A big tree catches wind. / Tall poppy syndrome [related sayings]

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quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
We have a saying, "a big tree will draw or catch lots of wind."

For a start, I'm not sure which I should use here draw or catch, or some other word.

Second, does this saying make sense to you? Roughly speaking, it means if you're very prominent, you'll easily fall victom to jealousy.

What are the English versions of this proverb? Thanks.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    We have a saying, "a big tree will draw or catch lots of wind."

    For a start, I'm not sure which I should use here draw or catch, or some other word.

    Second, does this saying make sense to you? Roughly speaking, it means if you're very prominent, you'll easily fall victom to jealousy.

    What are the English versions of this proverb? Thanks.
    To answer your first question, I would use the word "draw". To me, it's similar to a magnet "drawing" metals toward it - a successful, prominent person would attract jealousy.

    Secondly, I've wracked my brain to think of an English version and the only thing I can think of regarding jealousy is "green with envy". In other words, if I'm very jealous/envious of you, I'm "green with envy". And please don't ask why "green" because I don't have a clue!:D
     

    mrbilal87

    Senior Member
    English (NAmE)
    Perhaps the old English proverb "A big tree attracts the woodman's axe" would fit here?

    I'm not completely sure, though. Any other opinions on this?
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Well, there's the very unimpressive "The bigger they come, the harder they fall." Also "Pride goeth before a fall," but that's not quite the same thing.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    There is a Dutch proverb:

    Little strokes fell great oaks.

    Also this is good, from Beaumont (courtesy of an Internet search):

    Envy, like the worm, never runs but to the fairest fruit; like a cunning bloodhound, it singles out the fattest deer in the flock. Abraham's riches were the Philistines' envy; and Jacob's blessing bred Esau's hatred.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    A big tree catches wind.



    Hi,
    The above is one of our idioms litterally translated into English.
    Is it self-explanatory?
    It means litterally a big tree is sure to catch more wind than small ones.
    Metaphorically, it implies famous people are more prone to get into troubles.
    What is the counterpart of English? Thanks.

    << Merged with previous thread. >>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The closest one I can think of is: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." This doesn't really say the same thing, though. It means something like "the more powerful or famous you are, the worse/more devastating your defeat will be."
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    The closest one I can think of is: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." This doesn't really say the same thing, though. It means something like "the more powerful or famous you are, the worse/more devastating your defeat will be."
    No. They are not about the same.
    Yours is closer in meaning to "the higher one climbs, the harder they falls."
    Ours put more emphasis on reminding people of the benefits of always keeping a low profile.

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
    Thanks, soccergal, for your gracing this thread.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    How about the "tall poppy syndrome?" In other words, the more one stands above the rest, the more likely it is to be the first cut down.
    Yea, sdgraham.

    I guess the concept of tall poppy syndrome is exactly the same with our counterpart.

    And your version--the more one stands above the rest, the more likely it is to be the first cut down--is as good as our equivalent. But is it an English saying or did you father it?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    But is it an English saying or did you father it?
    I provided a link above to a full Wikipedia entry for it, but you might not be able to read it. In short:

    Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term used in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I had never heard or read the term "tall poppy syndrome" before I saw the Wikipedia entry linked to post #5. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I very much doubt that it is in common use in the UK.
     
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    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    I provided a link above to a full Wikipedia entry for it, but you might not be able to read it. In short:

    Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term used in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.
    Thanks, sdgraham.
    Indeed, I have read the short part you posted here before.

    I had never heard or read the term "tall poppy syndrome" before I saw the Wikipedia entry linked to post #5. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I very much doubt that it is in common use in the UK.
    Thanks, sound shift.

    Are there English counterparts that pop into your mind?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I had never heard or read the term "tall poppy syndrome" before I saw the Wikipedia entry linked to post #5. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I very much doubt that it is in common use in the UK.
    Yes, I've only ever come across it in Canada (which, interestingly, isn't listed in the Wiki article...).
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    Yes, I've only ever come across it in Canada (which, interestingly, isn't listed in the Wiki article...).
    Thanks, Loob, for gracing this thread.

    Are they about the same to you, our version and tall poppy syndrome?
     
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