Chinese Idioms About Tigers

Chinese idioms about tigers

2022 is the Year of the Tiger, which starts on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, or the first of February in the Gregorian calendar. Tiger is the third animal zodiac in the 12 animal zodiac list. This year is the year of the water tiger, which comes every 60 years, as there are five types of tigers by elements (wood, water, metal, earth, fire).

Here is a list of Chinese idioms about tigers:

卧虎藏龙
wò hǔ cáng long

Literal translation: crouching tiger hidden dragon

Meaning: hidden talent

马马虎虎
mǎ mǎ hu hu

Meaning: so-so, reckless

狼吞虎咽
láng tūn hǔ yàn

Literal translation: the wolf swallows and the tiger gulps

Meaning: eating furiously

调虎离山
diào hǔ lí shān

Literal translation: to bait the tiger to leave the mountain

Meaning: to trick someone to leave their position in order to perform an action

生龙活虎
shēng lóng huó hǔ

Literal translation: to be born a dragon and to live as a tiger

Meaning: lively and vigorous

虎口拔牙
hǔ kǒu bá yá

Literal translation: to extract teeth from a tiger’s mouth

Meaning: to do something very dangerous

龙争虎斗
lóng zhēng hǔ dòu

Literal translation: dragon and tiger fight

Meaning: a fiery competition

如虎添翼
rú hǔ tiān yì

Literal translation: like a tiger with wings

Meaning: people who become stronger with other’s help

谈虎色变
tán hǔ sè biàn

Literal translation: to change one’s color when talking about tigers

Meaning: to become anxious when talking about things one is scared of

前怕狼,后怕虎
qián pà láng, hòu pà hǔ

Literal translation: to be scared of wolves in the front and tigers at the back

Meaning: timid and worry too much

一山不藏二虎
yī shān bù cáng èr hǔ

Literal translation: one mountain does not hide two tigers

Meaning: two people who are not compatible

山上无老虎,猴子称大王
shān shàng wú lǎo hǔ, hóu zi chēng dà wáng

Literal translation: monkeys become kings as there are no tigers on the mountain

Meaning: ordinary people play big roles as there are no talents