For Big Boasters
Can you describe those who boast wildly of themselves with a Chinese idiom? Here's the perfect idiom for this.
Today's phrase reads Wang Zi Zun Da, which means “to boast wildly of oneself”. Here's the story behind it.
In the early days of the Eastern Han Dynasty, more than 1,900 years ago, the central government didn't really enjoy centralized power. The country was under the rule of local warlords, and Gongsun Shu was the most influential one of them all. Living in the city of Chengdu, in southwest China, he even proclaimed himself emperor.
Wei Xiao was another local warlord. Attracted by the power of Gongsun Shu, Wei Xiao hoped to ally himself with him, and sent his general Ma Yuan to visit Gongsun Shu in Chengdu.
Ma Yuan came from the same village as Gongsun Shu, and had known him years before. So he was confident he would be warmly welcomed by his fellow countryman. He even looked forward to a long talk between two close friends.
But, to Ma's great surprise, Gongsun Shu behaved like a real emperor, an imperious and arrogant emperor. He met Ma Yuan for a few seconds, then abruptly dismissed him. That angered the general, who reported the meeting to Wei Xiao: “All the warlords are fighting for control of the whole country. And it's still not clear who the final winner will be. But GongsunSshu sees himself as the most promising one, and lives a life of luxury. He also boasts wildly of himself, but knows nothing about the outside world. Who would want to help a man like him to achieve his high ambitions?” Then Ma Yuan suggested Wei Xiao go to work with the central government.
From Ma Yuan's description of Gongsun Shu, people drew the idiom “to boast wildly of oneself”. It reads “Wang Zi Zun Da”.