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Chinese Idioms 3 - 杞人忧天

Chinese Idioms 3 - 杞人忧天 qí rén yōu tiān

Chinese Idioms 3 - 杞人忧天

Meaning

Like the man from Qi, a kingdom in ancient China, who persistently feared that the sky might fall down on him. This idiom means to entertain imaginary or groundless fears.

Analysis

杞人 qí rén: The people of Qi, a kingdom in ancient China

yōu: To worry.

tiān: Refers to the sky.

Usage

我们要认真分析可能的出现困难,既不要杞人忧天,又不要粗心大意。

We have to diligently analyse the possible obstacles ahead. We shall not be careless, neither should we be overly ~.

Origin

There was a man from Qi, a kingdom in ancient China, who was always worried about things. One day after his meal, he sat outside his house and observed the sky. He soon developed fear that the air in the sky was too thin to support the stars, moon and the sun and that those celestial objects would fall down onto him at any moment. He shared his fears with his friends. However, no matter how his friends tried to talk him out of his worries, he continued to be troubled and soon fell sick. This idiom means that a person is persistently entertaining imaginary or groundless fears.

 

 

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