Chinese chéngyǔ explained - 梁上君子 - How to say a thief, a burglar, or a person who divorced from reality

Dear all:

Today I am going to tell a story behind the Chinese idiom 梁上君子 liáng shàng jūn zǐ, hope you enjoy it. (成语 chéngyǔ)


In the Eastern Han Dynasty, there was a man named Chen Shi (陈寔). One day, a thief slipped into his living-room. Hiding behind the beam, the thief waited for Chen Shi to fall asleep. Chen Shi, finding the thief, called his family together, saying, "To be a upright man one must have aspirations. Men are not born evil. But if one gets used to doing evil things, it will be hard to reform. The gentleman above the beam is such a man." The thief, hearing this, hurriedly jumped down and knelt on the ground to beg forgiveness.


This idiom is used to refer to a thief, a burglar. And now it also refers to a person who divorced from reality.


thief: 小偷 xiǎo tōu

burglar: 夜贼 yè zéi,窃贼 qiè zéi

a person divorced from reality:脱离实际的人 Tuōlí shíjì de rén

Views: 696


What do you think? If you would like to comment you can join free

Join Study More Chinese

Comment by Gen on May 24, 2012 at 7:52am

Thanks again, Wenzhuo!
yes, I'd do the same as well but it's because I'm a short stories lover, especially this story with colourful picture!
No worries, I can understand you perfectly! keepp up the good work!
I'd love to read more stories! hehe :D

Comment by 凯文 on May 23, 2012 at 10:24pm

I agree with Gen!  I know my 4 yr old son would find such story's really interesting.  I also find Chinese idioms so interesting! thanks for sharing! 

Top Member
Comment by Zhang Wenzhuo on May 20, 2012 at 9:50pm

Hi, Gen 老师

You are always welcome! I read this idiom from my uncle's 4-year old daughter's book, I thought that Chinese learners might be interested, so I wrote today's blog. I'm pretty sure there must be some grammar mistakes in my sentences, really hope it wouldn't bother you and others! :)

Comment by Gen on May 20, 2012 at 8:41pm

This could make a great short story telling session for kids!
Thank you Wenzhuo!

Certified Online Chinese Teacher

Recommended Live Chinese Class

Mandarin tutor on skype

mandarin tutor on skype

Popular School in China

Try I Love Learning Chinese

Sponsored Links

© 2020   Learn Chinese Online at Study More Chinese, created by Brandon. Contact us for links & advertising.

StudyMoreChinese on Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus  |  LinkedIN   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service