An Idiom a Day

Chinese: 班门弄斧 (Ban Men Nong Fu)

Direct Translation: To wield an axe before Lu Ban’s door.

Definition: To boast your skills before an expert.

Origins: Lu Ban was a skilled crafter from the country of Lu during the Warring States period. The Chinese people tend to consider him as the father of woodworking.  If anyone dared to boast their skill at using the axe before Lu Ban’s door, in other words attempt to show off his talent before the expert, it would be arrogant and laughable.

Equivalent English Translation:
Teaching fish to swim (common)
Teaching grandmother to suck eggs (common)
To teach our dame to spyne (less commonly used)
*Inappropriate translations have been skipped, but for those curious individuals out there – feel free to google.

Definition: To give advice to someone else about a subject of which they are already familiar (and probably more so than the first person).


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