chinese-idioms

6 Snake Phrases for the Year of the Snake

2013 is the year of the Snake (蛇 – shé)!

Contrary to western belief, the snake in Chinese culture doesn’t represent trickery, deceit or evil.

Instead, astrologically speaking, the snake is the yin to the dragon’s yang, the PB to the dragon’s J. The snake represents elegance, grace, wisdom and beauty. It is a lucky sign that carries good fortune in China.

The year of the snake is supposed to bring financial improvement (I like the sound of that!). It’s a great year for aesthetics, so expect more artistic expression and refinement.

Since the snake is the sixth sign in the Chinese zodiac, let’s start off the New Year with 6 snake phrases & idioms!

6 Snake Phrases for the Year of the Snake

1. 人蛇 (rén shé): illegal immigrant

卡车追逐到人蛇

kǎ chē zhuī zhú dào rén shé

The truck caught the illegal immigrants.

 

2. 蛇形 (shé xíng) snake shaped; S figured

许多国际品牌都推出了蛇年特别款的蛇纹或者蛇形新品

xǔ duō guó jì pǐn pái dōu tuī chū le shé nián tè bié kuǎn de shé wén huò zhě shé xíng xīn pǐn

A lot of international brands have all launched special Year of the Snake serpent shaped products.

3. 水蛇腰 (shuǐ shé yāo): slender waist

却始终无法保持纤细的水蛇腰

què shǐ zhōng wú fǎ bǎo chí xiān xì de shuǐ shé yāo

There is no way to maintain the delicate slender waist.

 

4. 打草惊蛇 (dǎ cǎo jīng shé): act rashly and alert the enemy; literally to beat the grass and startle the snake

为了不打草惊蛇,他把车停了下来

wèi le bù dǎ cǎo jīng shé, tā bǎ chē tíng le xià lái

In order to not act rashly and alert the enemy, he parked his car first.

 

5. 画蛇添足 (huà shé tiān zú): unnecessarily adding something superfluous; gild the lily

我觉得办了这种卡只会增加各个环节的工作量,画蛇添足

wǒ jué de bàn le zhè zhǒng kǎ zhǐ huì zēng jiā gè ge huán jié de gōng zuò liàng, huà shé tiān zú

I feel that getting this kind of card will only add a bigger workload to every aspect, gild the lily.

 

6. 虎头蛇尾 (hǔ tóu shé wěi): strong start but weak finish; anti-climatic

抓作风建设要防止虎头蛇尾

zhuā zuò fēng jiàn shè yào fáng zhǐ hǔ tóu shé wěi

Take advantage of this style of construction and prevent a strong start but weak finish.

 

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