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Chinese Idioms - 不学无术

Posted by vann0000 February 13, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: idiom, ignorant, incompetent

不学无术(bù xué wú shù)

In the reign of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, Grand General Huo Guang was a minister who occupied a decisive position at court and was deeply trusted by the emperor. when Emperor Wudi was dying, he entrusted Huo Guang with the task of assisting his youngest son Liu fuelling (Emperor Zhaodi)in go verning the country. After the death of Emperor Zhaodi,Huo Guang made Liu Xun the emperor. who was Emperor Xuandi of the Han Dynasty. Controlling the imperial government for more than 40 years ,Huo Guang had rendered fairly outstanding service to the Western Han Dynasty. After Liu Xun ascended the throne, he made Imperial Concubine Xu his queen. Hankering after wealth and rank, Huo Guang's wife Huo Xian tried to make her youngest daughter Chengjun the queen of Lin Xun. So ,taking the opportunity of the queen's illness, Huo Xian bribed a woman doctor who poisoned the queen to death. The venomous scheme was brought to light,and the woman doctor was put into jail. Huo Guang knew nothing about it beforehand, and it was not until after the event that his wife told him about it. Seized with terror, Huo Guang reproached his wife for doing such a thing, He thought of reporting his wife for her crime, but at the same time did not have the beart to have her wife punished. After much hesitation, he conceited the thing offensive to God and reason in the end. After Huo Guang died,Emperor Xuandi was informed of the case. Someone was sent to investigate it. Hearing this,Huo Guang's wife discussed with her family members and trusted followers in order to find a way to deal with her family members and trusted followers in order to find a way to deal with the situation. Three decided to call the clansmen together to stage a rebellion. But the secret was divulged. Emperor Xuandi sent troops to surround Hue's home, and all the members of Hue's family were executed. Commenting on the merits and demerits of Huo Guang, historian Ban Gu(32-92) said in "The Life of Huo Guang "in his History of the Han Dynasty that Huo Guang "had neither knowledge nor skill and did not understand the major principles". That is to say, Huo Guang did not understand the truths concerning the overall situation because he did not study and had no knowledge. The set phrase" having neither knowledge nor skill" is later used to refer to being ignorant and incompetent.

汉武帝在位的时候,大将军霍光是朝廷举足轻重的大臣,深得武帝信任。武帝临死前,把幼子刘弗陵(昭帝)托付给霍光辅佐。昭帝去世后,霍光又立刘询做皇帝(宣帝)。霍光掌握朝政大权四十多年,为西汉王进立下了不小的功勋。刘询承皇位以后,立许妃做皇后。霍光的妻子霍显,是个贪图富贵的女人,她想把自己的小女儿成君嫁给刘询做皇后,就趁许娘娘有病的机会,买通女医下毒害死了许后。毒计败露,女医下狱。此事霍光事先一点也不知道,等事情出来了,霍显才告诉他。霍光非常惊惧,指责妻子不该办这种事情。他也想去告发,但又不忍心妻子被治罪,前思后想,还是把这件伤天害理的事情隐瞒下来了。霍光死后,有人向宣帝告发此案,宣帝派人去调查处理。霍光的妻子听说了,与家人、亲信商量对策,决定召集族人策划谋反,不想走漏了风声,宣帝派兵将霍家包围,满门抄斩。东汉史学家班固在《汉书·霍光传》中评论霍光的功过。说他“不学无术,暗于大理”,意思是:霍光不读书,没学识,因而不明关乎大局的道理。成语“不学无术”,指没有学问,没有本领。

 不学无术(bù xué wú shù)
【翻译】ignorant and incompetent
【释义】原指没有学问因而没有办法。现指没有学问,没有本领。
【例句】小明整天不学无术,游手好闲。
【近义词】目不识丁、胸无点墨
【反义词】博古通今、博学多才

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