idiom deceit house flying daggers

Idiom for the Deceit in House of Flying Daggers

Besides the totally beautiful nature scenes and awesome martial arts, House of Flying Daggers is actually full of lots of lies and deceit.

Who’s the better fox? Xiaomei (Zhang Ziyi) pretending to be the blind daughter of the leader of the Flying Daggers. Or Liu (Andy Lau) working undercover as a police captain when he’s actually part of the House of Flying Daggers?

Well either way, we’ve got the perfect chengyu for this, it’s 深藏不露.

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It’s used to describe those people that are a bit sly and cunning. This idiom implies a bit of deceit and that it may be hard to get a clear read on a person’s actual intentions or personality. The person is usually concealing something.

深藏不露(shēn cáng bú lù): hidden deeply

A breakdown of the characters in 深藏不露(shēn cáng bú lù):

深(shēn): deep (eg. 深刻 – used when memories leave deep impressions)

藏(cáng): to hide something (eg. 隐藏 – yǐncáng).

不(bú): not

露(lù): to show (eg. 揭露 – to reveal [usually st. bad]).

 

Here are some examples found in the wild

 

Usage 1: As a Verb

Example A:

现实让他不得不装出一脸的假象,而对自己的本性深藏不露 “

“xiàn shí ràng tā bù dé bù zhuāng chū yī liǎn de jiǎ xiàng, ér duì zì jǐ de běn xìng shēn cánɡ bú  “

“Reality forced him to put on an act and to deeply hide his true nature”

Example B:

所谓众所周知的伊朗核设施,可能仅仅是个幌子,真正的核设施则深藏不露 “

“suǒ wèi zhòng suǒ zhōu zhī de yī lǎng hé shè shī, kě néng jǐn jǐn shì gè huǎng zi, zhēn zhèng de hé shè shī zé shēn cánɡ bú  “

“The Iranian nuclear facilities known by all may just be a decoy, while the real nuclear facilities remain deeply hidden

Example C:

平时,这个水台在舞台下面深藏不露

“píng shí, zhè gè shuǐ tái zài wǔ tái xià miàn shēn cánɡ bú  “

“Usually, this water table is deeply hidden under the stage.

Usage 2: 深藏不露+的+Noun

Example A:

小事上装糊涂,该精明的时候精明,这才是深藏不露的智慧 “

“xiǎo shì shàng zhuāng hú tu, gāi jīng míng de shí hou jīng míng, zhè cái shì shēn cánɡ bú lù de zhì huì “

“To act confused on little things, and to be quick when you need to be quick – this is what it means to have wisdom that is deeply hidden

Example B:

北京的滑冰爱好者如果在晚间光顾冰场,很有可能邂逅一些深藏不露的溜冰高手 “

“běi jīng de huá bīng ài hào zhě rú guǒ zài wǎn jiān guāng gù bīng chǎng, hěn yǒu kě néng xiè hòu yìxiē shēn cánɡ bú lù de liū bīng gāo shǒu “

“If Beijing’s ice skating hobbyists go to the skating rink at night, it’s very possible that they’ll encounter some ice skating masters who normally deeply hide their talent.

Example C:

棉花…还是一种深藏不露的秘密武器

“mián huā… hái shì yī zhǒng shēn cánɡ bú  de mì mì wǔ qì “

“Cotton… is still a kind of deeply hidden secret weapon”

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