No32: Dictionary of Chinese Idioms, Proverbs and Sayings

Can be purchased at Amazon (print on demand or Kindle)


Product details

  • Paperback: 566 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (21 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1541212150
  • ISBN-13: 978-1541212152
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm


No.32 of the Chinese Culture Series is titled "Chinese Idioms, Proverbs and Sayings: over 2000 explanations" by William Dolby

The 1st edition (hardback) was self-published in 2012 although earlier (unknown) versions were apparantly published or part published during the 1980's - we have been unable to locate these earlier versions.

As Bill often said about all of his work, it's 'work in progress' and so we have piublished his last known revision, dated 2014, 2nd Edition, Paperback as the final version.



A great abundance of vivid idioms florusihes in the Chinese language. The principle and most typical form of them is the Ready-made Sayings (ch'eng-yü), mainly four-syllable set expressions, including both proverbial and descriptive ones. The idioms derive from a vast variety of sources, including literature, historiography and folk traditions. Higher level Chinese writing typically makes copious use of them, with a considerable of amount of recycling of ancient idioms in recent decades: the widespread assumption in modern Chinese, is that vividness and pithy ingenuity contribute favorably to meaningful expression and stimulation of ideas, and that the concise encapsulation of such things as conditional wisdom and memorable descriptions has an indispensable contribution to dense, lucid and striking language, often aiding the memory by the combination of vivacity and brevity.