An analogy that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object

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8
votes
3answers
345 views

Why is it お[腹]{なか}が[空]{す}いた but [腹]{はら}[減]{へ}った?

Is there any particular reason why the noun おなか goes with verb すく while the noun はら goes with the verb へる? Would it be weird if I use おなかへった or はらすいた? While on the same topic, does the 'starving' ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

What is the meaning of お気の毒に and how is it used?

Although the there are several definitions in the dictionary: my condolences that's too bad my sympathies What does お気の毒に literally mean? I'm guessing that it might have something to do with ...
6
votes
2answers
411 views

How are programming projects discussed in Japanese?

In English, programming projects (and large systematic projects in general) typically take their descriptive cues from well-known manufacturing/construction industry jargon, i.e. "blueprint", ...
4
votes
5answers
597 views

「安い」って英語からきた表現?

皆さんこんにちは、 日本語で質問を聞かせていただきますので、ご協力ください。 回答やコメントなどは、日本語か英語、どちらの言語でも喜んで読みます。 では。 此間友達と喋っていて好みの話をしていた時一人が「ホラー映画やB級映画が大好き」と言うやいなや「あなた安いな〜」ともう一人が反応しました。 ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do people say 未知数 when it is not a number?

Sometimes, people tend to use metaphors from arithmetics to refer to something in ordinary life. For example, to mention some claims or preferences common among people, the expression 最大公約数 'greatest ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

What is the metaphorical meaning of 手{て}?

I often see 手{て}, hand, used in a metaphorical sense to mean something along the lines of effort or presence... but I'm not totally sure. For example, consider this sentence: ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

How does the derogatory term “小便芸者” work?

In Liza Dalby's book "Geisha", while talking about onsen geisha, she mentions various pejorative terms from the general public. She mentions "korobi" (roll-over, presumably 転び) geisha, and "Daruma" (a ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Translation of metaphorical meaning of “hieroglyphic”

To literally translate "hieroglyphic", when referring to a largely logographic writing system used by Ancient Egyptians, I think ヒエログリフ or something similar would be used. However, there's another, ...
1
vote
3answers
161 views

What is a 割り込みタスク?

One of my coworkers todays said something like: "Today I have too many 割り込みタスク so I cannot pay too much attention to this project" Literally translating it into "interrupting tasks" sounds ...