杯弓蛇影

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Etymology[edit]

Literally: mistake the shadow of a bow in one's cup for a snake

Pronunciation[edit]

Mandarin (Standard Chinese, Beijing)
Pinyin bēi gōng shé yǐng
Zhuyin ㄅㄟ ㄍㄨㄥ ㄕㄜˊ ㄧㄥˇ
IPA (key) /peɪ̯⁵⁵ kʊŋ⁵⁵ ʂɤ³⁵ iŋ²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾/

Idiom[edit]

杯弓蛇影 (traditional and simplified, Pinyin bēi gōng shé yǐng)

  1. a false alarm (self-created suspicion); atmosphere of fear and admonition