Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From: Chapter 91 of the Dream of the Red Chamber
- Literally: (although) the Ruo River is three thousand li long, one only drinks one ladle worth of water from it.
- Later on, this phrase was used as a metaphor for choosing only one companion out of all potential mates.
- there are so many potential lovers to choose from, but you only pick one from among those potential lovers