“Lao Wang sells melons and boasts about himself.”
It means praising yourself.
We often use the familiar saying “Lao Wang sells melons, sells melons and boasts himself” to describe people praising themselves for related things, which even seems to be a bit boastful. But you know what? It is said that this sentence has been circulating since the Song Dynasty…
It is said that Wang Po was originally from Xixia. He came to Kaifeng in the Song Dynasty because of the war. When he came here, he was unfamiliar with the place and could not find any work for a while, so he returned to his old business and started growing cantaloupe.
After several years of planting, Wang Po gradually got to know the climate here and figured out a set of techniques for growing melons accordingly. As a result, the cantaloupes grown were very sweet. However, for local people, the cantaloupe looks weird and has never been seen before, so they still can’t sell a few melons every day.
Seeing that his life was going to die like this, Wang Po was anxious, so he simply cut several slices and placed them on the roadside for people to try. He watched people passing by and praised the fragrant and sweet melon. Perhaps God saw his efforts, but by chance, when he was praising the fragrance and sweetness of melons to passers-by, he happened to meet Song Shenzong out of the palace for inspection.
Song Shenzong heard a hawking call on the roadside and called the bearer to stop the sedan chair. “Who’s selling melons there? And you’re bragging about yourself!?”
When Wang Po saw the emperor’s arrival, he quickly took a piece of cantaloupe and presented it to Shenzong. Song Shenzong took a few bites and found it sweet and fragrant. He immediately said: “What kind of melon is this? It’s so delicious! The praise is justified and true!”
As soon as the emperor opened his mouth, Wangpo’s cantaloupe spread all over the country, and everyone wanted to patronize it! This is the origin of the legendary “Old Wang sells melons and boasts of himself”!