chinese idioms

I’m in a class now that teaches Chinese idioms, and it’s so fun!  Here’s a little quiz.  See if you can you guess the intended meaning behind these phrases.  (and for my Chinese friends, see if you can recognize my English translations.  Any suggestions?)  Answers are below:  
1.  Don’t give me a tall hat.                                                                          
2.  Big eyes stare at small eyes.
3.  Speak of a thousand to ten thousand
4.  Eat tasty and drink spicy
5.  Take a good heart for a donkey’s liver
6.  Anger pail
7.  Go fishing for three days and dry the nets for two
8.  I’ll give you some color to see
9.  Well water doesn’t intrude into river water
10.  A blind cat caught a dead rat. 
a.  I’ll teach you a lesson!  
b.  No matter what
c.  Scapegoat
d.  Don’t flatter me
e.  by chance, by accident
f.  Live the good life
g.  I mind my business, you mind yours.
h. to do work lazily, lacking perseverance
i.  misunderstand good will for evil intent
j.  To look at each other in surprise or fear.

1.d    2.j    3.b    4.f    5.i    6.c    7.h    8.a    9.g    10e.
But I think my favorite is this:  In English we say "laugh your head off"  . . . in Chinese it’s:  "laugh your teeth out"  —  I love it. 

3 thoughts on “chinese idioms

  1. Hi!! I just skimmed through your profile and I think it makes an interesting read… I read in one of your blogs that you spent a lot of time in Changchun… by that do you mean Changchun, Jilin? I am currently holidaying in Shanghai but I came to China on September 2005 and Studying at a University in Changchun.. I\’m kind of new to China and nothing compares to experiences!! Do you think you could convey some tips, especially when it comes to language difficulties and living in Changchun in general??
    Aside from that, great blog- will read more thoroughly when I return to Changchun!
    春节快乐 !!!

  2. Megan,I took your quiz and I got a 100%!  (Much better than a 67, I must say.)  Process of elimination made it easier, plus, it wasn\’t too hard to match some… like "DON\’T  flatter ME " with "DON\’T  give ME a tall hat."  However, I would like to know why giving someone a tall hat flatters them.  🙂
    I found a website that has a list of idioms and their explanations.  There are lots of sites like this.  A few of my faves I saw on this one: apple of my eye, break a leg, cut to the chase, mum\’s the word, raining cats and dogs, and tie the knot.  They\’re really funny and odd when you think about it!  🙂

  3. What a wonderful family the Wickershams are!  The love you have for each other and your two girls comes through in your pictures, videos, etc. I especially love the video of the girls playing hide and seek.  Rose\’s happy laughter warmed my heart. I pray that all 4 members of your family will be together and Rose will continue to share in your loving family.  She is so lucky to have you as parents who have high moral values and so much love to give.  Blessings,  Janice Chezem FPC

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