Á tử ngặt hoàng liên.

A mute keeping goldthread in one’s mouth.

The meaning is being unable to speak despite the pain and discomfort (i.e., bitterness). Goldthread is a bitter herb used as medicine. This is similar to “Holding one’s tongue” or “Cat got your tongue?”

Ả Tạ nàng Ban

Xie Daoyun and Ban Zhao.

The meaning is describing intelligent and knowledgeable women by comparing them to Xie Daoyuan (Tạ Đạo Uẩn) and Ban Zhao (Ban Chiêu), famous female scholars. Daoyun is a famous poet, writer, scholar, and debater of the Jin Dynasty. Her brother is general Xie Xuan and her uncle is prime minister Xie An. Zhao is a historian, famous philosopher, and politician of the Han Dynasty. She completed her late brother Ban Gu’s Book of Han and wrote Lessons for Women.

Ăn sống nuốt tươi.

Eating raw swallowing fresh.

This is also “Ăn tươi nuốt sống / Eating fresh swallowing raw.” The meaning can be 1) eating quickly without care for digestion equivalent to “Wolfing down food” or 2) conquering quickly and crushing opposition equivalent to “Eating someone alive.”