A treasure knife does not age – No-nonsense Chinese Idioms

A treasure knife does not age. This is a great idiom that is almost always used to describe old people who’ve still got it. What better example could there be than good old 史恩·康納萊 (shǐ ēn · kāng nà lái).


Pinyin: bǎo dāo wèi lǎo
English: Treasure knife does not age; old but still vigorous/still got it

Sean Connery

Example Usage

wǒ hái shì yīyàng bǎodāowèilǎo

I’m old, but still as vigorous as always

他雖然年紀大了但演技過人,真是寶刀未老啊 (他虽然年纪大了但演技过人,真是宝刀未老啊)
tā suīrán niánjì dà le dàn yǎnjì guò rén zhēn shì bǎodāowèilǎo a

Even though he may be old, his acting skills are still better than most, he’s definitely still got it!

The way you translate this idiom into English is really up to you, it really depends on who you are talking about and the situation. Just remember to capture the feeling that the person you’re talking about is still 厲害(厉害 lì hài) regardless of their age.

2 responses to “A treasure knife does not age – No-nonsense Chinese Idioms

  1. Hi Chris- I found this post extremely helpful in explaining this idiom. The examples make it so usable. How do you come up with those? Have you heard people using the idiom this way?

    Thanks for the great info!


  2. Hi Nora,

    Honestly, I can’t remember because I learnt this one quite a long time ago. Most, if not all of the time, I hear them used in films, and after checking a dictionary I will ask a native speaker friend to suggest an example sentence, or check one that I have already written. With the exception of 孑然一身 or “forever alone” which I’ve really only seen used on the internets, all of the other idioms I chose because I think they are genuinely useful.

    Take it easy,

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