葉公好龍

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Chinese[edit]

Lord Ye/She good; well; be fond of dragon; imperial; surname
trad. (葉公好龍)
simp. (叶公好龙)
Literally: “Lord Ye/She's fondness for dragons”.

Etymology[edit]

葉公於是葉公還走魂魄五色無主葉公 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
叶公于是叶公还走魂魄五色无主叶公 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: Han Dynasty, New Prefaces (新序), Liu Xiang (劉向)
Shègōng zǐ gāo hào lóng, gōu yǐ xiě lóng, záo yǐ xiě lóng, wū shì diāo wén yǐ xiě lóng. Yúshì tiānlóng wén ér xià zhī, kuī tóu yú yǒu, shī wěi yú táng. Shègōng jiàn zhī, qì ér húanzǒu, shī qí húnpò, wǔsè wúzhǔ. Shì Shègōng fēi hào lóng yě, hào fū sì lóng ér fēi lóng zhě yě. [Pinyin]
Lord Ye/She was so fond of dragons, that he had carved them on his sickle, his chisel, and all over his house. When the real dragon in heaven heard about this, it flew down and put its head through the lord's door and its tail through one of his windows. Lord Ye/She saw this and fled, frightened out of his wits. This shows that Lord Ye/She was not really fond of dragons. He liked all that looked like dragons, but not the genuine thing.

Pronunciation[edit]


Idiom[edit]

葉公好龍

  1. (figuratively) to pretend to be fond of something while actually fearing it