bull in a china shop

bull in a china shop
(mostly used with phrase “like a“)


  • extremely awkward, clumsy person
  • to be aggressive when in fact the need of the hour is to stay calm
  • to handle a delicate situation badly
  • to not be able to manage a light situation
  • to act in a clumsy manner thereby causing destruction unintentionally

Example Sentences

  1. The president has been attacking foreign ministers and even the people in his own party like a bull in a china shop. This has not only led to a lot of criticism but people have started alienating from him.
  2. I behaved like a bull in a china shop last night. I’m so sorry.
  3. You are like a bull in a china shop, a complete misfit in a museum.
  4. My daughter is almost always like a bull in a china shop.
  5. You need not act like a bull in a china shop. There are better ways to resolve this.
  6. Tom Roger is like a bull in a china shop when it comes to dealing with her wife’s feeling and emotions.
  7. Do you really have to behave like a bull in a china shop while I speak with my clients?


The phrase comes from literally imagining a bull in a shop that sells crockery, also known as china from it close association with the Chinese markets. It is speculated to have originated in the 1800’s in America in Frederick Marryat’s novel called “Jacob Faithful” published in the year 1834.


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