Hot answers tagged

17

今日という日 (literally "the day called today") is just an emphatic version of "today", or "this very day". This expression is commonly used in formal greetings and poems. (I tried jisho.org but got nothing related to "everyday". How did you come up with "everyday"?)


14

What is the etymology of the phrase 隴を得て蜀を望む? We can reorder the characters to get 得隴望蜀, which is a Chinese-language yojijukugo. This phrase may reference a few unrelated historical events. The earliest such event is about Emperor Guangwu of Han reunifying the Gansu region into Han territory then turning his sights on Sichuan (see Emperor Guangwu of Han's ...


12

Yes. 郷【ごう】に入【い】っては郷【ごう】に従【したが】え which literally means "When you enter a village, obey (the custom of) the village".


10

としたことが and ともあろうものが are used to express the surprise of the speaker toward the (bad) behaviour of someone. With 私, it expresses something around the line of "Who could have thought I/someone like me/someone of my standing/someone of my position (would do such a thing)" Here are some examples from the 和英大辞典: 君としたことが, とんだへまをしでかしてくれたものだ.  You, of all ...


9

According to the ja.wikipedia page on GKBR, it can be ゴキブリ as well as: ガクガクブルブル - 恐怖で震えるさまを表す擬態語。 So it'd be "GaKu BuRu," onomatopoeia that represents fearful trembling. It's some 2ch slang, of course. Here also is an entry on the nicovideo dictionary


9

The 面白 comes from 面白い which as you probably know means "fun, interesting". The 半分 part means "half". The expression ”面白半分に” means literally to do something "half fun", "half serious" (as you hinted at). See the definition in the dictionary here. The "に" acts to make the phrase an adverb which is acting on a verb such as 見る or 言う in your examples. The ...


9

Basically it means "easy hunt/game/prey". I think "something surprising but convenient" is slightly wrong. So it can't be used like your example. Second example is correct, the phrase exists for. We love 蕎麦(Japanese noodle), and duck(鴨) meat one is really popular since Edo period. We usually put 葱(Green leek?) in 蕎麦, so if we found a 鴨 carrying 葱 and could ...


8

嫌な汗 is commonly used and refers to sweat that comes out in a "bad situation", especially in anticipation of a "bad situation". In my personal opinion it emphasizes how the person is still maintaining his/her composure (rather than flailing around, screaming, running away etc.) despite being very worried or distressed inside. For example, if you are a ...


8

When talking about children/grandchildren and not romantic relationships, a common idiom is: 目に入れても痛くない{いたくない} (Literal: It wouldn't hurt if I put them in my eye) It's similar to saying that they are the apple of your eye, and you could do anything for them.


8

You can find many idioms that denote something is impossible on online glossaries, including: 石に花咲く (a flower blooms on a stone) 太陽が西から昇る (the sun rising from the west) 網の目に風とまる (wind being trapped by a net) 畑に蛤 (finding clams in a vegetable field) 山の芋鰻になる (potatoes becoming eels) But these are all fairly rare. I think these are used like (impossible event)...


8

Here's the list of examples from BCCWJ. We can see the idiom 旗色が悪い can be safely used in non-military contexts, but is always used in the context of argument, debate, competition, or at least comparison of two opposing ideas. It should not be used to describe simple failures without competitors, rivals, enemies, etc. I feel 私の商売は大損失で旗色が悪くなった on its own ...


8

見るも is better remembered as a fixed adverbial idiom "patently", "manifestly" but usually qualifies what is shocking at first glance. This phrase cooccurs with following adjectives across the BCCWJ: word count 無残/無惨/無慙/無ざん/むざん 32 哀れ/あわれ 7 恐ろしい/おそろしい 5 おぞましい 4 痛々しい 3 あさましい 1 嫌 1 悲しい 1 きれい 1 燦爛 1 獰猛 1 悲惨 1 まばゆい 1 まぶしい 1 みじめ 1 ...


7

I believe [無駄足]{むだあし} is derived from [無駄足]{むだあし}を[運]{はこ}ぶ ("move one's feet in vain"), which is one of a series of counterintuitive idioms Japanese vocabulary has. [小腹]{こばら}が[減]{へ}る "little stomach get empty" actually describing "be a little hungry" (cf. [腹]{はら}が[減]{へ}る "be hungry") [大]{おお}ぼらを[吹]{ふ}く "blow on a big conch" actually, "blow on a conch loudly" ...


7

If what you're talking about is this: to do something that spoils someone's plans We have idioms 水【みず】を差【さ】す and 腰【こし】を折【お】る in Japanese. 水を差して [apology words] … 水を差すようで [apology words] … 水を差すようなことを言って [apology words] … (話の)腰を折って [apology words] … (... and so forth ...) while in [apology words] you can fill (in the order from casual to formal): 悪いんだけど、 ...


7

The idiomatic expression refers to not having any leads. See the explanation for 足がつく here. So the phrase in your example is actually referring to a person who has disappeared without a trace.


7

I personally think 時すでに遅し is fine (時すでに遅し is an idiomatic phrase which is not based on plain modern Japanese grammar), but if you want "more idiomatic" ones, you may use the following expressions: 覆水盆に返らず (lit.) Spilled water won't go back to a bowl. 後悔先に立たず (lit.) Regret never precedes. 落花枝に返らず、破鏡再び照らさず (rare) (lit.) A fallen blossom won't go back to a ...


7

I'm curious which dictionary you used to find that odd kana-ization? Searching for the kana string おたかくとまる over on Kotobank, a decent online dictionary aggregator sourcing from reputable native-language Japanese dictionaries, gives us several relevant pages. The Nihon Kokugo Dai Jiten entry for the 御高くとまる spelling includes the following sample sentence ...


7

This idiom is understood by virtually all native speakers, but ordinary people rarely use it. They usually see this phrase used by villains in fictional works. 鴨 is a duck, and in Japanese it's also a metaphor for a person who is easily tricked, just like "gull" in English. There is a phrase ~を鴨にする (or ~をカモる for short), which means "to gull (someone)". 葱 is ...


7

Have you tried Wikipedia? どどめ色 どどめ色(ドドメ色、土留色)とは、その名前は知られているが正確な定義のない色。方言では桑の実、また青ざめた唇の色や、打撲などによる青アザの表現に用いられ、赤紫から青紫、黒紫を指す。 慣用句としては青紫色から「病的な」、不正確性から「不明瞭な」、泥色から「汚れた」といったネガティブな意味合いで用いられることが多い Physically, this color refers to dark purple/blue, but ドドメ色(の) is more commonly used as an idiom that means something negative like "dark", "dirty" or ...


7

There are a few terms that might be used to describe ice on a road. [路面凍結]{ろめんとうけつ} (literally "road surface freezing") アイスバーン (from the German word "Eisbahn") ブラックアイスバーン (probably the closest to what you're looking for) The first two refer to any ice on the road, whether it's visually apparent or not. The last one is transparent ice on ...


6

鵜呑{うの}みにしない This literally means "don't swallow it whole" (like a pelican), in other words take it with a grain of salt. For example, when I went clothes shopping recently in Japan and the staff kept saying I looked so good in various things I tried on so I ended up buying a bunch of stuff. My Japanese friend later rebuked me by saying 所詮{しょせん}奴{やつ}らは販売員{...


6

All in all it takes 15 minutes to get there 全部で15分かかる。 (more examples of this structure) All in all this movie was quite fun この映画は全体的におもしろかった。 (more examples, more examples, more) This dictionary might help as well. It includes some useful phrases like 全体として見れば.


6

一瞬で, 一瞬にして, etc. Coincidentally (or not coincidentally), the 瞬 in 一瞬 means blink.


6

How about... 「[木]{き}に[竹]{たけ}を[接]{つ}ぐ」? It would be like "trying to force a square through a circle". 「まるで、木に竹を接ぐようなものだ。」 Sources: 英辞郎 "square peg in a round hole" 故事ことわざ辞典「木に竹を接ぐ」


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible