The third of the Chinese zodiac is虎– ‘tiger’.


虎 is pronounced hǔ


虎(hǔ)was first seen in Shang Oracle and Shang Bronze Inscriptions. The original meaning of this word referred to felines. Later it began to be used as a metaphor meaning “mighty and brave”. It can also be used to describe a stern and vicious expression. 


狐假虎威(hú jiǎ hǔ wēi)

Literally, “The fox uses the tiger’s prestige to frighten other beasts”. It is a metaphor which means that one relies on the power of someone else to oppress others.

虎落平阳被犬欺(hǔ luò píng yáng bèi quǎn qī)

Literally, refers to the tiger leaving its mountain, falling into the flat lands to be trapped, and getting bullied by a dog. The metaphor expresses that those in power have lost their power or advantage.

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