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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?

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I know「身に余る」but I don't think I've ever heard 体に余る or 体が余る・・・ –  Choko 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It's supposedly a list of idioms that where used on the ikkyuu jlpt, but A: That's outdated and they use the N system now, and B: There are no more "official lists" :) I still thought it was a good list to know so I'm learning them (or trying to) 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

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 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

http://hoshikaze1.blog56.fc2.com/blog-entry-153.html

身長160センチの私では特に問題はなかったが、標準的な成人男性の体格だとシートに対して体が余ることがありそうである。

http://homepage1.nifty.com/tamotu/review/2011.11-2.htm

私は今まで「曽根崎心中」の道行が面白いと思ったことがなかった。たしかに近松の道行は名文に違いない。人形浄瑠璃もいい。しかしそれは文学として読むから、あるいは人形だからこそである。生身の人間がやるとどうしても浄瑠璃の文句に対して役者の体が余る。

To feel that body is excessive

(I cannot get hold of this meaning.)

http://www.jcc-mib.com/knowledge/19/1132554221.html

足が苦しい、体が余るような気がするという友人の症状について友人の話なのですが

(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

http://melma.com/backnumber_29580_57704/

私は、退屈な状態とか、やりたいことが見つからずに鬱々としている状態を指して「体が余る」というのだが、これは通じない人もいるのできっと方言なんだろう。標準語なら「体を持て余す」といえばいいのだろうか。

http://mysnappy.exblog.jp/8147526/

家の中で退屈になり,体が余ってくるといろいろ悪戯を始めて,テーブルの下で足に戯れついてきたり,かあさんに挑戦して,反対にやっつけられたりしています。

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