The meaning of words or phrases within certain contexts, especially when it does not seem to match the standard definition.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
2k views

What does どうだ mean?

So, I have the sentence 礼儀のひとつも見せたらどうだね騎士殿 I am getting stumped on the どうだ part. If I am reading the slang dictionary correctly (and I can only find it in a non-English one), it seems to be ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What does 氏 mean after a name, how is it different from さん or 様?

If you look in the dictionary for the definition of 氏 you'll find it defined as: family name; lineage; birth. However I have seen it used in such a way that it is doubtful that it means any of those ...
5
votes
2answers
137 views

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。
5
votes
2answers
126 views

What is this form : Verb + はせん?

I am currently trying to read Bleach in japanese. So far I haven't ran into any difficulty that a good dictionary cannot overcome. However in this particular scene I am puzzled by a particular scene ...
5
votes
1answer
400 views

The meaning of “ぶん” in “見ているぶんには…”

The line I first saw it in is: 大げさなジェスチャーは小さいころからのクセだ。見てるぶんには面白いので俺はあえて注意しない。 A few other examples I've found: "遠目で見ている分にはいいけれど" "見てるぶんには可愛いけど…こびとづかんになりたくはない。" "Paris Photo ...
5
votes
1answer
423 views

Why do ~なんてもんじゃないよ/~たのなのって=とても?

Both the following two expressions from my text book 完全マスター聴解N1 are explained as とても(高い/人が多かった): 高いなんてもんじゃないよ 人が多かったのなのって Could someone explain what they are based on/where they come from ...
5
votes
3answers
486 views

Relation between kanji readings and meanings

I understand that a kanji can have several possible readings and several (typically related) meanings. Furthermore, I've noticed that a single reading typically corresponds to some subset of the ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

What is koshinashi?

I can't find コシなし defined in any dictionary. It looks like it might have something to do with udon noodles.
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Help for this expression: 猿は人間に毛が三筋足らぬ

I read this expression in a text. It seems to be an old proverb about monkeys. But I am not sure about its meaning. Why 筋, for instance? Does it means muscle? reasoning faculty? Why would they be ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

What does ~たまえ mean exactly and how do you use it?

I've seen the verb 給え【たまえ】, usually written in hiragana and after the stem of another verb, ending a prhase. I'm not too sure on its meaning. I've read that it means "...please" but is that the only ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Meaning of どんだけお人好しなんですかって話ですよね

context(all same guy talking to himself while someone else is listening): 「銀行が住宅ローンの営業に熱心な理由ってわかります?」 「憧れの持ち家を手に入れた大切なお客さんの喜ぶ笑顔が見たいから…?」 「そんなわけねーです!」 ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Meaning of 玉ヒュン

What does 玉ヒュン mean? It seems to have something to do with not experiencing fear of heights. Context (posted on social media with a picture taken vertiginous height): 女だけど玉ヒュン!
5
votes
1answer
268 views

Translation check and meaning help please

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles? "Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

What does の頃【ころ】 mean in this sentence?

I don't know what の頃【ころ】 means in this sentence. I know ころ means 'about' or 'around' but I still don't understand its use here. ロンドンに来たばかりの頃【ころ】、私は「Chip Butty」を知りませんでした。 My best translation: I've ...
5
votes
4answers
430 views

Meaning of という when it doesn't mean 'call', 'be called', or 'say'

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of 「という」 when it it has meanings other than to call, to be called or to say. I often see sentences like 「いざという時, ということだ」 and 「これという問題はない」. The dictionary ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Does this sentence using も twice say that the speaker doesn't have 女子力?

I am participating in a relay manga through a university student group in Japan, and the previous member's contributed pages to the manga about a 女子力バトル introduced a sole male character who seems to ...
5
votes
1answer
303 views

What geographical scope does アジア have?

In English, the geographical scope of "Asia" and "Asian" depends on which dialect of English you speak. For example, in British English the terms often refer to the Indian subcontinent, whereas in ...
5
votes
2answers
439 views

What does ヘニャッ mean?

What does ヘニャッ mean in the following sentence? やっぱり甘えたいと思う時あいますよね。疲れている時とか、ヘニャッってなりたくなる 時。
5
votes
1answer
348 views

自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and ...
5
votes
1answer
539 views

I don't understand the meaning of the 2 sentences. Can somebody help me?

This is dialogue (It's from magazine). A: 現実場面では気★いが山のように出て事件も死ぬほど起こしてて、タブー云々と言ってるうちに表現が現実に負けちゃってるじゃん、最近って。 B: 俺も別に[奇]{き}をてらってタブー演るわけじゃなくて. I absolutely don't understand the first part of the first ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Help with this sentence fragment containing “思想統制”

I came across this example sentence for the grammar point ~にあって, which indicates that something is under a particular circumstance. 彼女は戦争中、思想統制下にあってなお、自由な精神を持ち続けた。 I understand the first and the ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

しゅうと/シュート - The great equalizer

I was watching the movie Mr. Baseball the other day. Several times during the movie they talk about しゅうと which they describe as "the great equalizer". (Could possibly be しゅうとう, but their dialog does ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Can a cathedral be referred to as a 寺?

I was listening to a song Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame in Japanese (the intro, The Bells of Notre Dame or ノートルダムの鐘), and I noticed that they referred to the cathedral as a 「てら」. I thought that was ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

開始三秒 - what does it mean?

I assume it's always a (vs)noun, so 開始三秒 must be a noun composed of 開始{かいし} and 三秒{さんびょう}? If that is true, does it mean "before 3 seconds have elapsed?" (it would seem so from the context), but given ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

What's the meaning of 届けて

Can I ask a favour? I am trying to catch on the meaning of the song 涙をとどけて. I have caught everything except for the following 4 lines, which remain vague for me. 涙をとどけて 本当のこと 想いをとどけて 言えないこと ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
5
votes
1answer
170 views

What does 腕が光る mean?

I've tried Googling for Japanese/Japanese dictionary definitions of this phrase, but can only find usages so far, which haven't helped. More context: "俺たち職人の腕が光る" I think from context that the ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

勤め vs 役目​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 勤め and 役目? Both seems to mean duty (something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation), but what is the difference in their nuance and ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

The meaning and parsing of “はっといた”

In the Kanzen Master N2 listening textbook, there's the following sentence: 女: 昨日、はっといたんだけど。 Of which in the answers the correct reply was specified as: 男: その壁に? Man: On that wall? (?) ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Meaning of 掛ける after ご面倒?

ご面倒をお掛けして申し訳ございません。 means "We are sorry for the inconvenience." but what is the meaning of 掛ける in this context?
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Usage of なんて in this sentence

”正直友達が死んだらこんなにへこむなんておもってみなかった”  I cant understand this sentence.
5
votes
3answers
212 views

What is the difference between 逃{のが}れた and 免{まぬが}れた?

What is the difference between 逃れた and 免れた? They both mean "avoided, escaped". When should I use each of them? I found the sentence in JLPT1 book, where you have to pick the right answer: ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

usage of から at the end of the first sentence with the second part in the next

My question is on how to properly interpret utterances like the below. あれに正面から挑むのは中々に手間よ。どうするの? 下手な小細工が通じる相手じゃないからなあ。正面から挑むだけだよ Occasionally I'll see someone end the sentence with からな・からね ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Some questions about って

Here is a sentence from Dragon Ball : 一気にこれ以上修業したって意味はないって。限界までやったんだ。 悟空 says this to his son who's worried because they just chill out before a battle instead of training until the last ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

Difference between 下る、下りる、下がる?

I cannot, for the love of my life, understand the difference between 下る{くだる} 下りる{おりる} 下がる{さがる} Don't they all mean the same, basically? Is there a difference, and if yes, how could I proceed to ...
5
votes
1answer
373 views

I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like previous; prior; former; some time ago. However it also includes meanings such as front; ahead; the future; destination. I am struggling to make ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Meaning of ~つもりではいる in that sentence

I don't understand the meaning of ~つもりではいる in this sentence : そしていちおう手加減してやるつもりではいるが殺されてしまっても負けとなる。 And, although I'm planning on going easy on you, you will also lose if you happen to get ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

how did 公 (こう) come to be derogatory

My dictionary says this word means something like "official; public" - how does the word go from that definition to being used as a derogatory suffix for animals and people? One example the ...
5
votes
4answers
358 views

Can 猿 technically mean “ape”?

It has long been a pet peeve of mine when people talk about apes calling them "monkeys". Recently I've seen bonobos being called 猿 in an anime, so from that it's pretty clear that 猿 also refers to ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What does “気結び” mean?

According to a (non japanese, but he spent lots of time in Japan) Aikido teacher I know, this is supposed to represent "an obligation bounding student and teacher". To be honest, I am a bit ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

Do 気が[付]{つ}く and 気[付]{づ}く have the same meaning?

If they both mean the same, is が optional?
5
votes
1answer
202 views

What does なんたらという mean?

What does なんたらという mean? I searched なんたら's meaning and it showed. The following oojah oojahkapiv oojamaflip oojar oojiboo I used eow.alc.co.jp to search. ...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

Meaning of 右端揃 in “これ右端揃うかな?”

I received this email from someone close, who has a deadline to finish a graduation thesis: 期日は20日です(>д<) これ右端揃うかな?笑 右端揃 means "right-alignment" but I don't understand what is the meaning of ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

これまた/なんてこれまた meaning?

Going off the main clause I think the general meaning here is that Saegusa (2nd person) is giving the speaker (narrator, 1st person) a surprised look (lit. "giving me a great suprise" - the speaker ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Meaning of いくら and って in this sentence

The speaker just stated that her father is too sure of himself. いくらママが死んじゃって いないからってさ! (there is a space in the manga as well) チャンピオンなのを利用していろんな女の人と遊びまくってんのよ! He uses his title to have ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

What does うんたらかんたら mean?

I recently heard this phrase being told in a show, but I just couldn't make sense of what it means...And what really caught my attention was that the listener was really surprised to hear this phrase ...
5
votes
1answer
293 views

What does 身の縮む思い mean?

I found a phrase in one vocabulary book about the usage of 縮む. I am not clear on the meaning of this phrase: 身の縮む思い I think it can be the same meaning as 恥ずかしい. Is that right?
5
votes
4answers
181 views

「のだろう、」 mid-sentence

私は自分では淋しくも何ともないから、彼女と私とでは、一般的にいう「不幸」という点で、どっこいどっこいのような気がするのだが、彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう、結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる。これが彼女が私よりも幸せだと思う最大の理由だと推理したのである。 What is the meaning of のだろう here and how does ...
5
votes
2answers
417 views

Does なんて = なんと (いう)?

I know that なんて is a contraction of なんと, but has it also picked up the いう in its meaning? Because なんて means something, and I feel like 何という, which means "something called" (right?) could have just ...