William Dolby

Classical Chinese Translations and Research

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32. Dictionary of Chinese Idioms, Proverbs and Sayings


Book Details

"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 published his last known 'word' document revision, dated 2016: 2nd Edition, Paperback as the final version.

  • 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

This work represents the 32nd of 33 of the Chinese Culture Series.

Please contact us on availablity of this work

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.