CHINESE IDIOMS ABOUT â€œFACEâ€
Illustrating the obsession with face-management, there are literally dozens of Chinese sayings and proverbs that have to do with â€œfaceâ€, including:
â€œMen canâ€™t live without face, trees canâ€™t live without bark.â€
ren hou lian, shu hou pi
â€œA familyâ€™s ugliness (misfortune) should never be publicly airedâ€
jai chou bu ke wai yang
mian zi gong chen
For example, â€œThat new expensive airport is just another face project for local officials to suck up to their bosses.â€
â€œBlacken oneâ€™s faceâ€
Wang lian shang mo hei
For example, â€œHe blackened your face to get you back for what you did.â€
A traditional insult is to say that someone â€œhas no faceâ€.
mei you mianzi
Similarly, one of the worst things is to â€œlose faceâ€.