Today, we'll talk about the popular Chinese idiom: 说曹操，曹操到 (Speak of the devil, and he appears).
In HSK examination paper, there is a question like this:
In the sentence "说曹操，曹操到", whom does "曹操" refer to:
A: me; B: the politician named 曹操; C: the people I am waiting for
The right answer is "the people I am waiting for". Why? The story can be traced back to the Han Dynasty when several warlords tried to chase and kill powerless Emperor Xian of Han (the last emperor of Han dynasty). The emperor was forced into exile and in extreme danger because the killers may appear at any time. So someone recommended the then famous and powerful general Cao Cao to the emperor. However, before the courtier was dispatched, the sudden arrival of Cao Cao's troops defeated the warlords and saved the emperor.
Therefore, now, when someone pops up in front of you at the exact moment when you are talking about him or her, then you can say "说曹操，曹操到" to express your astonishment for the coincidence. Here, 曹操 is not the famous politician two thousand years ago.
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