"chink in someone's armor", an Achilles heel

A "chink in someone's armor" is a small weakness in someone strong that can be exploited.

The idiom “a chink in someone’s armor” is close in meaning to “Achilles heel“.  “Achilles heel” was explained in an earlier blog.

According to the Greek myth, as a baby, Achilles was dipped in the River Styx by his mother and that made him invulnerable from attack.

But the “chink is his armor” was that his mother held him by the foot when she dipped him and his foot never got wet.

In the Trojan War, Ajax shot by Achilles in the heel, killing  the legendary Greek warrior.

Chink in someone’s armor” refers to a flaw or weak spot in someone who is strong or almost invincible that can be exploited for some advantage.

A “chink” is a small gap or crack in a suit of armor that would allow a weapon to penetrate.

Examples:  “Mack was an excellent businessman, but the chink in his armor was too much drinking.”

“The US is a great nation, but its excessive spending is the chink in its armor“.

I hope you will attempt to write your own sentence using “chink in someone’s armor”.  I’ll be available to provide feedback.

Is there a Chinese way to say a “chink in someone’s armor“?

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  1. amaroma says:

    wow wow,wonderful explanation! I have heard this myth about Achilles when I was a little boy.but I don’t know this idiom until now.
    Thank u for sharing!
    The way in Chinese expression is “致命要害” or “唯一弱点”,the former means a weak snap of someone or something that can make it destroyed if attacking at that spot, the latter means the only weak snap.

  2. JAN says:

    关羽 was the strongest general in three Kingdom period of China, but he also had a chink in his armor, his carelessness and conceit, which led to the loss of 荆州 and his death.

    The counter part of a chink in one’s armor in Chinese may be “可乘之隙”, which refers to a flaw or weak spot in someone that can be exploited for some advantage.

  3. jenny says:


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