货
An antique shopkeeper - a person who knows what is what; a knowledgeable person

guān yīn pú sà xià dú shŏu - miàn shàn xīn bù shàn
观音菩萨下毒手 -  面善心不善
Guanyin, goddess of mercy, lays murderous hands - have a merciful face but a wolfish heart

qián táng jiāng zhăng cháo - dà qĭdà luò
钱塘江涨潮 - 大起大落
The Qiantang River tides are on the flow - great ups and downs; sharp rise and fall

qián yŏu qiáng dí hòu yŏu zhuī bīng - jìn tuì liăng nán
前有强敌后有追兵 - 进退两难
There are intercepting troops in front and pursuing troops behind - find it difficult to advance or retreat; be in a dilemma

米儿家豆子 Post time 2012-1-9 16:32:55

the first one is easy ,thanks for sharing~

angela627 Post time 2012-1-9 16:50:31

xiǎo cōng bàn dòu fu – yī qīng èr bái
小葱拌豆腐 – 一清二白
White bean curd and green scallions – as clear as daylight

gǒu ná hào zi – duō guǎn xián shì
狗拿耗子 – 多管闲事
Dog trying to catch mice – meddling in other people's business

yǎ ba chī huáng lián – yǒu kǔ shuō bù chū
哑巴吃黄连 – 有苦说不出
A dump person tasting bitter herbs – unable to express one's discomfort

qiū hòu de mà zha – bèng da bù liǎo jǐ tiān
秋后的蚂蚱 – 蹦跶不了几天
A grasshopper in late autumn – nearing one's end

ní pú sa guò hé – zì shēn nán bǎo
泥菩萨过河 – 自身难保
The clay idol crosses a river – one is hardly able to save oneself, let alone assist others

zhú lán dǎ shuǐ – yī chǎng kōng
竹篮打水 – 一场空
Draw water with a bamboo basket – achieving nothing; fruitless labor

gǎn miàn zhàng chuī huǒ – yí qiào bù tōng
擀面杖吹火 – 一窍不通
Try to blow the fire with a rolling pin – be completely ignorant or irrelevant

jiāng tài gōng diào yú – yuàn zhě shang gōu
姜太公钓鱼 – 愿者上钩
Fish like Jiang Taigong (prime minister of Zhou Dynasty in Chinese history) , who cast a hook-less and bait-less line for the fish that wants to be caught – ask for willing victim or collaborator

angela627 Post time 2012-1-9 16:51:03

qí lǘ kàn chàng běn – zǒu zhe qiáo
骑驴看唱本 – 走着瞧
Reading a play while riding a donkey – wait and see

qiān lǐ sòng é máo – lǐ qīng qíng yì zhòng
千里送鹅毛 -- 礼轻情意重
Goose feather sent from 500 kilometers away – a small gift sent from afar conveys deep feeling

xiù cai yù dào bīng – yǒu lǐ jiǎng bù qīng
秀才遇到兵 -- 有理讲不清
A man with a pen encounters a man with a gun – you can't reach an agreement between the two kinds of people

ròu bāo zi dǎ gǒu – yǒu qù wú huí
肉包子打狗 – 有去无回
Throw a meat-stuffed bun at a dog – something gone, never to return

lǎo shǔ zuān jìn fēng xiāng lǐ – liǎng tóu shòu qì
老鼠钻进风箱里 -- 两头受气
A rat sneaks into a bellows – get blame from both sides; be caught between the hammer and the anvil

gǒu yǎo lǚ dòng bīn – bù shí hǎo rén xīn
狗咬吕洞宾 – 不识好人心
Snarl and snap at Lu Dongbin (one of the eight immortals in Chinese mythology) – mistake a good man for a bad one

dà shuǐ chōng le lóng wáng miào – zì jiā rén bú rèn zì jiā rén
大水冲了龙王庙 – 自家人不认自家人
The flood inundates the temple of the Dragon King – People on the same side fight each other by mistake

tiě dǎ de gōng jī – yì máo bù bá
铁打的公鸡 -- 一毛不拔
Iron cock – stingy person

angela627 Post time 2012-1-9 16:51:37

xiā zi diǎn dēng – bái fèi là
瞎子点灯 – 白费蜡
Lighting a candle for a blind man – a waste of effort or time

lóng zi de ĕr duo – băi shè
聋子的耳朵 – 摆设
A deaf man's ears - they are merely ornamental; something done just for show

lĭ yú chī shuĭ – tūn tūn tŭ tŭ
鲤鱼吃水 – 吞吞吐吐
A carp is drinking water – speaking hesitantly

huáng shŭ láng gěi jī bài nián – méi ān hǎo xīn
黄鼠狼给鸡拜年 – 没安好心
A weasel makes a courtesy call to a chicken – to harbor evil intentions; to have ulterior motives

cái feng de chĭ zi – liáng rén bù liáng jĭ
裁缝的尺子 – 量人不量己
The tailor's ruler always measures others but never the tailor himself; being critical of others but lenient on oneself

cái feng zuò yī – jiǎng jiū fēn cùn
裁缝做衣 – 讲究分寸
When a tailor makes clothes he pays great attention to measurement; taking care, being careful in doing things

hé shang dǎ sǎn – wú fǎ wú tiān
和尚打伞 – 无法无天
A Buddhist monk holding an umbrella – there is neither law nor heaven. This idiom means to be completely lawless. To understand why, you need to know that 法fa which means law is pronounced the same way as 发fa which means hair, and that 天tian means both sky and heaven.

xiǎo hé shang niàn jīng – yǒu kǒu wú xīn
小和尚念经 – 有口无心
A young monk mumbles prayers. – Doing something without putting your heart into it

Ronny Post time 2012-1-10 09:06:59

these are great thanks...... i saw another one on qq, something about throwing him to feed a pig, pulling him back to feed a dog

robert237 Post time 2012-1-10 12:53:43

I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to use
"Reading a play while riding a donkey – wait and see" {:soso_e123:}
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