滥竽充数

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl.
trad.

Etymology[edit]

(excessive; indiscriminate) + (yu: a wind instrument) + (to fill) + (the number)

  1. ^ Because 南郭 has multiple meanings, the sentence could also be translated as:
    a. "A reclusive scholar, from a city in the south, asked if he could play the yu for the king."
    b. "A reclusive scholar, (whose surname was) Nanguo, asked if he could play the yu for the king."
  2. ^ Even though the man couldn't actually play the yu, he figured he could play silently among the 300 men, so that he could receive special treatment by the king.

Idiom[edit]

滥竽充数 (simplified, Pinyin lànyú chōngshù, traditional 濫竽充數)

  1. to fill a position without having the necessary qualifications