FUMUFoul Up Move Up (polite form, make a big mistake and get promoted for it)
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References in periodicals archive ?
For instance, it is the root metaphor 'CHI IS DEPENDINGUPON' (Yang Chunsheng, 2004; Li Ruize, 2007; Wang Yingxue, 2007) that makes the expression CHI FUMU (eat parents) possible.
CHI SHITANG (eat dining-hall) kill (CHI DIAO DIREN (eat the enemy) absorb (CHI LI (eat energy) consume(CHI MO (eat ink)) be in a certain state of life or depend upon something(CHI FUMU (eat parents) get used to accepting certain treatment (CHI KU (eat hardships) suffer from unhappy things (CHI KUI (eat losses) >.
DEPENDENCY) sense of CHI in CHI FUMU (eat parents) which could be basically understood as 'depending upon parents'.
The CT sense derives from the The ET2 sense which is widely applicable to the Chinese CHI+NP expressions, such as CHI LAOBAO (eat labor insurance), CHI JIUJI (eat relief supplies), CHI HUIKOU (eat rake-offs), CHI FUMU (eat parents), CHI DAHU (eat rich families), CHI MOSHUI (eat ink), etc.
This is an interesting way to frame the well-known parallels between, for example, the responsibilities of the Emperor and those of the local magistrate (fumu guan--parent official).