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Coining Original 四字成語

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Sometimes there's an idiom in English to which I cannot find a suitable Chinese 四字成語 equivalent, and so I've decided that since there exists no rule against coining your own, why not get creative?


Here are five that I'm going with so far:


自劓鄙顏 'to cut off one's own nose to spite the face'

廢水廢嬰 'to throw out the baby with the bathwater'

失雙持隻 'a bird in hand is worth two in the bush'

善意死路 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'

出力斷足 'break a leg'


Granted, these are written in Literary Chinese, and that's the point; it's succinct and not topolectally specific (even Sinoxenically compatible!).

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maybe no rules per se, but I feel like there's some unwritten rule in the sinosphere that new four character sayings or chengyu have to stem from some obscure internet meme reference in order to pass the criteria, 不明覺厲-style


however the result is distinctly non-literary in flavour, so I wholly support your endeavor

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