Idioms Gallery
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Language Gallery by Sharon Hahn Darlin


Jul 5, 2010

小貪大失 trifling temptation at a great cost

小 (small) 貪 (desire) 大 (big) 失 (loss)

A la "penny-wise, pound-foolish", this is somewhat close to the feeling you have when you get a parking ticket after trying to save a few quarters. A student risks 小貪大失 when he fails to resist a party night before an all-important exam.


Like contestants on "
Deal or No Deal", people sometimes take a seemingly fair gamble, and sometimes, they win. The prize may not be theirs to begin with, but s
till, it's heartbreaking to watch someone lose everything, even when you have no initial sympathy for their irrational misjudgment.

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