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. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

I found a list of Japanese idioms (without translations) that I wanted to study, so I sat down and looked up the meanings. Most of them I found in my trusty denshi jishyo, and a couple of them I had to resort to some internet resources (goo, Google Translate etc.), but I couldn't find the meaning of 体が余る anywhere. (Full disclosure: I found a couple of typos on the list, this one was listed as 体に余る, but Google points at it using instead.)

A direct translation would be something like "A surplus of body"...perhaps it means overweight?

share|improve this question
I know「身に余る」but I don't think I've ever heard 体に余る or 体が余る・・・ – user1016 Feb 20 '12 at 14:16
Do you have a source (document or link,) for that list of Japanese idioms you found? – summea Mar 1 '12 at 23:43
@summea I found it in this forum here: jlptstudy.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=252 It's supposedly a list of idioms that where used on the ikkyuu jlpt, but A: That's outdated and they use the N system now, and B: There are no more "official lists" :) I still thought it was a good list to know so I'm learning them (or trying to) >^.^< – silvermaple Mar 2 '12 at 3:34
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I had never heard this idiom, but as you said, some people use it on the web. I suspect that it is dialectal. This post is not really an answer, but here I would like to list some usages on the web. It seems to me that there are several different usages.

Person is too tall for something, or body is not fully utilized





To feel that body is excessive

(I cannot get hold of this meaning.)



(The same text also contains “体をもて余したようなかんじになり、疲れているのに寝付くのに少し時間がかかるということです.”)

To get bored





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.