This is a Chinese idiom. Understanding a Chinese idiom requires understanding the corresponding characters and words.


  • 耍 (shuǎ): play, display
  • 嘴 (zuǐ): mouth
  • 皮 (pí): skin


  • 嘴皮/嘴皮子 (zuǐ pí/ zuǐ pí zi): lips (of someone who indulges in an insincere and shallow talks)
  • 皮子 (pí zi): skin
  • 耍嘴皮 (shuǎ zuǐ): pay lip service

Now you should be able to guess the meaning of the idiom. Well, 耍嘴皮子 (shuǎ zuǐ pí zi) means:

  • Just talking but doing nothing
  • Mere empty talk
  • Playing with one’s tongue
  • To show off eloquence

The idiom has a derogatory meaning.

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