bull in a china shop

Idioms & Phrases

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 © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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