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隣村:the neighboring village 足:foot/leg のばす:aside from growing a beard... stretch, extend...

The best I could think is that it's like a literary way of saying you're heading out (extending your foot) to the neighboring village? I don't trust myself to not miss some special meaning or usage though, so does anyone else have some insight?


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Hmm... Isn't it 「[隣村]{となりむら}(に)まで足をのばす」(not 足に but 足を.)?? – user1016 Jun 7 '13 at 22:07
Yes, you're absolutely right. The particle was a typo on my part! Ah! ごめんなさい >_< – jeelbear Jun 7 '13 at 23:34

隣村まで足にのばす doesn't make any sense.

伸ばす is a idiom that means "go a little further".


① 楽な姿勢をとってくつろぐ。 ② ある地点に着いたあと,さらにそこから遠くへ行く。


博多から足を伸ばして唐津まで行った. From Hakata we went a little way further to [we extended our journey as far as] Karatsu.


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I was thinking this as well, earlier... but what if it is not a typographical mistake in the original book? ^^ – summea Jun 7 '13 at 22:22
Thank you for pointing out the idiom. Perhaps it is alright to say that 隣村まで足を伸ばす could just mean "I extended my journey (continued on) to the neighboring town"? And you're right, the に I wrote was a typo. It should be を. Ack >< – jeelbear Jun 7 '13 at 23:32
@yobisute that sounds like the general idea of the sentence ^^; I would just be careful of the verb tenses... because, without context around this sentence example, we probably only know that the subject of the sentence is "going to extend/continue" (or "will extend/continue") instead of a past tense "extended/continued" type of meaning... ^^ anyway, がんばってください〜! – summea Jun 8 '13 at 0:10
@summea Agreed. ^^ I still have trouble phrasing it as present tense in my head when ている isn't involved XD. Thank you! – jeelbear Jun 8 '13 at 0:33

Although there is no specific context given for this example sentence (as you have said,) I wonder if the idea of this sentence could be something like:


(I will) spread (the cream or medicine?) on my foot/leg until (I get to) the next town.

in the case that, perhaps, the subject of the sentence was injured somewhere outdoors and had some cream or medicine to temporarily help the injury? Or perhaps the cream is sunscreen?

The overall meaning of this example sentence depends on the missing (or implied) information, though...

Update: As the original example sentence ended up being a little different in reality than in the original question, I would look toward @marasai's answer. Maybe this answer (as it is now) could be an example of how much sentence meanings can potentially change when different particles are used...

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