I checked the meaning of Farfetch'd on Bulbapedia and it says it is "カモネギ", likely to be inspired by "鴨が葱を背負って来る", meaning "something surprising, but convenient".

What does "surprising but convenient" mean? Is it like an idiom or phrase that is often used? Can some examples be given how it might be used in daily speeches in a situation or context?

For example, does it mean good or bad? Can it be: I didn't think it'd rain, but it suddenly did and made my car clean; it really is 鴨が葱を背負って来る.

I saw an example of 「あんな高額な商品を買ってくれた上に、家族や友達にまで勧めてくれるなんて、鴨が葱を背負ってくるとはこのことだ」, but I don't quite get what it means.

I also saw some website explains it as "Along comes a sucker just begging to be parted from his money".

2 Answers 2


Basically it means "easy hunt/game/prey". I think "something surprising but convenient" is slightly wrong. So it can't be used like your example. Second example is correct, the phrase exists for.

We love 蕎麦(Japanese noodle), and duck(鴨) meat one is really popular since Edo period. We usually put 葱(Green leek?) in 蕎麦, so if we found a 鴨 carrying 葱 and could hunt it, we can get all ingredients for 鴨南蛮(duck meat Soba). It's how this phrase was born. I know it's impossible. haha.

Also, this phrase is basically used for bad meaning, sneering someone.

  • in some country in Asia, there is a phrase, "deceived by somebody (for money) and help that person to count the money"... I think it sort of means the same thing Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:39
  • I noticed Duck Noodle is 鴨南蛮. The word 蛮 looks like the simplified form of 蠻, which means "wild, reckless, or quite" in Chinese... the word in Chinese for Noodle is 麵, but they sound very similar, so it is a very interesting... maybe 蛮 and 麵 are both used? Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:45
  • I assume the phrase is Japanese version of that. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:46
  • @太極者無極而生 What's the original phrase? I feel what you described is different from the meaning of 鴨葱. 鴨葱 is used to describe a situation before someone is actually deceived/harmed.
    – naruto
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:50
  • 鴨南蛮 can be separate 鴨 and 南蛮. And 南蛮 has many meanings, means 葱 in this case. The other cooking I can think of is カレー南蛮、チキン南蛮. カレー南蛮 has same meaning 南蛮, but チキン南蛮's 南蛮 means paticular vinegar taste and not 葱. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:55

This idiom is understood by virtually all native speakers, but ordinary people rarely use it. They usually see this phrase used by villains in fictional works.

鴨 is a duck, and in Japanese it's also a metaphor for a person who is easily tricked, just like "gull" in English. There is a phrase ~を鴨にする (or ~をカモる for short), which means "to gull (someone)". 葱 is a type of vegetable often eaten with 鴨.

Now I think you can guess the implication of 鴨が葱を背負って来る ("a duck comes carrying a green onion"). It is a derogatory expression used to describe an unbelievably convenient situation where someone who the speaker is going to deceive or harm is innocently and actively doing something beneficial to the speaker. For example, an evil shogun seeking a magical weapon may say this when a hero comes to his palace to defeat him holding that very weapon.

Don't use this to praise someone or to describe a lucky situation in general.

  • if it is just "カモネギ" "Leek Duck" or "Green Onion Duck", then at first I would assume it doesn't imply "鴨が葱を背負って来る". But then if duck actually means a gull... then I guess it kind of has this implication Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 2:50
  • since you mentioned fictional work, I kind of recall a Chinese phrase used in movies for villains: 踏破鐵鞋無覓處,得來全不費工夫. That means, "I stepped my iron shoe and it was broken and it is nowhere to be found. And then it came (and then I got it) without any effort." Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 4:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .