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葉公好龍 (Yègōnghàolóng)


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葉公好龍 (Yègōnghàolóng) - appears to like something but actually doesn't or despise it

Literal meaning - Mr. Yeh likes dragon

A folklore from the Spring & Autumn Warring Period about a magistrate called Ye that is obsessed with dragons. Everything about him from the pillars in his house to his bed, from head to toe were filled with portraits of dragons. Soon the celestial dragons in the heaven heard about Yeh and felt deeply touched that someone who has never met a real dragon before can adore them so much. So one of the celestial dragons decided to pay Ye a visit to thank him for his gratitude.

While late at night, while Ye was sleeping he got woken up by the dragon. As Ye had never actually seen a real dragon before, he got the shock of his life. "What is this ugly creature? It's a monster!" Ye shouted in fear and fainted. The dragon was confused as the dragon thought that Ye would be delighted to finally meet someone that he has adored for so long.

葉公好龍 (Yègōnghàolóng) is used to describe when someone proclaims that he likes something is in fact a lie.


"你不必再「葉公好龍」呢, 我知道你根本就不喜歡Justin Bieber的。妳是怕我不高興才說很喜歡."

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That's an other adorable story!

A slighty different meaning of 葉公好龍 is: "to pretend to be fond of sth wile actually fearing it" or "ostensible fondness of sth one really fears", so it does not necessarily have to be a lie, it can also portray the circumstance where one adores something, but feels kind of scared about it at the same time.

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