There is an idiomatic expression in Portuguese:

Onde se ganha o pão não se come a carne

Literally, it would translate to "where one earns their bread one does not eat the meat" and it relates to a common sense advice against trying to woo/seduce/conquer someone whom one meets on a very frequent basis (esp. at the workplace). The closest English equivalent seems to be "don’t get your meat where you get your bread".

Is there an equivalent idiom or perhaps yojijukugo in Japanese for this?

  • 5
    FWIW, I don't think "don't get your meat where you get your bread" is a very common English idiom either (I've never heard it before). A couple more common ones I do know of in English are "don't fish off the company pier" and (a little more vulgar) "don't dip your pen in the company ink". Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience with Japanese to know what a Japanese idiom for this might be, though..
    – Foogod
    Nov 22, 2019 at 20:59
  • 7
    Don't shit where you eat.
    – BJCUAI
    Nov 23, 2019 at 0:59
  • 6
    Never been happier to have been born into the Japanese-speaking part of the world because I would have hated having to go to two different stores just to fix me a simple ham sandwich!
    – user4032
    Nov 23, 2019 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, there is no such expression in Japanese that I could think of. (Or am I the only native speaker who does not know of one?)

The saying would work only in the languages where the colloquial/slang words for both "flesh" and "income" belong in the same group (as in English where those are both food items).

I also highly doubt that there is a 四字熟語{よじじゅくご} for the same or similar meaning. If there were one, a Chinese-speaker here would have posted an answer long ago.

If I were to create one for fun, however, I could come up with:

「社恋禁止{しゃれんきんし}」 meaning literally "Office romance prohibited".


Interestingly, there is an expression in modern Mandarin "兔子不吃窩邊草" (Literally, "A rabbit doesn't eat the grass by its own burrow"). Although according to "search engines" it means "One shouldn't do anything to harm one's neighbors", but I'm quite sure that it is used specifically to advise people not to have romantic relationships with people who are close-by since that might cause embarrassing consequences. BTW, I'm still trying to find "四字熟語" for this but no immediately result yet.

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