Chinese Idiom:嗟来之食 (jiē lái zhī shí)

One year during the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋时期,770-476 BC), there was a the Qi State (qí guó 齐国) was severely strickend by a famine.

Qian Ao (qián ào 黔敖), a very rich but arrogant man took the occasion to showcase his generosity through preparing food by the roadside and giving it to the passing rufugees in charity. A man with shabby clothes happened to walk by with his shoes trailing along, he was so hungry as not to open his eyes. Seeing the poor man, Qian Ao held the food by left hand and the drink by right hand, and shouted at him,"Hi, come to eat !” Hearing the word, the man glared his eyes and said, “It is because I am not willing to eat the food handed out in contempt that I have been famished to such a degree. Though Qian Ao made an apology to him for that, the man still resolutely refused to eat the food and thus he died of hunger in the end.

This set phrase now extensively denotes the disrespectful aims. This story means that a person who has a strong sense of self-respect would rather die of hunger than be despised.





嗟来之食(jiē lái zhī shí)
【翻译】Food Handed out in Contempt.

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