Shou Zhu Dai Tu 守株待兔

守株待兔 (Shǒu Zhū Dài Tù) is a 4-word Chinese idiom that literally means to wait for a rabbit by a stump. It is used to describe someone who does not work for something but instead sits around and waits for something to happen.

The idiom originated from the story of a farmer who witnessed a rabbit bump into a tree stump and die. This gave him the idea of waiting near the tree stump for more rabbits to kill themselves that way, so that he would be able to collect the rabbits and not have to work. The farmer waited for a long time but such an event did not occur again. In the end he was ridiculed by everyone because it was such a ridiculous idea that it would never have worked. (In another version of the story, the farmer waited so long that his crops withered due to neglect and the farmer eventually starved to death)

守株待兔 Shou Zhu Dai Tu

Idiom breakdown

守 means to guard/wait/keep watch
株 means a tree stump
待 means to wait
兔 means rabbit

Example sentences

  1. 我们不能守株待兔要努力地向目标前进
    Wǒmen bùnéng shǒuzhūdàitù, yào nǔlì dì xiàng mùbiāo qiánjìn
    We must work towards our goals and not sit around and wait for something to happen.
  2. 什么事也不做,只懂得守株待兔的人,是一定不会成功的。
    Shénme shì yě bù zuò, zhǐ dǒngde shǒuzhūdàitù de rén, shì yīdìng bù huì chénggōng de
    Someone who does not do anything and only knows how to wait around for a reward will definitely not succeed.

If you have any questions or if you would like to contribute a translation or additional examples, please feel free to leave a message below. Thank you!

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