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See also: 郑人买履



surname man; person; people buy shoe; to tread on
trad. (鄭人買履)
simp. (郑人买履)


[MSC, trad.]
[MSC, simp.]
From: c. 280–233 BCE: Han Fei, w:Han Feizi (book) (zh:s:韓非子)
Zhèng rén yǒu qiě zhì zhě, xiān zì duó qí zú ér zhì zhī qí zuò, zhì zhī shì ér wàng cāo zhī. Yǐ dé lǚ, nǎi yuē: “Wú wàng chí dù, fǎn guī qǔ zhī.” Jí fǎn, shì bà, suì bù dé lǚ. Rén yuē: “Hé bù shì zhī yǐ zú?” Yuē: “Níng xìn dù, wú zì xìn yě.” [Pinyin]
There once lived a man from Zheng who was about to buy some shoes. He had measured his feet beforehand, and placed the measurements on a chair. When it came time for him to go to the market, he forgot to bring the measurements with him. He had already picked out the shoes that he wanted, and then said, "I forgot to bring the measurements, I need to go home and get them." He returned home (to get the measurements, but by the time he got back) the market was closed, so he could not get the shoes. People would ask him, "Why did you not just try on the shoes?" To this he replied, "I would rather believe the measurements, I don't trust myself."




  1. (mockingly) a person who rigidly adheres to rules and regulations (or established convention), while at the same time ignoring the reality of a situation