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Chinese allegories Lesson 6
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Chinese allegories

Two-part allegorical saying (of which the first part, always stated, is descriptive, while the second part, often unstated, carries the message)

tū tóu shàng de shī zi – míng băi zhe
秃头上的虱子 – 明摆着
Like a flea on a bald head – perfectly clear

kŏng fū zǐ bān jiā – jìn shì shū (shū)
孔夫子搬家 – 尽是书(输)
When Confucius moves (houses), there is nothing but books (because he is a philosopher). – Figuratively, it means you always lose (书 is a homophone for 输)

jī dàn li tiāo gŭ tou – gù yì zhăo chá; wú zhōng shēng yŏu
鸡蛋里挑骨头 – 故意找茬;无中生有
Look for a bone in an egg – look for a flaw where there is none; find fault; nitpick

pī shuāng bàn dà cōng – yòu dú yòu là; dú là
砒霜拌大葱 – 又毒又辣;毒辣
Large green Chinese onion served with arsenic – poisonous and pungent; sinister; malignant

pò guàn zi pò shuāi – zì bào zì qì
破罐子破摔 – 自暴自弃
Smash a jar into pieces just because it's already cracked – act recklessly and irresponsibly when facing adversity or despair

lăo shŭ pèng shàng māo – zài jié nán táo
老鼠碰上猫 – 在劫难逃
A mouse encounters a cat. – It is impossible to escape its doom; what is destined cannot be avoided.

niú láng huì zhī nǚ – xǐ xiāng féng
牛郎会织女 – 喜相逢
The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver (two figures in an ancient Chinese fairy tale), meet each other. – A pleasant reunion

qŭ xí fù jià nǚ – shuāng xǐ lín mén
娶媳妇嫁女 – 双喜临门
One's son and daughter get married at the same time. – Two happy events occur at the same time; double happiness

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