I've run into the expression 嗜み quite often lately, mostly in the form of "XXXの嗜み", like 大人の嗜み or メイドの嗜み

Googling around, I think I understand that it means something along the lines of "what you should know as XXX", but I'm not quite sure I get all the nuances of the word.

Could someone explain to me the scope of 嗜み and in what situation I might use the word?

1 Answer 1


嗜み means two different things:

  1. hobby; enjoyment as an amateur
  2. what you should know to be a refined X; basic knowledge/experience for X

So 大人の嗜み can refer to either:

  • hobbies only adults can enjoy (e.g., wine and cigarette. See this article for example)
  • what you should know/have as a mature adult (See this article for example)

メイドの嗜み almost certainly refers to "what you should be able to do as a maid" because "hobby (only) for maids" doesn't make much sense to me.

The verb version, 嗜む, also means two things, "to casually enjoy something as a hobby" and "to have the basic knowledge/experience on something".

嗜む/嗜み is an elegant word that is typically used with uncommon "upper-class" activities like 乗馬, テニス, チェス, ピアノ and 生け花. Saying アニメを嗜む is not wrong but may sound a little funny.

  • finny って? -----
    – chocolate
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 2:13
  • @Chocolate 「魚のヒレ状」だそうです。…なおしましたすみません
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 2:15

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