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爱屋及乌- (ài wū jí wū)


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The Chinese Idiom 爱屋及乌 (ài wū jí wū)-  means that if you do love someone,you will  love people and things relative to him as well. There is a story behind this idiom and I think it is a good idea to share it with you guys here:

There was once a state called (zhōu 周) in the chinese history. One day, the king of zhou asked his officials for advice on how to deal with prisoners of the war.One of the officials said, "I once heard if you love someone, you will be likely to love even the crows on the roof of his house; if you don't like someone, you are likely to hate even the walls and the everything else of his. The prisoners of war were enemies fighting against us. I think, it would be better to kill them all."

But the king, after all, did not agree with him ."I think we should not treat all the prisoners the same and we should make a difference about the prisoners of war that are guilty and about those who are not. The guilty people should be sentenced to death in order to avoid future disasters." Another official suggested something else. Also the king did not like that idea.Then a third official said, "Your majesty, i think it would be best  if all the prisoners should are set free and sent back home to work in the fields and support themselves by their own labor. What's more, you should keep strictly the rules for reward and punishment and treat your relatives and friends impartially.The people are sure to admire  you if you are reigning your country by morals and laws." The king thought that the proposal of the official was quite reasonable and so he accepted and followed it. Consequently, the domestic situation soon settled down and the country gradually got more and more equal.So what is the meaning of this idiom now exactly?

Well, as mentioned above already, the idiom means  that if you love someone,you will love people and things relative to him as well.

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  • 1 month later...

I really like learning 成语 and I find it one of the most interested and fun parts of learning Chinese. I have heard 爱屋及乌 translated as "Love me, love my dog". Do you think this is a good English translation?

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爱屋及乌 means to love ones house and even to the extent of loving the crows on the roof! 乌 means "crow" and also occurs in phrases meaning "dark clouds' or "darkness", as it is pretty obvious from the semantics.

Yes, it means to love someone and everything that belongs to him or her and the surroundings as well.

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

爱屋及乌 means to love ones house and even to the extent of loving the crows on the roof! 乌 means "crow" and also occurs in phrases meaning "dark clouds' or "darkness", as it is pretty obvious from the semantics.

Yes, it means to love someone and everything that belongs to him or her and the surroundings as well.

BWL is right! "Love me, love my dog" kind of communicates the same meaning, however saying dog instead of crow / bird does not make a lot of sense as it is not embodied in any of the four characters. (乌 refers to birds/crow).

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