Proverbs commonly attributed to be Chinese

From Quotes
It is a good thing that life is not as serious as it seems to a waiter.
Don Herold
Jump to: navigation, search

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

See also

External links