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From Shokugeki no souma ch. 199,

I am not quite sure what 人の字 might mean. I assume he is saying that it is too early for her to deliver words of appreciation...?

1 Answer 1

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It literally means the character 人.

There is a superstition1 that when you get nervous (緊張する), you write the character 人 on your palm three times and swallow it (usually referred to as "手に「人」と3回かいて飲む"), then nervousness will be relieved. (The bottom panel is describing the girl doing this.)

People normally do this right before the important occasion (e.g., before getting on stage), so the character is saying that doing the write-人-and-swallow is too early yet.


1 According to this, it has something to do with のむ meaning like "to overwhelm". E.g. 雰囲気にのまれる refers to the situation where someone cannot act as s/he wishes because of the (pressuring) atmosphere. 人をのむ means the opposite - overwhelming others.

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