顧左右而言他

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Chinese[edit]

look after; take into consideration; to attend to left and right; left and right sides; both sides
 
and; as well as; but (not); yet (not); (shows causal relation); (shows change of state); (shows contrast)
 
to speak; to say; talk; word
he; him; other
trad. (顧左右而言他) 左右
simp. (顾左右而言他) 左右
Literally: “to look left and right, then talk about something else”.

Etymology[edit]

From Mencius:

:「四境?」顧左右而言他 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
:“四境?”顾左右而言他 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: Mencius, circa 4th century BCE
Yuē: “Sìjìng zhī nèi bù zhì, zé rú zhī hé?” Wáng gù zuǒyòu ér yán tā. [Pinyin]
[Mencius] said, "If within the four borders of your kingdom there is not good government, what is to be done?" The king looked left and right, then talked about something else.

Pronunciation[edit]


Idiom[edit]

顧左右而言他

  1. to try to change the subject of a conversation; to evade the subject under discussion and talk about other affairs; to steer clear of the crucial point

Synonyms[edit]