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Chinese Sayings
For just $10, you can order a Chinese saying in your choice of calligraphy.

Our collection of Chinese sayings include common sayings, proverbs, idioms, poetic phrases, Confucius quotes , Taoist sayings , Art of War quotes...Some contain 4 character idioms, some are 7 character or 5 character extractions from a famous poem.

There are also parallel phrases - 2 phrases with 3, 4, 5 or 7 characters per phrase - which are best for tattooing one on each arm.

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Choose from any one of the Chinese sayings for a great tattoo:

Code # 4 characters:
S101 A genius always presents himself as a fool (great wisdom disguised as stupidity)
S102Protect my family, defend my country.
S103Courage and wisdom embodied in one.
S104Like a tiger with wings.
S105The grand master of martial arts.
S106Fighting a hundred battles and winning every one of them.
S107Invincible from heaven to earth
S108Standing tall as the sky and firm as the ground.
S109Courageously marching forward
S110Gallant as the dragon and fierce as the tiger.
S111Repay my country with my utmost efforts and unswerving loyalty.
S112Time passes like water.
S113Till the heavens turn cold and the ground we walk unfold.
S114Patience is gold.
S115Even bad guys have their own principles.
S116Crouching tiger, hidden dragon.
S117Flying dragon, dancing phoenix.
S118Soaring dragon, leaping tiger.
S119Blood is thicker than water.
S120Turning defeat into victory.
S121Being the elite standing out from the crowd.
S122Silence is golden.
S123Uncorrupt integrity that is held high above the crowd.
S124Escape from near death.
S125Stride alone stubbornly with one's own belief/decision.
S126The Evil can never overcome the Good.
S127Human will can always overcome fate.
S128Always bathing in the river of love.
S129May we be together under the full moon.
S130The heart is tranquil and the air is harmonized.
S131Riding the wind and breaking the waves.
S132Firmly holding the ticket to victory.
S133Learn to be content with what you have, and you will be a happy soul .(Happy will be the one who always feels content)
S134As the dragon fights , the tiger battles.
S135Taming the tiger, defeating the dragon .
S136Unwavering despite a hundred setbacks.
S137Courage knows no fear.
S138Our hearts are forever tied.
S139Kindness conquers all.
S140No regrets in life.
S141Bringing honor and glory to my family and ancestors.
S142Graceful as the roaming dragon.
S143Words hurt. (referring to: what people say about you behind your back is fearsome)
S144Love at first sight
S145Treading on thin ice
S146The east mountain will rise again (referring to: staging a comeback)
S147Safe and sound, escaping unscathed
S148Never say defeat
S149Honest advice is unpleasant to the ear
S150If you are in a hurry you will never get there.(Haste makes waste)
S151Do not let opportunity slip away
S152Conceited soldiers always lose the battle (Pride goes before a fall)
S153The return of the prodigal son
S154Life is but a dream
S155Let nature follow its course
S156Vow not to bow (with my head held high)
S157Gone with the wind
S158Make peace with whatever comes your way
S159Heaven and earth merged as one
S160sweet or bitter, go through it together
S161The four seas are my home
S162Careful with one's words, cautious with one's actions
S163Go all out with one's strength
S164Pursue and attack while riding on the wings of victory
S165Will not yield despite a hundred setbacks
S166After the worst, great things will come
S167Life is bitterly short
S168Half the effort, double the result
S169Unity of will is an impregnable stronghold
S170The tiger takes the leap, the eagle spreads its wings
S171Once the word is said, the action will be taken (man of his words)
S172Live and die in honor
S173You and I merged as one
S174Eradicate all obstacles/ overcome all challenges
S175There are no seams in angels' clothes. (Flawless without any trace of artifice.)
S176Give up evil, return to good
S177Be not submissive nor overbearing
S178The gains do not make up for the losses
S179One is bold and confident when doing a just cause
S180Looks like right, but is actually wrong
S181Full of energy like the morning air
S182Fight poison with poison
S183One's responsibility is heavy and the journey is long
S184Die without regrets
S185Live the moment
S186At the most desperate deadend one reaches life and opportunity
S187Making a comeback with whirlwind force
S188After the rain is a clear day
S189Spilled water cannot be gathered (what is done cannot be undone)
S190The journey ahead is beautiful like embroidered brocade
S191Each person should make peace with one's destined fate
S192Righteousness has no room for sentiments
S193Righteousness allows no resignation
S194Righteousness needs no looking back
S195Betrayed by many, deserted by the dearest
S196Let go of the demons that haunt your heart
S197To not make progress is to go backward (if you do not keep moving forward, you will only drift backward)
S198Full of energy like the morning air
S199A clear stream flowing in this turbid world
S001A promise is worth a thousand pieces of gold
S002Time flies like an arrow
S003I walk my own path / I do things my way
S004Action speaks louder than words
S006When drinking water, always remember the source
S007Creating one's own fortunes with bare hands
S008Joined together by heaven (heaven made the union)
S009Justice for all from heaven to earth
S010Fight for every minute, snatch every second
S011Repay every wrongdoing with a virtuous deed
S012Take it easy and remain unruffled under pressure
S013honesty is the best policy
S014Never yield never surrender
S015Strengthening oneself with no rest
S016no fear in face of the wind and rain
S017Quest to survive in adversity
S018priceless treasure
S019no worries no concerns
S020no restraint no restriction
S021a bright guiding light in the abyss of misery
S022love deep as the sea
S023love tender as water
S024overcome bitter times, endure trying labor
S025strengthen oneself in adversity
S026vows that fathom the deepest sea, oaths that scale the tallest mountain
S027make merry while you can (have fun when there is still time)
S028all things take on a brand new start
S029all the wealth lies in the heart (meaning one is being content, not looking for fame or money since it all lies within one's heart)
S030only I alone reign supreme(only I alone command all the respect and deference)
S031Righteous integrity that reaches the cloud and sky
S032strive to swim up stream with high aspirations
S033never cease to strengthen oneself
S035lasting as long as heaven and earth
S036finding joy and happiness in one's own way
S037the sea accepts a hundred streams and rivers (meaning a great person can accommodate things great and small)
S038climb to the summit and achieve the utmost
S039at a lost in where to go, and what to follow
S040persist with perseverance
S041together through life and death
S042return to true natural simplicity
S043follow your heart's desire
S044seek common ground while preserving our differences
S045view death as simply returning to where one came from (meaning not fearing death)
S046There is no end to learning
S047The true colors of a hero
Code #3 characters:
S901Loss is Gain
S902Walk with me
S903Dragon amongst the average men
S904Phoenix rising from the flames
S905Steel that withstands a hundred trials
S906Diligence has its reward
S907never cease learning
Code #5 characters:
S951from an exchange of blows, friendship grows
S952One time getting drunk will cure a thousand worries.
S953The good and kind ones are always being bullied
S954 no one knows a son better than the father
S955 treasure the one who is in front of you now
S956 heaven helps those who help themselves
S957 A strong tiger father does not have a weak puppy for a son
S958 A content heart will achieve lofty clear ambitions (this can be used by itself or paired with S959. Original ancient Zhuge Liang quote is S958+S959)
S959 Inner peace and tranquility can help you see and reach far (this can be used by itself or paired with S958. Original ancient Zhuge Liang quote is S958+S959)
S960 Under fierce winds, one can tell which grasses are sturdy (meaning: Adversity is the best testing ground ;this can be used by itself or paired with S961)
S961 In a raging fire, one can see which is real gold (meaning: Adversity is the best testing ground ;this can be used by itself or paired with S960)
S962The loyal heart is reflected by heaven and earth
Code #6 characters:
S971There are no deadends for mankind in heaven
S972Heroes have similar views (great minds think alike)
S973 Asking for help from others is no comparison to helping oneself
S974 People go through sorrow and joy, parting and being together.(this can be used together with S975 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S975 The moon dims and shines, waxes and wanes.(this can be used together with S974 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S976 Man's schemes are always inferior to those destined by heaven
S977 Only having been drunk would one appreciate the intensity of the wine (can be paired with S978 to make parellel rhyming phrases in Chinese)
S978 Only having loved would one appreciate the depth of the passion.(can be paired with S977 to make parellel rhyming phrases in Chinese)
S979 Rising above muddy water untainted(it refers to a person, like the lotus, rising above muddy water untainted )
Code #7 characters:
S201 Beauty's in the eye of the beholder
S202Distant water won't extinguish the fire next door.
S203The fierce tiger from a foreign land cannot fight the local worm.
S204When the tiger ventures from the mountain to the plains, it is bullied by the dogs
S205The way of the family is in harmony.
S206One step in the wrong direction will cause you a thousand years of regret.(The error committed on impulse may turn out to be the sorrow of a whole life)
S207Defeat is the mother of success.
S208Even the greatest hero cannot resist the heavenly beauty.
S209Get drunk while there still is wine (enjoy today, why worry about tomorrow)
S210Revenge for revenge, when will it end?
S211I am the only sober one amongst the crowd that is drunk
S212The boat rights it own course when it reaches the bridge (problems will sort themselves out)
S213The talent heaven has endowed me will eventually have its use
S214After all the gold has been spent, it will eventually come back
S215Wish I could be forever drunk and never sober
S216There will always be a stronger one amongst the strong(this can be used together with S217 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S217There will always be a higher mountain than this one. (this can be used together with S216 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S218Never say everything depends on fate
S219Brush away the clouds and you will see the clear blue sky
S220Within the four seas all are brothers
S221Diligence is the path to the mountain of knowledge (this can be used together with S222 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S222Hard work is the vessel in the endless sea of learning (this can be used together with S221 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S223Only after meticulous honing will the sword have its precious sharp edge (this can be used together with S224 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S224Only after the bitter cold will the plum blossom emit its sweet fragrance (this can be used together with S223 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S225A great man can bend and stretch (meaning: A great man among men is he who knows when to eat humble pie and when to hold his head high.A great man knows when to yield and when not.)
S226A little impatience spoils great plans
S227Mountains which are not conceited about their heights will reach the sky
Code #4 character parallels:( 2 parallel phrases : 4 characters each phrase)
S301A wise gentleman takes his revenge
patienlty over a decade
S302To cultivate trees, you need 10 years;
To cultivate people, you need 100 years.
S303Off by a inch to start with;
Off by a mile as a result.
S304The rise and fall of a nation;
Rests on the shoulders of each individual.
S305What you don't want to be done to yourself;
Dont' do it to others.
S306It is easier to move a mountain;
than to change a person's character.
S307Surviving a big disaster,
is guaranteed to be followed by a pot of luck.
S308Participants themselves cannot see clearly,
Onlookers can see the whole game.
S309With your hands I hold,
together we'll grow old.
S310Don't use whom you doubt,
don't doubt who you choose to use.
S311 After a long split, getting together is imminent;
after being together for a long time, a split is imminent
S312Rather be a broken piece of jade,
than a tile intact.(meaning: rather die as a hero than live as a coward)
S313Rowing a boat against the current,
he who does not advance loses ground
S314Others don't cross me,
I don't cross them. (this can be used together with S315 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S315Others dare to cross me
I will definietly cross them. (this can be used together with S314 as parallel phrases, or used by itself)
S316Strictly discipline oneself
but be lenient with others.
S317Nothing I know that I will not talk about,
nothing I talk about that I will not bare all.
S318rather die for speaking out,
than to live and remain silent
S319Live simply indifferent to fame ;
fare serenely toward high aspirations
S320old man loses his horse;
who knows it's not a blessing (meaning it is difficult to foresee the twists and turns which compel misfortune to beget fortune, and vice versa.)
S321rather be betrayed by others;
than to betray them
S322what has past has already gone;
what is to come can still be chased
S323Those who sow the seeds of blessings
shall harvest plentiful blessings.
S324share our blessings together
bear the hard times together
alternate translation: for better or for worse
S325the sea accepts a hundred streams and rivers
a great person can accommodate all matters big and small
S326The sea of bitterness has no bounds,
repent and the shore is just behind you
S327Sacrifice the smaller self
for the greater good
S328Water can float a boat
it also can sink a boat
S329The past not forgotten
Will be the teacher of the future
S330Not having weathered the bitter cold winter
One will not appreciate the warmth of spring
S331Treasure one's strengths
Forget one's shortcomings
Code #7 character parallels:( 2 parallel phrases : 7 characters each phrase)
S401Try a little bit of patience , the wind and sea will be calm;
Take a small step back , you'll appreciate the greatness of the ocean and the sky.
S402Covet not a gold-threaded robe,
Cherish only your young days.
S403If a bud blooms, gather it ;
Lest you but wait for an empty bough.
S404Stopping the flow of water with the blade of a knife, only makes it rush by ever more strongly;
Ridding one's pains with night long drinking, only makes it hurt even more deeply.
S405An inch of time, an inch of gold;
An inch of gold cannot buy an inch of time.
S406Inside a book you will find girls with complexions like jade;
Inside the book, you will find houses made of gold.
S407A carefully planted seed never blooms,
a carelessly transplanted willow grows into shade.
S408In the sky, we'll be a pair of soaring birds,
On earth, we'll be the joined branches of a tree.
Alternate translation:
In the sky, may we be two birds flying side by side,
On earth, may we be be two branches inseparably tied
S409Just when there seems to be no way out deep in the mountains and at the river's edge,
beyond the dark willows are bright flowers blooming in a new village.
S410A lonely stranger in a strange land I am cast,
I miss my family all the more on every festive day.
S411Never fail to do anything good which you deem petty,
never dare to do anything evil which you consider trivial
Code #5 character parallels:( 2 parallel phrases : 5 characters each phrase)
S501I look up to the sky and see the big bright moon;
I gaze down and think about my far way homeland.
S502Wild fire cannot burn all the wild grass;
As the spring breeze blows, they will flourish again.
S503Big trees have rotten branches ;
large clans have beggars.
S504Sending you a goose feather from a thousand miles ;
the gift is light but the love is strong.
S505One single conversation with you ;
is more enlightening than a decade's study.
S506Man cannot be judged by his appearance;
water cannot be measured by a cup.
S507Wishing for a long life
sharing the beauty of this graceful moonlight, even though miles apart
S508 In this world there is no impossible task,
fear only those with persevering hearts
S509 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of horses
over a long time, you learn about the character of people
S510 Be patient for a moment,
you will avoid a hundred days of sorrow
S511 A man will not continuously have good fortune for a thousand days,
A flower will not continuously bloom red for a hundred days.
S512 Knowing well that tigers roam these hills,
Into these tiger hills I venture.
S513 Only being able to endure the bitterest of all things bitter,
will one become the greatest man of all men.
S514 if you wish to enjoy a grander sight,
climb to a greater height.
S515 Having reached the water's edge and there is no more path,
just sit and watch the rising clouds.
Code #3 character parallels:( 2 parallel phrases : 3 characters each phrase)
S551hitting is affection
scolding is love
S552Be not proud when victorious
Do not give up when defeated
S553With determination and purpose,
anything can be achieved.
S554through experience
wisdom is nurtured
S555Man at the beginning
is born to be benevolent
S556come without a sign
gone without a trace
S557the deeper the love,
the more cutting the hate
S558pride hurts,
humility benefits
S559with a diligent heart,
there is no road too far
S560Diligence has its reward;
play has no benefits
S561be on your guard,
put forth your strength.
S562a woman's heart;
ocean bottom's needle.
S563sow the seeds of goodness,
reap the fruits of goodness.
Code #Taoist sayings by Lao Tzu:
S601One who knows does not speak
One who speaks does not know
(total 8 characters)
S602Humans follow Earth,
Earth follows Heaven,
Heaven follows Tao,
Tao follows Nature.
(total 13 characters)
S603the longest journey begins from where you stand (the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step)(total 8 characters)
S604To know others is wise
to know oneself is enlightened wisdom .(total 8 characters)
S605Those who overcome others have power
Those who overcome themselves have strength.(total 9 characters)
S606Those who understand me are few
Those who follow my principles are even more precious.(total 8 characters)
S607the Tao that can be expressed in words is not the true and eternal Tao.(total 6 characters)
S608the humble is the root of the noble; the high is based on the low(total 10 characters)
S609act by means of inaction, deal with matters by means of not being meddlesome(total 6 characters)
S610through inaction, thus one does not lose(total 5 characters)
S611holding nothing, thus nothing is lost(total 5 characters)
Code #Confucius sayings:
S701First he practices what he preaches
and then he follows it
(total 8 characters)
S702A virtuous gentleman is hesitant in speech,
but sharp in action
(total 10 characters)
S703Think three times before you take any action
(total 5 characters)
S704Having a sense of shame is one step closer to courage.
(total 5 characters)
S705The great man is open, composed and has no worries,
the petty person is always full of distress.
(total 10 characters)
S706Make happy those who are near,
and those who are far will come (total 6 characters)
Code #Sun Tzu's art of war sayings:
S801The day can be long or short
the moon can be waning or full
(total 8 characters)
S802Know the enemy and know yourself, you will win every battle;
know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat;
know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle
(total 28 characters)
S803Attack him where he is unprepared
appear where you are not expected.
(total 8 characters)
S804make what is unreal appear real
Make what is real look unreal .
(total 8 characters)
S805Move as swift as the wind
Stay as silent as the forest.
(total 8 characters)
S806Attack as fierce as fire
Stay immovable like the mountain
(total 8 characters)
S807 the victorious strategist only seeks battle after victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat fights‏ first hoping for victory.
(total 16 characters)
Code #Ancient Chinese love poems:
S850As the bright moon shines over the sea,(5 characters)
From far away you share this moment with me.(5 characters)
(total 10 characters)
S851For parted lovers lonely nights are the worst to be,(5 characters)
All night long I think of no one but thee.(5 characters)
(total 10 characters)
S408In the sky, may we be two birds flying side by side,(7 characters)
On earth, may we be be two branches inseparably tied (7 characters)
Alternate translation:
In the sky, we'll be a pair of soaring birds,
On earth, we'll be the joined branches of a tree.
(total 14 characters)
S852You and me, me and you; so much in love are we
(total 8 characters)
S853the love is strong and pervasive, burning like hot fire
(total 6 characters)
S854As long as we live, we'll share the same bed,
And one coffin will do for us both when we're dead
(total 13 characters)
S855If the love between two people is everlasting,
why need to stay together day and night?
(total 14 characters)
S856a silkworm will only stop producing silk when it dies;
the tears will only dry when the candle burns to ashes
(meaning:I will only stop thinking of you when I die,will only stop crying when I die/turn into ash)
(total 14 characters)
Code #More Chinese love quotes:
S557the deeper the love,
the more cutting the hate
S551hitting is affection
scolding is love
S309With your hands I hold,
together we'll grow old.
S144Love at first sight
S173You and I merged as one
S008Joined together by heaven (heaven made the union)
S022love deep as the sea
S023love tender as water
S128Always bathing in the river of love.
S113Till the heavens turn cold and the ground we walk unfold.
S035lasting as long as heaven and earth
S978 Only having loved would one appreciate the depth of the passion.
S041together through life and death

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