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Chinese Idiom
功亏一篑 (gōng kuī yī kuì)

altOnce a man planned to build a terrace. He worked very hard and spent a lot of time digging and carrying earth. When the mound was almost completed and only one more basket of earth was needed, the man gave up. The terrace was never completed.
This idiom means to fail to succeed for lack of final effort. It has a connotition of pity.



刮目相看 (guā mù xiāng kàn)


Lv Meng (lǚ méng 吕蒙) was a general of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period (sān guó 三国时代,220-280AD). He was born in such a poor family that he did not get any chance to go to the school when he was a child. However, there was still less time for reading when he served in the army after he grew up.

瓜田李下 (guā tián lǐ xià)


Emperor Wen of the Tang dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝) was a very democratic ruler. Before doing anything, he would always ask the opinion of his ministers. Once he asked Liou Gung-chiuan how the people felt about the government. Liou Gung-chiuan respectfully answered, "Concerning your sending Guo Min to be in charge of Bin-ning, some people are in favor and others are not."

郭氏之墟 (guō shì zhī qiū)

On a vacation trip, Duke Huan of the state of Qi came to the ruin of the capital of Guo Shi , which perished long ago.  

Seeing the desolate and bleak prospects of broken tiles, collapsed walls, and clusters of weeds, he could not help asking the local people about the reason of the ruin of Guo Shi.  

害群之马(hài qún zhī mǎ)

altIt was about four thousand years ago. Huangdi (Yellow Emperor)-the first legendary ruler in China went to the countryside to visit an old friend with his entourage. They met a boy keeping watch over a herd of horses on their way.


Huangdi asked the boy, "Do you know the way to my friend's village far away from here?"

含沙射影 (hán shā shè yǐng)

altLegend has it that there was once a water monster called Yu (yù 蜮). It had norns, a shell, wings and three legs, but no eyes. There was a catapult in its mouth. If Yu heard the steps of a man, it would shoot sand from its mouth at him. If even the mans’s shadow was hit, the man would fall ill.
This idiom indicates vilifying people by insinuation.


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