China is one of the Four Ancient Civilizations (alongside Babylon, India and Egypt), according to Chinese scholar Liang Qichao (1900). It boasts a vast and varied geographic expanse, 3,600 years of written history, as well as a rich and profound culture. Chinese culture is diverse and unique, yet harmoniously blended — an invaluable asset to the world.
When you read Chinese history, you'll find out that there are a series of legends, tales, myths left, some of them have become classic novel, Idiom allusion, etc. Here we have listed some famous idiom allusion about pearls, you can tell how precious pearls for ancient Chinese people.
The Apple of One’s Eyes---掌上明珠
1.It means the most cherished person. From “Duan ge Xing” of Jinfuxuan, “You loved me so deeply, regard me as the apple of your eyes, how come you changeed and just abandon me in Gouqu.
2.It also means a beloved daughter. From the poem “Ku Cui Er” of Baijuyi in Tang dynasty, “The apple of my eyes is only three years old, however, we are over 60 years old with white hair.
A Perfect Pair/Perfect Match---珠联璧合
Meaning: strings of pearls and girdles of jade are the perfect match bring out the best in each other best wishes.
It comes from “Lv Li Zhi Shang”: “moon and sun like jade, five planets look like a pearl strand.” Since in ancient time, Chinese people believed Feng Shui very much, we thought the presence of the sun and the moon in the sky at the same time or when the five planets of gold, wood, water, fire and earth were seen on one side at the same time, it can be the sign of auspiciousness.
Excellent Singing or Polished writing---珠圆玉润
Meaning: round as pearls and smooth as jade, normally describe that the singing is very beautiful or the writing is polished and fluently.
1.It means that the writing is polished and fluently. From “Ci Bian”, written by Zhouji, a Qing dynasty poet, it says, “The poem of Northern Song dynasty always show people’s emotional while describing the sightseeing they see, that’s the reason why their writing can be so polished like the beautiful of pearls”.
2.It also means the singing is very beautiful. From “Pi Pa Xing” of Baijuyi, one of the most famous poets in ancient China. It says, “ Big Pearls and small pearls are dropping into the jade plate” to describe the sound of lute, thus when we hear beautiful singing or the sound of lute, we always say this word.
Buy The Wooden Box And Return The Pearl---买椟还珠
Meaning: wrong choices or bad vision
This idiom allusion comes from a story. It says during the Spring and Autumn period, there was a pearl jewelry businessman in Chu country, one day he sold pearls to Qi country, in order to make his jewelry look more pretty and improve the pearl business, the businessman put the pearls into a very beautiful wooden box, which is made of expensive wood that has fragrant smell and well delicate.
However, a person loved the pearl box so much that he just want to buy the box rather than the pearl inside.
That’s why this idiom allusion created.