Chinese Idiom:信口雌黄 (xìn kǒu cí huáng)

"Orpiment" is a kind of reddish-yellow mineral which was used in ancient times to paint over mistakes one made when writing.

During the Ch’in dynasty, there lived a man named Wang Yan, who was very eloquent. Wang Yan worked for the government, and would often travel from place to place lecturing the affairs of the country. His lectures were very thorough, and he also added in his own opinions, so his audience always understood him, Wang Yan was a very well-known lecture, admired by everyone.

Whenever Wang Yan gave a lecture, he was always at ease and unhurried. If he made a slip of tongue,he would calmly go back and correct himself. Therefore people said that the "had orpiment in his mouth".

People of later generations expanded this idiom. Randomly saying things for which one has no proof is now known as "randomly speaking out orpiment."


晋朝时候,有一个叫王衍的人,他年轻的时候,口才就很好。后来他在政府机关做事,更是常常引用他读过的“老子”、“庄子”中的道理,到各处讲演,讲国家大 事。因为他讲得很详细,又随时加上自己的看法,所以人人都听得懂。在那个时候,他已经是很有名的演说家了,大家都很佩服他。


信口雌黄 (xìn kǒu cí huáng)
【翻译】Randomly Speaking Out Orpiment.
【释义】信:任凭,听任;雌黄:即鸡冠石,黄色矿物,用作颜料。古人用黄纸写字,写错了,用            雌黄涂抹后改写。比喻不顾事实,随口乱说。

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