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ChineseEdit

 
only; merely; just; but
 
to take; to get; to choose; to fetch
 
one; single; a; (before verbs) as soon as, once; (before a noun) entire (family, etc.)
dipper; ladle drink
trad. (弱水三千,只取一瓢飲) 弱水三千
simp. (弱水三千,只取一瓢饮) 弱水三千

EtymologyEdit

From: Chapter 91 of the Dream of the Red Chamber

  • Literally: (although) the Ruo River is three thousand li long, one only drinks one ladle worth of water from it.
    Later on, this phrase was used as a metaphor for choosing only one companion out of all potential mates.

PronunciationEdit


IdiomEdit

弱水三千,只取一瓢飲

  1. there are so many potential lovers to choose from, but you only pick one from among those potential lovers