천군만마(千軍萬馬) – Korean 4 Character Idioms #15

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

Let's say you are a general of a troop, and you are guarding a castle. One day, the enemy came to kill you with a great number of army. You might be out of your mind. However, the government knew the attack and they sent you a big army to support you. 천군만마 is the word for this big army.

천 means a thousand, 군 means soldiers, 만 means ten thousand, 마 means horse. The basic meaning of 천군만마 is a big army. Like many 4 character idioms, its basic meaning is not widely used. Koreans only use 천군만마 figuratively to describe a great help, a fantastic support when you were in a great danger.

Some of you might have noticed that there are only a thousand soldiers but there are 10 thousand horses, 10 horses for a person. It looks like a waste of horses. Actually, 군 sometimes mean a troop of army, so 천군만마 also means that a thousand troops and 10,000 horses. Then, it sounds more natural. I told you 군 as soldier earlier because every resource I have explains it like that, so I followed the suit.

Examples

이 분야 최고의 전문가분께서 나를 도와주신다는 말씀에 천군만마를 얻은 듯 기뻤다.
When I heard that the top expert in this field will help me out, I was happy because it saved me out of the trouble.

생각 없이 구글에 내가 해야 할 일을 검색해 보았는데, 그 일을 해결해 줄 공짜 프로그램이 존재했다. 천군만마가 따로 없다.
I googled what I am trying to do without thinking, and I found out a free software to solve my problem. What an unexpected support!

항상 내 책을 홍보할 방법이 없어서 고민이었는데, 그분께서 자기 사이트에서 내 책을 소개해 주시겠다고 했다. 천군만마를 얻은 기분이었다.
I always worried that there was no way to promote my book, but she told me that she will introduce my books in her own site. I felt like I got a big and unexpected present.