A long time ago in Japanese school I was told there is a old Japanese saying/諺 that meant "You can get rid of your cold by giving it to someone else."

Does anyone know what that 諺 is?

1 Answer 1


I have heard such a saying several times, but it's not regarded as a traditional proverb. It's more of a recurring joke, or a well-known superstition at most. I think almost no Japanese people seriously believe this. Perhaps you can google with 風邪は人にうつすと治る for more about this (this is not a fixed phrase, and no dictionary contains this).

  • Thanks! I'm sure some linguist can tell us what such a phrase is called that everyone knows. There's no such phrase in English so it's more than nothing and googling it in Japanese, as you suggested, brings up lots of articles on whether or not it's true suggesting that many people believe it so it's arguably more than just a joke even if it's not a proverb.
    – gman
    Apr 30, 2021 at 9:37
  • @gman In my experience, when this topic comes up, it's always a joke. Perhaps it's nothing more serious than "itchy palms" or "knock on wood".
    – naruto
    May 1, 2021 at 5:20

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