和尚打傘,無法無天

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl.
trad.

Etymology[edit]

Literally: (like a) monk holding up an umbrella - no (respect for) law[1] and order[2].

  1. ^ Buddhist monks are bald. In other words, they have no hair. The Mandarin pronunciation for "hair" is fǎ ( as in 頭髮), which is homophonous with the word for "law" ( as in 法紀). Therefore, wúfǎ is a play on words; it can mean either ("no hair") or ("no law").
  2. ^ An umbrella blocks the sky. The Mandarin word for "sky" (tiān, ) is also used in the compound for "heavenly justice" (tiānlǐ, 天理). Therefore, wútiān (, "no sky") reminds one of the phrase wú tiānlǐ (天理, "no justice").

Idiom[edit]

和尚打傘無法無天 (traditional, Pinyin héshàng dǎ sǎn wúfǎwútiān, simplified 和尚打伞,无法无天)

  1. (xiehouyu) no respect for law and order; unruly

References[edit]