You are here: Home > Chinese Culture > Chinese Proverbs > 指鹿为马

指鹿为马

指鹿为马Zhi3 Lu4 Wei2 Ma3

The English Meaning of the Proverb
zhi3(指): point
lu4(鹿) : cerf
wei2(为): as
ma3(马): horse
Distort the truth on purpose. 
 

The English Story of the Proverb
Zhaogao prepared to launch an insurgency, but he was afraid that the officials won’t listen to him, so he set a trap to probe. He brought a cerf to Second Emperor of Qin, telling him it was a horse. The emperor replied:” you are wrong, you mistakenly consider the cerf as a horse.” Then he asked the officials, some of them kept silence, some agreed with Zhao, someone said it was a cerf.  Zhao slandered those who said it was a cerf, since then, everyone was afraid of Zhao.
 
The Chinese Story of Proverb
赵高想要叛乱(篡夺秦朝的政权),恐怕各位大臣不听从他,就先设下圈套设法试探。于是带来一只鹿献给二世,说:“这是一匹马。”二世笑着说:“丞相错了吧?您把鹿说成是马。”问身边的大臣,左右大臣有的沉默,有的故意迎合赵高说是马,有的说是鹿,赵高就在暗中假借法律中伤(或陷害)那些说是鹿的人。以后,大臣们都畏惧赵高。