For the longest time, I had never seen yatsuatari written down. I always figured it was written 奴当たり, which I figured would have been derived from 「あの奴に当たる」 or something.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was actually written 八つ当たり! I found myself rather confused by the kanji here. What does 八 "eight" have to do with 八つ当たり "venting one's anger on other people"?


I think it means to vent the anger in the 8 compass directions. I.e. you are so angry that the effects reach every direction around you.

Consider 四方八方. It refers to all sides or everywhere. I think 八つ refers to the 八方 part

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    広辞苑 says: 誰彼の区別なく八方へ当たり散らすこと。関係のない人にまで怒り散らすこと。「部下に―する」 – snailplane Dec 19 '14 at 1:55
  • Similar expressions abound, e.g. 八方ふさがり, 八方美人 – rjh Dec 24 '14 at 12:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.