Speak of the Devil and He Appears

说曹操,曹操到 (Shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào). This old saying is so familiar to every Chinese person. It means that when you are talking about someone, this person suddenly appears in front of you.

For example:

Wǒmen gānggāng hái zài shuō nǐ ne. Zhēnshì shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào. Kuài qǐng jìn.
We're talking about you and you are here. Speak of the devil. Please come in.
Shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào. Wǒmen zhèngzài shuō Michael zhong le wǔbǎi wàn, tā jiù lái le.
Speak of the devil. We're talking about that Michael won five million and he is here now.

 Cao Cao

Cao Cao

This old saying comes from a historical story. At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty(25AD-220AD), the emperor at that time encountered danger. Someone recommended that the brave Cao Cao could protect the emperor. At that time, the messenger still did not have enough time to inform Cao Cao. However, Cao Cao appeared in front of the emperor and saved the emperor. Therefore, this saying is still used today. Wasn't it a coincidence?

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