bull in a china shop (like a)

(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.
See also: bull, china, shop
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bull in a china shop (like a)

Clumsy, awkward. There are numerous theories concerning the origin of this expression, which probably was not an actual break-in by a bull. One of Aesop’s fables concerns an ass in a potter’s shop, and Charles Funk long ago suggested that a nineteenth-century British cartoonist used this idea in caricaturing John Bull (symbol for England) and his awkward dealings with the China trade. The earliest use of the precise expression found so far is in Frederick Marryat’s novel Jacob Faithful (1834).
See also: bull, china, shop
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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