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The loss of the nasal –ŋ coda in the ancient northwestern dialect of Middle Chinese, and to use or to open an umbrella no respect for law and order; unruly
trad. (和尚打傘,無法無天) 和尚 打傘 無法無天
simp. (和尚打伞,无法无天) 和尚 打伞 无法无天


Literally: (like a) monk holding up an umbrella - no (respect for) law [1] and order[2]. A Chinese pun for lawless and hairless.




  1. (xiehouyu) no respect for law and order; unruly


  1. ^ Buddhist monks are bald. In other words, they have no hair. The Mandarin pronunciation for "hair" is fǎ ( as in 頭髮), which is homophonous with the word for "law" ( as in 法紀). Therefore, wúfǎ is a play on words; it can mean either ("no hair") or ("no law"). The Cantonese pronunciation for 無髮 and 無法 are also the same.
  2. ^ An umbrella blocks the sky. The Mandarin word for "sky" (tiān, ) is also used in the compound for "heavenly justice" (tiānlǐ, 天理). Therefore, wútiān (, "no sky") reminds one of the phrase wú tiānlǐ (天理, "no justice").
  • ““和尚打伞,无法无天”英文究竟怎么译才好?(What's the best English translation for “和尚打伞,无法无天”)”, in[1] (in mostly English), accessed 2009-05-25
  • “中文歇后语"和尚打伞-无法无天!"的翻译”, in[2] (in Mandarin), accessed 2009-05-25