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I don't think it is a Japanese proverb, but it is very reminiscent of T.S.Eliot's poem 'The Naming of Cats,' perhaps that's where this idea originally comes from? 'When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James... But I tell you, a cat needs a name ...


Even though Eric says it is not rude to use ください is japanese, based on your question, you are looking for a softer way to ask/request things. ・ください is like a formal and cold please but can be a bit straight sometimes. You can use it when you are the customer or the supervisor. Otherwise, to avoid this straightness, the sentence is often turned the other way ...

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