Idioms Describing Old People Part 2

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

In every culture, idioms serve as concise expressions of complex ideas and experiences. When it comes to describing the elderly, idioms in various languages capture the essence of aging, reflecting the wisdom, resilience, and dignity that come with advancing years. Let's explore two evocative idioms—"老当益壮" (lǎo dāng yì zhuàng) and "年事已高" (nián shì yǐ gāo)—and discover how they portray the strength and maturity of old age.

老当益壮 (lǎo dāng yì zhuàng): Growing Stronger with Age

In Chinese culture, the idiom "老当益壮" conveys the idea of becoming stronger and more vigorous with age. It suggests that as people grow older, they can harness their accumulated knowledge, experience, and resilience to overcome challenges and achieve even greater feats. This idiom celebrates the vitality and resilience of the elderly, highlighting their ability to thrive and flourish despite the passage of time. When we use "老当益壮" to describe old people, we are acknowledging their strength 力量 (lì liàng), vitality, and continued growth throughout life.

力量 (lì liàng), noun, strength


  1. She showed great strength during the competition.
    tā zài bǐsài zhōng biǎoxiàn chūle jùdà de lì liàng.
  2. The team's strength lies in its unity.
    tuánduì de lì liàng zài yú tuánjié.

年事已高 (nián shì yǐ gāo): Advanced in Years

The idiom "年事已高" reflects the acknowledgment of an individual's advanced age and the respect accorded to them as a result. It recognizes the passage of time and the accumulation of experiences that come with aging. Despite the physical 身体的 (shēn tǐ de) limitations that may accompany old age, this idiom underscores the wisdom, maturity, and dignity that characterize individuals who have lived a long life. When we refer to someone as "年事已高," we are acknowledging their life journey and honoring their contributions to society and family over the years.

身体的 (shēn tǐ de), adj, physical


  1. Regular exercise is important for maintaining good physical health.
    Jīngcháng duànliàn duì bǎochí liánghǎo de shēntǐ jiànkāng hěn zhòngyào.
  2. She suffered physical injuries after the car accident.
    Tā zài chēhuò hòu shòule shēntǐ shānghài.

Beloved Idioms in Chinese Culture

Chinese people cherish the idioms "老当益壮" (lǎo dāng yì zhuàng) and "年事已高" (nián shì yǐ gāo) due to their embodiment of respect for the elderly and admiration for their wisdom and life experiences. Firstly, "老当益壮" expresses the Chinese aspiration for the continual progress and growth of the elderly. In Chinese culture, elders are revered as sources of wisdom, growing stronger and wiser with the passage of time. This idiom reflects the praise and well-wishes for their ongoing vitality and positive spirit. Secondly, "年事已高" demonstrates the respect and reverence accorded to the elderly in Chinese culture. Elders are regarded as the pillars of families and society, with their age, experiences, and wisdom considered invaluable treasures. 

Key Sentences:

  1. Although he is already seventy years old, his body is still very healthy, demonstrating the spirit of growing stronger with age.
    Suīrán tā yǐjīng qīshí suìle, dàn tā de shēntǐ réngrán hěn jiànkāng, zhǎnxiàn chū lǎo dāng yì zhuàng de jīngshén.
  2. Although she is already advanced in years, her mindset is still very youthful, full of vitality.
    Suīrán tā yǐjīng nián shì yǐ gāo, dàn tā de xīntài réngrán hěn niánqīng, chōngmǎnle huólì.
  3. Although this old man is advanced in years, he still insists on getting up early every day to exercise.
    Zhè wèi lǎo rén suīrán nián shì yǐ gāo, dàn tā réngrán jiānchí měitiān zǎoqǐ duànliàn shēntǐ.

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