Set phrase: Definition, meaning and example of 杯弓蛇影

By | July 2, 2013

Definition of 杯弓蛇影 (Bēi gōng shé yǐng)

杯弓蛇影refers to misapprehend the shadow of a bow in the cup (of tea) as snake. It means the panic caused by too much worry and false alarm.

Origin of 杯弓蛇影

A host gave a glass of wine to the guest, there was a bow hanging on the wall opposite the guest. The bow shadow just got reflected in the transparent glass, it seemed that a snake was in the glass; after drinking the guest felt uncomfortable due to psychological reason. He felt better after the host come made an explanation.

Example of 杯弓蛇影

世界本没有鬼,不要杯弓蛇影。
There is no ghost in the world, your worry comes from nowhere.

Synonyms: 草木皆兵、疑神疑鬼、风声鹤唳、满腹疑团、狐埋狐搰

Antonyms: 处之泰然、安之若泰、谈笑自若、泰然自若、若无其事

In the over 5,000 years history of China, Chinese idioms or set phrases (中国成语) exhibit concentrated Chinese language culture. They are simple, accurate, very expressive and widely adopted. The formation of each idiom shows some real historical facts, which reflect the political, military, cultural, civil fashion and morality in different periods with strong Chinese features. Learn more about other 4-word set phrases.

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