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草木皆兵 (Cǎomùjiēbīng)


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草木皆兵 (Cǎomùjiēbīng) - Panic over nothing.

Literal meaning - Grass and wood treated as soldiers.

This happened during the era of East Jin during the invasion of King of Qin. After Qin arrived at the border of Jin, King of Qin set up camp there. He ordered his spy to get information from Jin and got the news that Jin's army counterattacked their camp. King of Qin immediately went out to have a look. Arrows flew over his head scaring him to death. Being a coward, he started having hallucinations that the swaying grass and tall trees around his camp were enemy soldiers. He thought that Jin had a huge army and he would surely lose so he ordered his forces to retreat.

草木皆兵 (Cǎomùjiēbīng) is used to describe people that get scared over own imaginations.


"見到一條繩子就說是一條蛇, 真是「草木皆兵」自己嚇自己."

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