Insect illustartion

Useful Chinese Idioms About Insects

As summer begins and cicadas start humming, learn some common insect-related “chengyu”

As summer approaches in China, the annual frustration against incessant mosquitoes and other bugs now out in force is just beginning. But in ancient Chinese literature and poems, insects played all manner of roles, form slanderous mosquitoes to sly flies to self-destructive moths. Many sayings and stories involving insects became four-character chengyu, some still in use today to describe, for example, veteran artists and inexperienced workers. Here are some useful chengyu involving insects, and the stories behind them:

聚蚊成雷 jùwén chéngléi

A swarm of mosquitoes makes a noise like thunder

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author Yang Tingting (杨婷婷)

Yang Tingting is a Chinese editor at The World of Chinese. Interested in telling Chinese stories, she writes mainly about culture, language, and society.

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