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到太歲頭上動土

English translation: to provoke someone by far more powerful

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10:40 Jun 27, 2004
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / novel
Chinese term or phrase: 到太歲頭上動土
In a book by Louis Cha or 金庸。 Tai Sui is Jupiter. I wonder why he has used this allusion, whether it is a common one in Chinese?
xxxkgriff
Local time: 14:43
English translation:to provoke someone by far more powerful
Explanation:
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Note added at 3 mins (2004-06-27 10:43:36 GMT)
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In my dictionary:
太岁 = planet jupiter; village petty tyrant; the God of the Year (who changes his dwelling annually and forbids contruction where he happens to dwell)

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Note added at 5 mins (2004-06-27 10:45:45 GMT)
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「好大的膽子,你竟敢在太歲頭上動土!」這是一句我們常常聽到的俗諺,卻不知到它到底是從那裡來的?

這個傳說源自漢代,傳到後世愈禁愈嚴,愈來愈繁瑣,凡是太歲所在的方位及相反的方位,都不可以動土營造,凡是違反這個禁忌的人,就會招來災禍,遭到惡運\。後來就慢慢轉變為比喻觸犯凶惡的人,以致於遭到禍殃的成語
http://mozilla.hss.nthu.edu.tw/utopia/taisui/dig1.html


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Note added at 6 mins (2004-06-27 10:46:55 GMT)
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to beard the lion in his den 太岁头上动土;亲自挑战权威
w3.ly.ks.edu.tw/~atlantia/phrase-animal/l.htm
Selected response from:

Denyce Seow
Singapore
Local time: 21:43
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3to provoke someone by far more powerful
Denyce Seow
4Slapping a fly on the nose of a tigreWenjer Leuschel


  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
到太歲頭上動土
to provoke someone by far more powerful


Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 mins (2004-06-27 10:43:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In my dictionary:
太岁 = planet jupiter; village petty tyrant; the God of the Year (who changes his dwelling annually and forbids contruction where he happens to dwell)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2004-06-27 10:45:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

「好大的膽子,你竟敢在太歲頭上動土!」這是一句我們常常聽到的俗諺,卻不知到它到底是從那裡來的?

這個傳說源自漢代,傳到後世愈禁愈嚴,愈來愈繁瑣,凡是太歲所在的方位及相反的方位,都不可以動土營造,凡是違反這個禁忌的人,就會招來災禍,遭到惡運\。後來就慢慢轉變為比喻觸犯凶惡的人,以致於遭到禍殃的成語
http://mozilla.hss.nthu.edu.tw/utopia/taisui/dig1.html


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 mins (2004-06-27 10:46:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

to beard the lion in his den 太岁头上动土;亲自挑战权威
w3.ly.ks.edu.tw/~atlantia/phrase-animal/l.htm

Denyce Seow
Singapore
Local time: 21:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ozethai: Also: To scratch Buddha's head -- now you understand why in Thailand they don't touch another person's head! :)
6 mins
  -> Yes, SIR! I'll keep that in mind!! ;-)

agree  Shang: i love 'To scratch Buddha's head'.
23 mins
  -> Me too....

agree  Xiaoping Fu: Good job!!
20 hrs
  -> THANKS, Mr. Fu!!!!!! :)
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
到太歲頭上動土
Slapping a fly on the nose of a tigre


Explanation:
I would suggest not to slap a fly on the mose of a tigre.
That would mean the same thing as to move (動) the soil (土) covering the head (頭) of one the 60 divinities (太歲) who govern the years from beneath of the earth.

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Note added at 4 hrs 42 mins (2004-06-27 15:22:39 GMT)
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Literally, moving/removing (動) the soil (土) covering the head (頭) of one the 60 divinities (太歲) who govern the years from underneath the earth.

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Note added at 4 hrs 42 mins (2004-06-27 15:23:17 GMT)
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Therefore, I would say, \"Don\'t slap a fly on the nose of a tigre!\"

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Note added at 4 hrs 44 mins (2004-06-27 15:25:03 GMT)
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Or, don\'t even clap a fly on the nose of a sleeping tigre!

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Note added at 4 hrs 50 mins (2004-06-27 15:31:29 GMT)
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Or else, you would 吃不了兜着走 (take with you what you cannot digest)!

That is, a tough luck would \"stick with\" you.

Wenjer Leuschel
Taiwan
Local time: 21:43
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 54
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