What are Idioms and Proverbs?
Idioms and proverbs are often used interchangeably, but they are distinct entities that belong to different fields of study. While idioms fall under the domain of linguistics and are a part of vocabulary, proverbs are a literary genre, specifically a folk literature genre.
Idioms are fixed phrases that express a complete meaning. The meaning of an idiom is often derived directly from the literal meanings of the words that comprise it, but through figurative language techniques such as metaphor, comparison, and synecdoche.
On the other hand, proverbs are concise and complete sentences, often with a rhythmic structure. Proverbs exhibit symmetrical form and content, present a well-reasoned argument, convey wisdom, and provide insights into the practical experiences, ethics, and values of people.
From the above definitions, it can be concluded that “Mèo mả gà đồng” is an idiom.
Exploring the Meaning of “Mèo Mả Gà Đồng”
What does “Mèo Mả Gà Đồng” mean?
“Mèo mả” refers to feral cats, contrasting with domesticated cats. Feral cats are stray cats that live in abandoned places like cemeteries and do not have a fixed home. They wander around to find food.
“Gà đồng” refers to wild chickens that live in fields or mountains, without a specific place to stay.
“Mèo mả gà đồng” as an idiom symbolizes individuals who do not have a stable home, who live aimlessly, devoid of family and morals. It is often used to describe people who indulge in promiscuity, having illicit relationships, disregarding their spouse and children.
Similar Idioms and Proverbs
- “Trai tứ chiến, gái giang hồ” (Boys are warriors, girls are gangsters).
- “Ông ăn chả bà ăn nem” (He eats pork sausage while she eats spring rolls).
- “Đàn ông năm bảy trái tim” (Men have five hearts).
- “Trái ở cùng vợ, trái toan cùng người” (Both good and bad fruits come from the same tree).
Exploring Other Cat Idioms and Proverbs
Cat Idiom: “Mèo khen mèo dài đuôi” (A cat praises another cat’s long tail)
This idiom sarcastically implies that someone praises themselves excessively, despite lacking any remarkable qualities or achievements. They consider themselves superior to others without any valid reason.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo mù vớ cá rán” (A blind cat scores a fried fish)
This idiom depicts a situation in which someone who is struggling suddenly receives unexpected help or experiences a stroke of luck.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo già hóa cáo” (An old cat turns into a fox)
This idiom refers to individuals who have lived long and accumulated valuable experiences. It is also often used to describe people who initially hesitate and lack confidence, but gradually become more cunning and resourceful, like a fox.
Cat Idiom: “Ba keo thì mèo mở mắt” (After three face-slaps, the cat opens its eyes)
In this idiom, “ba keo” represents three failures or setbacks. The idiom conveys the idea that one has to face multiple failures before realizing their true self and understanding their place in the world.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo đàng lại gặp chó hoang/ Anh đi ăn trộm gặp nàng xoi khoai” (A cat meets a wild dog again/ A thief meets a potato pancake)
This idiom suggests that individuals will encounter people in the same social stratum or similar circumstances. It is similar to the concept that a feral cat will meet a wild dog, or a thief will meet someone who is untrustworthy, just like themselves.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo nhỏ bắt chuột con” (A small cat catches baby mice)
This idiom advises entrepreneurs or businesspeople to know their limitations. They should not overestimate themselves, avoid investing in or undertaking tasks beyond their capabilities, and avoid losses or failures.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo mù móc cống” (A blind cat dives into a drain)
This idiom refers to people who have lost their ability to improve their financial situation or pursue a better life. They are forced to accept low-paying, menial jobs just to make ends meet.
Cat Idiom: “Như mèo thấy mỡ” (Like a cat seeing lard)
This idiom portrays someone who appears eager, greedy, or covetous. The imagery is derived from a cat’s strong desire to eat lard, which becomes evident upon merely laying eyes on it.
Cat Idiom: “Mỡ để miệng mèo” (Fat for the cat’s mouth)
Similar to the previous idiom, this phrase conveys vulnerability, lack of caution, and ease of theft. It implies that leaving something unguarded or not paying attention can lead to theft, just as fat left before the cat’s mouth will surely be eaten.
Cat Idiom: “Ăn như mèo hửi” or “Ăn như mèo” (Eating like a satiated cat)
This idiom refers to someone who eats sparingly, consuming a small amount and being picky about food.
Cat Idiom: “Ăn nhạt thì mới biết thương mèo” (Only when you eat bland food do you appreciate the cat)
This idiom means that one can only truly understand the hardships and difficulties experienced by others when they find themselves in a similar situation.
Cat Idiom: “Chẳng biết mèo nào cắn mỉu nào” (Do not know which cat will bite which mouse)
This idiom emphasizes that each person has their own talents, strengths, and unique abilities. It cautions against underestimating others, boasting, or being arrogant, as one never knows who will come out on top until a competition arises.
Cat Idiom: “Im ỉm như mèo ăn vụng” (Quiet as a cat eating stolen food)
This idiom describes someone who commits an offense and deliberately stays silent or avoids discussing the matter. It can also refer to individuals who take advantage of others’ inattentiveness to claim their possessions as if they were stolen.
Cat Idiom: “Mèo vật đống rơm” (A cat fights a pile of straw)
This idiom is used to describe individuals who overestimate their abilities and attempt to do things beyond their capacity or limitations.
Cat Idiom: “Tiu nghỉu như mèo cắt tai” (Sulking like a cat that had its tail cut off)
This idiom portrays someone who is upset, disappointed, or unwilling to engage in any activity. They display a gloomy expression and a lack of enthusiasm throughout the day.
Cat Idiom: “Rình như mèo rình chuột” (Waiting like a cat waiting for a mouse)
This idiom signifies someone who is diligent, patient, and careful when pursuing a goal. They are willing to put in the necessary effort to achieve their objectives, just like a cat that waits long and stealthily without getting detected until it catches the mouse.
Cat Idiom: “Tục ngữ ‘Mèo uống nước, bể chẳng bao giờ cạn'” (When a cat drinks water, the pond never runs dry)
Similarly, just as cats consume very little water, this proverb advises others to spend wisely, ensuring they never fall into financial difficulties.
Cat Idiom: “Lèo nhèo như mèo vật đống rơm” (Climbing up and down like a cat fighting a pile of straw)
This idiom is used to describe someone who talks incessantly, repeating the same thing over and over, making it difficult for listeners to bear.
By analyzing the meaning of the idiom “Mèo mả gà đồng” and providing additional cat-related idioms and proverbs, this article offers readers a deeper understanding and insight into this intriguing aspect of language and culture.
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