Proverb China


Xiaoliangkou chao jia bu ji chou

Couple quarrel hold no grudge

Couples don’t hold grudges when they quarrel


The informant was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area and moved to Southern California to attend college. Both of her parents were first generation Chinese Americans. Her family speaks Mandarin Chinese at home. She recalls her maternal grandmother, who was from China, saying this proverb all of the time; usually in response to her parents frequent arguments. She believes the saying is a reference to the belief that “fighting is healthy for relationships”. She believes that no two people are the same so if you make your complaints known to your significant other then you don’t have time for your thoughts to “smolder” and make you even angrier.

I have read this proverb once before in a textbook that I read for my Chinese class. My informant’s explanation of what the saying means sounds accurate to me. Perhaps people say this because people who have minor arguments are less likely to have big fights that can lead to the couple breaking up. Intimate relationships are very important to people, so people often seek out advice for how to maintain a happy healthy relationship with their significant other.

Annotation: This saying can be found in:

Liu?Yao, Shi, Bi , Y., T., Y,. N.P. (2010). Integrated chinese. Boston, MA: Cheng & Tsui Company.