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Questions tagged [idioms]

慣用句・ことわざ. Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, typically with a meaning beyond what is obvious from its constituent parts.

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Is there a Japanese expression equivalent to "To each his own"?

How to express a popular English idiom "To each his own"? A quick search yields それぞれの好み, but I am not sure if it is widely used.
user1602's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
109 views

How is「大口を叩く」 being used in this sentence?

I'm playing イナズマイレブンGO, and ran into this sentence. それでよく あの大口が叩けたな。 (Some context: The person speaking just realized that the person that challenged him is new to soccer.) It appears that he's using ...
Jacques Martin's user avatar
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1 answer
82 views

Is "で一発だ an expression?

こりゃたまげた! あっという間に見つけちまうんだね I'm shocked. You found the food in an instant And his reply ああ? 食い物なんて匂いで一発だ From context I can gather it seems to be akin to ... I found it asap because of the smell but ...
Bluegate's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
225 views

Is 夜だから some kind of idiomatic expression?

In the following dialogue from a manga: A: 漫画かよ…! B: わははどうしたみつや、寝ぼけてた? A: …別に、なんで泣いてんのって思って B: うーん、あー、夜だから? A: 何ソレ The character wakes up and tells his friend who was crying over reading a manga &...
Kawase_K's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
643 views

Is 「将来が期待される」 idiomatic? Why does it mean "promising future"? Why is the passive form used in the sentence at issue?

I came across the following sentence as an example sentence for the grammar point つつある in 新完全マスター文法N2: この会社は現在発展しつつあり、将来が期待される。 My attempted translation is As this company continues to develop, &...
jarmanso7's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
127 views

Meaning of 「内容をテキストのみに適用」

In the context of a right-click drop-down menu, what does 内容をテキストのみに適用 Apply the contents only as text (?) mean? At first I thought I thought it meant "paste as text only", but clicking ...
George's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
688 views

The origin of 首にする

I've come across an interesting idiom in the following sentence: もしも私が社長だったら、あの人を首にすると思います。 If I were the company president, I would fire that person. What is the origin of the idiom 首にする?
Enguroo's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
174 views

Is there any idiomatic way to express doing an activity or behaving "like an old man" or "not in a cool way", particularly in the context of skiing?

In English, "dad turns" is a slang term for a style of skiing. If you are making "dad turns", you are skiing like an old man. I found 親父 which I believe is "pop". Is that ...
Greg's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why say 「いるわけ」when わけ isn't an animate object?

From the first episode of Death Note: この世に不必要な人間を消すことのできるヤツがいるか? いるわけがない Why is いる used here, when わけ ("reasoning") isn't an animate object? Shouldn't this be "ある訳" instead?
George's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
153 views

Is there any Japanese saying, proverb or idiom equivalent to the meaning of the biblical parable "The Mote and the Beam"?

I think I've come across the Japanese version of this teaching in the Bible as a saying (proverb?) but I'm having a hard time recalling and searching it. The key takeaway in the parable is: One can ...
KenIchi's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

あっちゃいけない - Grammatical origin

あっちゃいけない I can find multiple example sentences for this but no explanation : そのための売買市場がなぜあっちゃいけないんだろうね? 私だけが特別であっちゃいけないんです そしてその権力者に仕える指導者たちもまた権力を振りかざすのがたまらなく好きだ43いいか、おまえたちは、そうであっちゃいけない! The meaning ...
Unaware17's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

What does ひと足ふた足抜け mean here?

ありがとうございます。多様性の時代をチャンスとして捉えるという意味ですよね。私も話していてすごく体感するのが、ひと足ふた足抜けてD&Iに取り組んでいらっしゃるので、本当にグローバルなイノベーションにつながると思います。真に多様性の尊重されるような組織をつくれたら、という思いに共感していますし、応援しています。 This is the conclusion of a talk about ...
goldenlight's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
165 views

readings of north, south, east, west?

This sentence appeared here: https://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S15638672.html?iref=comtop_Opinion_05 日本語【にほんご】では東西南北【とうざいなんぼく】だが、中国語【ちゅうごくご】では東南西北【とうなんせいほく】と書【か】く。一方【いっぽう】で、英語【えいご】では北南東西【きたなんとうにし】の順【...
Ned Reif's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
91 views

「売り言葉に買い言葉」について

In this anime at second 0:38 the main character is justifying why he accepted a fight. https://animelon.com/video/57a81215b9de7414d1ea082d In the context of the situation it sounds like he is saying ...
Merlin Nestler's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
656 views

What does とおす mean in the sentence 「声を落とせ。既に目は通してある。」?

I am not sure what the word 通す means in the context of 「声を落とせ。既に目は通してある。」(Lower your voice. I've already looked it over). On Jisho, it says 通す means "to stick through" or "to (look, ...
Curulian's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Addressing people in the Japanese Christian/Catholic Church

In English, in a Christian/Catholic settings, people could address each other with the term "brother" or "sister", and it does not signify any biological relationship, but a ...
dvx2718's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
181 views

Explain the meaning of “いくら...とはいえ”

I encounter “いくら” in combination with “とはいえ” so often that I'm fairly certain these have some kind of fixed meaning together but I can find very little about it on the internet and all I can find is ...
Zorf's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
79 views

What does 馬になる mean

I tried to figure out what this could mean, is it word play? I couldn't find any info.
L. L.'s user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Why does 「割引がもらえる」 mean "able to receive the discount"? [duplicate]

Consider この会社の社員だったら、あの大学で割引がもらえる。 I assume this means (in idiomatic English): If I were an employee of this company, I could get a discount at that college. But literally speaking, it seems to ...
George's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
467 views

Is '櫓三年に棹八年' a playful saying?

In one episode of Gabriel Dropout, after the boss of the cafe comforted her that her Japanese will get fluent, Gabriel said, '櫓三年に棹八年'. Then, the background color of the scene shot changes to black. ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 142
-2 votes
1 answer
85 views

What does ヤキ入れ here? [closed]

i cant find a clear translation but in the anime it is translated as "beating someone up" or something similar. any idea
HAMOODY 001's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

What does 売りに mean here in this sentence?

喧嘩売りに行くんだよ cause we are going to fight is it like 持って来る hold + come = bring? fight + sell = sell fight?
HAMOODY 001's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
202 views

Interpretations of “〜てよかった”

I had always though “。。。〜てよかった” can both mean “I'm glad that ...” and “I wish it were that ...” depending on context but I've recently been told that my understanding is wrong and it can never mean ...
Zorf's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
457 views

気が合う人 is correct but why can't I say 気が合える人? Why is using the potential form wrong?

One day a friend of mine told me my usage of 合える人 is grammatically incorrect but when I check on the internet, I see we can use the potential form with 合う. I want to say that I can potentially get ...
None's user avatar
  • 379
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

What is the cultural and grammatical meaning of 門を同じくして戸を異にす?

I came across the idiom 「門を同じくして戸を異にす」 recently and was wondering what it means. I tried looking it up online, but there are very few places where it is explained. Is there a cultural meaning behind ...
John Watts's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
494 views

"sounds familiar" or "it rings a bell" phrases but a Japanese version

Was practicing some conversations when I came across those two phrases. How would you answer something like: ゲーム会社「カプコン」の名作「ヴァンパイア」シリーズを知っていますか。 with the Japanese equivalent of "it sounds ...
user51818's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
220 views

Understanding 軍服に着られた

威嚇のつもりかアサルトライフルを抱えた兵を二人も従えて、いかにも軍服に着られた貧相な士官が顎をしゃくる。どうでもいいが、後ろの兵のライフルは安全装置がかかったままで、しかも初弾が装塡されていない。それぞれの立ち位置も近すぎるから、やろうと思えば撃たせる前に全員制圧できる。意味がないのでやらないが。 86─エイティシックス─ 安里アサト Why is the bold part passive ...
chino alpha's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
543 views

Does 〜ようにする mean both 'make sure' and 'try'? (Grammar reference clarification)

On pg554 of Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, it says that [sic] 〜ようにする (to try to ~) is an idiomatic use of 〜ように (so that ~). However, pg562 gives the meaning 〜ようにする (to make sure that ~). It ...
frog's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
133 views

What is the proper way to say "beating egg whites"? [closed]

I want to say "beating egg whites" (video for reference). How do you say that in Japanese ?
blaoi's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
116 views

Is there a similar expression as "elbow grease" in Japanese?

The idiom elbow grease, and in French "huile de coude" means that the only thing that is required is putting some manual efforts into an action (scrubbing, washing, mixing...). The term ...
blaoi's user avatar
  • 1,069
1 vote
2 answers
153 views

What does 土を付ける mean?

The context is 無配の女王にまで土を付ける the translation is "he managed to defeat the undefeated queen" My question is if 土を付ける can be used to mean defeat? My guess is it has something to do with ...
Owen's user avatar
  • 277
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

て Ending, Short Phrase, and Possibly Fake Saying

In this anime clip: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4iN2N8KgAw4 Gabriel uses poor Japanese to convey that Japanese is difficult and mentions a saying. As for the first sentence, what is the purpose of ...
wanwandrew's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
167 views

諺/熟語 for "paint oneself into a corner"

I am trying to find an idiom that describes someone setting hurdles for themself or putting themself in a more difficult position every step of the way, eventually trapping oneself or forcing one's ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
87 views

諺(ことわざ): Get rid of your sickness by giving it to someone else?

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?
gman's user avatar
  • 609
6 votes
1 answer
671 views

Japanese equivalent for 'black ice'

I was wondering if there is a Japanese equivalent for the term 'black ice'. I googled image searched ブラックアイス , but the overwhelming majority of the results were unrelated. Or would you say 道の上の見えない氷?
SpikedHelmet's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
608 views

向こうも向こうで What does this mean in this context ? (mukou mo mukou de) Is this some kind of Japanese Idiom?

Context: MC talking with 2 girls in his team. The detective (who was helping MC to clear his name from the false accusation of police and find out who is the real murderer) has left the crime ...
4chan user's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
554 views

Is there a ことわざ similar to "water under the bridge" and "let bygones be bygones"?

Earlier today in a comment I tried to explain to a community member that they should put whatever happened in the past behind them. I used "water behind the bridge" and "let bygones be ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
316 views

Understanding the も in 見るも

その日。彼女のもとに、招かれざる客が現れた。 見るも巨大な鉄の塊。長い手足の歪な人型。 そんな異形共が、彼女の領域を侵したのである。 What would be the function of the bold も?
chino alpha's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
86 views

御輿の上のあれなんだろう. Is this an idiom, perhaps?

there is a line from a soccer manga that I don't understand. I get what it means, literally, but it's so randomly placed that I wonder if this is an idiom or if I might be missing some context or ...
Marcela alvarez centeno's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
541 views

How would a butler/servant refer to his princess?

I'm looking to translate a catch-phrase into Japanese. It would belong to a servant/butler character, when he confirms a order, or announces his arrival, etc. Basically "My Queen" / "My ...
Marcin Raczkowski's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
593 views

idiom along the lines of "you get more relatives as you get famous"

Overheard something that sounds like "うれるど親戚 {しんせき} かくれる"(must be mistakes somewhere since there's no search result for the phrase). Kind of a sarcastic/joking idiom, saying that as a person ...
egwene sedai's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

「遊び倒す」の意味は、「飲み倒す」や「食べ倒す」と全然違いますか?

辞書で「遊び倒す」がこういう意味で記述されていました。 それ以上ないくらい遊びつくすこと、あるいは徹底的に遊ぶことを意味する表現。 XX倒す は「徹底的にXXこと」ということだと思っていました。 しかし、「食べ倒す」と「飲み倒す」の意味は全然違います。 この二つの意味は「店の代金を払わないこと」です。 それなら「徹底的に食べ/飲みこと」はどうやって表現するのですか? https://...
Raven Cheuk's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
284 views

What's a natural way to say "If I can do it so can you!"?

I would translate it as わたしが出来るとあなたも出来るよ! Could someone help explain what a more natural translation would be, or even better if there's a saying or a common idiom to express the same idea? P.s. ...
OtheJared's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
111 views

What would be a natural way to say "to milk it for all it's worth"?

As an example, A is making a speech: "..yes, you can simulate a hurricane in a computer but does the computer really feel wetness?" Me: "Wow, going forward I am going to milk this analogy ...
wireman's user avatar
  • 429
4 votes
2 answers
282 views

In what contexts can 旗色が悪い be used?

According to コトバンク, 旗色が悪い can be used when there is some connotation of a battle, war or fight - which makes sense because it literally translates to something like the color of the national flag is ...
wireman's user avatar
  • 429
0 votes
1 answer
143 views

1つの嘘から始まった連鎖は meaning

1つの嘘から始まった連鎖は留まることを知らない。 I think the above sentence is an idiom. I'm just guessing that the meaning is (roughly): Once we began to tell a lie, we will try to cover our lie with more lies. 留まることを知らない ...
Amanda Zhang's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
420 views

What is the difference between 音をさせる and 音がする and 音を出す/立てる?

と、士道がそんなことを思っていると、令音がおもむろに手を背中にやってパチン、という音をさせたのち、手を服の中に入れて何やらもぞもぞと蠢き、首元からブラジャーを抜き取った。 Hi. Could you please explain the difference between 音をさせる and 音がする and 音を出す/立てる? All of them seem to mean the ...
chino alpha's user avatar
  • 4,181
4 votes
1 answer
272 views

Japanese term for “cookie cutter”

I’m looking for a term in Japanese that conveys the same sense of repeated design with minimal or limited variation that is implied by the English phrase “cookie cutter”. My particular interest is in ...
Tim D's user avatar
  • 359
1 vote
1 answer
656 views

Is there an idiom equivalent to / similar to "gut feeling"?

Is there an expression or metaphor similar to "gut feeling", as a metaphor for one's intuition or instinctive feeling about something?
Lou's user avatar
  • 2,801
3 votes
1 answer
688 views

Meaning of 「どどめ色」

I came across this sentence: 「あんた ホントに どどめ色の青春を過ごしてるわね」 The context is that the addressee wanted to show the speaker a new move he learned by watching the same video over and over again. ...
Himula's user avatar
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