I am currently translating an English text, which itself has been translated from an originally Japanese text. Whenever there's something I don't understand in the English text, I try to translate the Japanese original directly into my target language (German).

However, in this case I don't understand what either version is supposed to mean.

Context: video game, on examining an election poster defaced by the rival party

Japanese original: 額に『肉』と書かれている。

English translation: Someone has scrawled "MEAT" across his forehead.

The English translation seems close enough, but I don't understand what it means. It's obviously intended as an insult, but what does 肉 mean when used on its own in this context? Is it a generic insult like e.g. "meathead", "idiot" etc. or does it have a more specific meaning? Or is it perhaps some sort of pun on a homophone?

UPDATE: Thank you all for your replies. Since I believe this would be lost in translation otherwise, I decided to go with a less literal translation: "His portrait is covered with childish scribbles."

  • 4
    Maybe its in reference to キン肉マン , not an insult.
    – Shurim
    Mar 5, 2021 at 22:27
  • 1
    Are you asking why "MEAT" is scrawled on his forehead? I am not sure that is a question about Japanese. Plus it couldn't be answered out of context. Or are you asking what 「額に『肉』と書かれている」literally means? It just means what the English translation says.
    – Eddie Kal
    Mar 5, 2021 at 22:42
  • Related? japanese.stackexchange.com/a/40727/9831
    – chocolate
    Mar 6, 2021 at 9:39
  • 3
    Drawing 肉 on the forehead of someone is a time-honored meme/prank. dic.pixiv.net/a/%E9%A1%8D%E3%81%AB%E8%82%89
    – goldbrick
    Mar 6, 2021 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


It is a prank that is an imitation of キン肉マン. キン肉マン was a popular manga in the 80's. The main character of the manga is キン肉マン, who has a kanji "肉" on his forehead.

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