Today I've came across the expression 鼻の下を伸ばす/ 鼻の下が長い and had to look up its meaning.


Other web dictionaries have different meanings, like to be soft on women, to be spooney, and similar other meanings.

So my question is, how are these meanings connected to the human face, or where did the expression originate from? All I can think of is a creepy big smile.




ネット上の他の辞書では少し違って、"to be soft on women" や "to be spooney" みたいな感じの意味が書かれていました。


  • 1
    Also: 鼻の下が長い
    – user1478
    Feb 2, 2016 at 19:55
  • 鼻の下を伸ばす is often used but 鼻の下が長い is rarely used. Feb 3, 2016 at 3:38
  • 1
    We do use that phrase by adding another verb eg 鼻の下が長くなる or changing it into causative eg 鼻の下を長くする
    – chocolate
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:37
  • I thought "spoony" only entered translations from Japanese when the translator didn't know what else to say...
    – rickster
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:43
  • When man see beautiful woman, muscle of face is soften(smile). Apr 16, 2016 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


http://hyogen.info/word/5564868 .... 鼻の下が伸びてデレデレした締りのない顔で、常に異性との戯(たわむ)れを求めているさま。鼻の下が間延びしていて、緊張感のない顔つき。

A few pages that I checked (see above) explain that "elongated under-nose" naturally shows lack of seriousness, fortitude, self-restraint, ... .

This made more sense when I realized that it is the opposite of "keep[ing] a stiff upper lip".

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