jisho.org defines [小]{こ}[間]{ま}[物]{もの}[屋]{や}を[開]{ひら}く as "to vomit", "to spew". What's the story behind this funny term? How would you express it in English?


As the link in the comment indicates 小間物屋 is a vendor who sells a lot of things like cosmetics, everyday goods, etc. They often displays their goods in very spread out manner on a cloth (風呂敷). You can visualize it like thus:

enter image description here

The expression 小間物屋を開く is a euphemism for puking out so much stuff that it's like you are opening a 小間物屋 and displaying a wide variety of goods. In particular if you are puking out partially digested foods, it would have a particular similarity to goods on display. This expression is also sometimes used as デパートを開く or 八百屋を開く as well as 小間物屋を広げる and 小間物屋を出す, but I think in general this expression and its variants are not very well known/used.

The closest English expression I can think of is puking out your guts.


  • 1
    That idiom is so disgustingly creative 😂
    – jogloran
    Mar 15 '20 at 0:50

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