bull in a china shop (like a)

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