Subscribe

Using Pretty Words to Cover Up Faults

Origin of the idiom 文過飾非


Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 26, 2013 Last Updated: January 26, 2013
Related articles: China » Culture
Print E-mail to a friend Give feedback

A little boy digs into the candy dish without permission. Pretty words cannot undo a wrongdoing. (Taylor Hinton/Photos.com)

A little boy digs into the candy dish without permission. Pretty words cannot undo a wrongdoing. (Taylor Hinton/Photos.com)

“Using pretty words to cover up faults” (文過飾非, pronounced wén guò shì fēi) is a Chinese idiom that refers to using eloquent words to gloss over a mistake, conceal a fault, or cover up a wrongdoing.

It originates from two sources. The first part, 文過 (wén guò), is from the “Analects” of Confucius, in a passage in which one of Confucius’s disciples, Zi Xia, states: “A person of low moral character is sure to gloss over his faults.”

The second part, 飾非 (shì fēi), is from “Zhuang Zi,” in a chapter called “The Robber Zhi” in which Ji Liuxia described his brother Dao Zhi as being “eloquent enough to hide his faults.”

 

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.




   

GET THE FREE DAILY E-NEWSLETTER


Selected Topics from The Epoch Times

James O Grundvig