This is from a video teaching Japanese meaning from Super Mario RPG. Source: https://youtu.be/1LMxshr0BE4?t=497

The context is: Mario and Mallow(little white puff ball) are trying to get a coin back from Croco(purple guy). Croco has been punched by Mallow, then basically says Mario and Mallow can have the coin back.

The part I am confused about is 一文にもならない. The creator of the video says it means 'worthless'.

How does the video creator know this? I cannot find any meaning of this online so I just want to be sure this is correct. Thank you.

  • 3
    文 is an old term for money, so 一文 is a dollar, or a cent or whatever. 一文にならない is “not worth a dollar”
    – Uso Dayo
    Feb 15 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


It is a set phrase meaning worthless, as you can see an equivalent 一文の値打ちもない in this dictionary entry.

文{もん} is an old unit of money, and 一文 is the tiny amount of money (jisho) and なる here means to amount to (jisho #7), so the whole phrase literally means does not amount to a cent.

  • This is very helpful, thank you! Feb 16 at 1:05

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