Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

甘い蜜 literally means "sweet honey". But in some sentences it seems to mean something different. For example,

1) たまに甘い蜜を与えて、また暗闇に落として……。

From time to time giving a sweet honey, but also dropping into darkness.

2) 結局、甘い蜜を吸うのはいつだって上の連中だけ。

After all, only they always suck a sweet honey.

3) お前をそそのかし、甘い蜜を与え、そして最後には堕落させてやる。

I instigate you, give you sweet honey, and in the end corrupt you.

Well, in the last sentence it must be "give you a pleasure". Anyway, I think that 甘い蜜 must mean something pleasurable, something that makes people happy.

My question is: what is the meaning of 甘い密 in sentences like these?

share|improve this question
I think in this context it means feeding you "sweet lies" – virmaior Jan 5 '14 at 13:41
Hello! I believe that I understood what Shiva was asking, so I decided to try to clarify the question and reopen. Hopefully that's okay with everyone :-) – snailplane Jan 9 '14 at 14:22
up vote 3 down vote accepted

「[甘]{あま}い[蜜]{みつ}」 is seldom used to mean what it literally means --- "sweet honey". Instead, it is generally used metaphorically to refer to instant pleasure or satisfaction that is often used as a trap or lure. That is what the phrase means in your sentences #1 and #3.

In #2, 甘い蜜 is used for a meaning that is kind of close (but not exactly) to its literal meaning. There, it means "the sweet reward".

share|improve this answer

甘い蜜 has two metaphorical meanings, aside from its literal meaning ("sweet honey"):

  1. the negative sense: "tantalizing trap"
  2. the positive sense: "sweet reward"

1) たまに甘い蜜を与えて、また暗闇に落として……。
"Slowly allure, even further into the darkness..." (meaning 1)

2) 結局、甘い蜜を吸うのはいつだって上の連中だけ。
"In the end, the rewards are always reserved for the brass." (meaning 2)

3) お前をそそのかし、甘い蜜を与え、そして最後には堕落させてやる。
"I will entice you, tempt you, and in the end, pervert you." (meaning 1)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.