Proverbs commonly attributed to be Chinese
These are proverbs, idioms, and curses whose authenticity and provenance as being Chinese is in question, however they are commonly attributed to be Chinese.
- May you live in interesting times
- May you come to the attention of those in authority
- May you find what you are looking for
- Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
- A dried fish cannot be used as a cat's pillow
- Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps a songbird will come
- The fish sees the bait, not the hook; a person sees the gain, not the danger
- Schools of fish come to those who wait patiently; if the big ones don't come, the little ones will
- Long time no see. (This is a word-for-word translation of the common Cantonese expression "好耐冇見"/"hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3", and the Mandarin equivalent "好久不见"/"hao3 jiu3 bu4 jian4"). It is therefore quite plausible the phrase entered the English language from Chinese)
- Blood is thicker than water
- Man with old shoes has walked far
- No money no talk
- Dog eat dog (bone)--actually an English expression, originally dog don't eat dog, or criminals don't prey on each other; similar to 'honor among thieves'
- Don't curse the darkness--light a candle
- Alternatively: It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
- Attributed in China to Anna Louise Strong, but used as early as 1907 The Supreme Conquest, and Other Sermons Preached in America by William Lonsdale Watkinson