In this picture below (I snipped it from the digital copy I bought online, 兄の嫁と暮らしています) there is this phrase "もう口がアイスになっちゃった". An obvious reading is that she's really craving for ice cream. However, this is really an interpretation than translation. What is the syntax/grammatical explanation for this use? I assume it's of the form "口が___になる" which is not obvious to me that it should be read this way.

From the digital copy I bought online, 兄の嫁と暮らしています


Your guess is a good one.

「口{くち}が + [food item] + になる」

is an idiomatic expression that means a person is thinking about the particular food item so intensively that in his/her imagination, s/he feels as if his/her mouth were actually stuffed with that food item.

For that reason (← unintentional occurance), the verb 「なる」 is very often used with 「しまう」 as in 「なってしまう」、「なっちゃう」、「なっちゃった」, etc. in real life.

(Right now, I am murmuring to myself 「口がうどんになっちゃった!」 after having answered the question about udon broth.)

Look here at the real example sentences with the food item being 焼肉{やきにく}:


  • So the "になる" is no longer directly related to the usual meaning of なる (become)? – Everiana Jul 29 at 3:46
  • 2
    Figuratively, it is still related, if not literally, because your mouth cannot become the food item itself. That is why I said it was an idiomatic expression. – l'électeur Jul 29 at 7:23

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