bull in a china shop(redirected from awkward as a bull in a china shop)
(like) a bull in a china shop
One who is aggressively reckless and clumsy in a situation that requires delicacy and care. My son can be a bit of a bull in a china shop, so I'm worried about taking him to the museum. Surrounding him with valuables does not seem like a wise idea! This is a complex problem, and if you attack it like a bull in a china shop, you will alienate a lot of people.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*bull in a china shop
Prov. a very clumsy creature in a delicate situation. (*Typically: as awkward as ~; like ~.) I never know what to say at a funeral. I feel like a bull in a china shop, trampling on feelings without even meaning to. Lester felt like a bull in a china shop; reaching for an orange, he made several elaborate pyramids of fruit tumble down.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
bull in a china shop
An extremely clumsy person, as in Her living room, with its delicate furniture and knickknacks, made him feel like a bull in a china shop . The precise origin for this term has been lost; it was first recorded in Frederick Marryat's novel, Jacob Faithful (1834).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
bull in a china shop
Clumsily destructive. An early written example of the expression appeared in Frederick Marryat's 1834 novel, Jacob Faithful , although the image of a bull wrecking havoc as he wandered among tables and shelves of fine porcelain can be traced a century earlier. The expression can also be found in several European languages, although the animal in question is an elephant. In 1940, an American press agent led a bull through a New York City china shop as a publicity stunt. The bull didn't break anything, but a bystander trying to avoid the bull backed into a table and caused the damage.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price