11

I remember クリスマスケーキ was used that way decades ago. The chart below is average age at first marriage in Japan. In 昭和55年 (1980), female's average age was 25.2. The metaphor probably worked around that time. But in 平成21年 (2009), it was 28.6. I don't think people in their 20s would understand the phrase.


10

The All-Japan Senior High School Baseball Championship Tournament is held at 甲子園 stadium every year. There is a custom that losing teams bring a little dirt from 甲子園 stadium back to their school in memory. So, I think his action in this case means the thing you assumed.


9

I barely remember hearing this metaphor many years ago, but I can safely say this metaphor is completely dead now. According to this 発言小町 question, this metaphor used to be recognized all over Japan, around 30 years ago. Many people there say 懐かしいですね or 今じゃ考えられないですね :-)


8

I do not claim to know the origin of this particular term [小便芸者]{しょんべんげいしゃ} but I have reasons to doubt the male anatomy hypothesis. In the most vulgar kind of Japanese, [小便]{しょんべん} is sometimes added to a noun like a prefix to express the speaker's hatred or strong disrespect of the object. The nuance it carries is much worse than "good for nothing". ...


7

This is not necessarily an idiomatic structure. English uses the exact phrase when talking about unknowns. "Candidate X is an unknown variable so anything can happen once he/she enters the race." Mathematical terms tend to be constants (yet another mathematical term) and many are actually co-opted from real world use to talk about mathematics. Alphabets ...


5

(Prerequisites: 猫の額 "a cat's forehead" is an established metaphor that describes how tiny a place is.) I think your friend simply failed to explain this sentence properly. The sentence is clearly talking about 日本語の分かる猫, or an imaginary Japanese-speaking cat. 猫にも額の広い猫と狭い猫がいると思うので、日本語の分かる猫に聞かれたら、「失礼じゃないですか?!」と怒られてしまいそうです。 Read this like so (not a ...


5

In this sentence, できる means "be formed" not "be able to do", and 地割れ is compared to "the boundary you can't cross" (because the crack is too deep to cross over) And it is okay to leave out the subject. If anything, it sounds a little odd if you put a subject in the sentence because it is obvious that the subject is her and her group of friends.


5

This might be an overkill, but this book is dedicated to the subject: http://amzn.to/1fbjwj4 Published by the IPA Information-technology Promotion Agency to standardize the terminology used throughout the software life-cycle. Many big Japanese SIers dig it. But that book is huge, so I'll give you some translations that we use (I've worked at Japanese ...


5

Another (more) common English idiom for this is It's all Greek to me and Eijiro offers an interesting word which I haven't encountered before: Don't ask me anything about computers. It's all Greek to me. 私にコンピューターのことは聞かないで。ちんぷんかんぷんなんだから。 The theory seems to be that the word appeared in the Edo era and made fun of Confucianists who liked to use a lot of ...


5

[解読不能]{かいどくふのう} would be the only word I could think of. It literally means "indecipherable" but it could also be used when the writing itself is in one's own language (and letters/characters) but is too difficult to read.


5

小動物系 In this case 系 doesn't mean system. Instead it refers to a certain category of girls. 小動物系 describes girls you could compare to small animals in terms of cuteness. They obviously can't be tall or overweight, but they also must behave in a certain lovely manner. You can read more about this use of 系 here. 裏DVD You're right, these are DVDs that can't ...


5

買う sometimes means "to appreciate (someone's trait)", "to value", etc. It has nothing to do with purchasing. 買う to value; to have a high opinion​ 彼のスキーヤーとしての優秀性は十分に買っています。We fully appreciate his excellence as a skier. 買う 4 価値を認める。「努力を―・う」 As is the case in your example, it's commonly used in decision-making contexts (e.g., ...


4

手 is such a basic word that it represents many meanings, one of which is “efforts.” Other examples of 手 in this meaning are: 手をかける (take great care), 手がかかる (be troublesome (because it requires efforts)) 手が込んでいる/手の込んだ (intricate) There are too many meanings of 手 to list them up. Look up in a dictionary for a list.


4

It seems to mean "effort", i.e. "attempt to accomplish something", yes. The primary not-completely-literal usage of 手 that I'm most familiar with is in discussions of the game of Go, where it generally means "play" or "move" in the game-mechanic sense of "single action by one player", and sometimes "play" in the sense of "manner of playing the game" (as in ...


4

I can't think of anything, because... Japanese indeed has a certain repertoire of metonymy that makes real names represent their prominent quality, such as: 今【いま】孔明【こうめい】 (孔明 is a most tactful strategist) 祇園【ぎおん】小町【こまち】 (小町 is a greatest beauty) 台風【たいふう】銀座【ぎんざ】 (銀座 is a busiest downtown district) 東洋【とうよう】のパリ (パリ is...... you know?) Those, however, ...


4

Can I believe this example usage found on Urban Dictionary? We used to have each other over for dinner on a regular basis, but then she moved out to Timbuktu, and we haven't done it since. Then perhaps there is no place name that can be used like this in Japanese. I can think of some typical and historical names for "extremely distant/inaccessible places"...


4

特にメタファーなどはないと思います。「a barrier he built using the lifeforms he created」が実際どのくらい「不細工」なのかはわかりませんが、それを指して、侮蔑的に・さげすんで「不細工な皮」と言っていて、文字通り「不細工な皮で(自分を)包みやがって!」あるいは「不細工な皮に隠れやがって!」と言いつつ、「こんなもの剝いでやる!」「こんなもの、破ってやる!」といったような気持ちだと思います。"What an ugly skin you're hiding yourself behind!" という感じだと思います。


4

So you want to make a metaphor in its narrowest sense, something that does not use any explicit word like like, as, resemble, compare, (の)ような, みたいな, 似ている? Then the solution is simple; use XはYだ/です, and let the listener notice the metaphor. It appears structurally identical to an ordinary sentence, but that's the definition of metaphor (in the narrow sense), ...


3

拳 is "knuckle", so 拳の山 should refer to a part of a knuckle. Judging from the picture, 拳の山 seems to refer to the protrusion made by the metacarpophalangeal joints. 拳の山 is not a well-known term at least among laypeople. It doesn't look like boxer jargon, either. so perhaps it's a made-up word. Some orthopedists seem to use this phrase. Anyway, this is not to ...


3

I think this 引き手 pretty straightforwardly refers to the movement of the fist returning to the body after a punch was thrown. When you throw a punch, it's always followed by a 引き手. A normal counter punch starts being thrown when the opponent's fist is still coming toward you. But this "phantom punch" starts after the opponent's punch was thrown. It needs to ...


3

小便芸者 means a poor geisha. Because such geisha often excuses herself from playing shamisen(三味線) or performing Mai(舞) to fudge on.


3

I think 瞳だけはぶっ飛ばねー has the similar meanig of 目だけは死んでない, which means "He still has a fighting sprit (even if his body was damaged)." and "He hasn't yielded yet (even if his body was damaged)." It isn't a common phrase. As for the grammar, I found an explanation, and it says 「~でやがるの」changed to 「~でやんの」. やがる is used when you say about someone's action with ...


3

一つ(や二つ)では済まない, literally "(listing) one or two won't suffice", is a set phrase that effectively means "there are quite a few". Assuming ゴミの分別 is used for the first time in this page, it is not a common metaphor for something. It just means "separation/sorting of garbage" here. ゴミの分別をしてもらいたいです is "I (=Riku) want him (=Baba) to sort garbage", implying that's ...


3

There is the idiom 「虫{むし}の知{し}らせ」 that is often found in bilingual dictionaries as one of the definitions for "gut feeling". IMHO, however, that is closer to "premonition" in meaning and feeling than to "gut feeling". Regular, non-idiom words such as 「直感{ちょっかん}」 and 「第六感{だいろっかん}」 would be closer to "gut feeling" in nuance than 「虫の知らせ」 is.


2

PART I - IT'S NOT AS SIMPLE AS FINDING A METAPHORICAL THEME I don't believe you will find wide-sweeping solutions to your problem by, for example, using construction-related words. From my experience in translation, it seems to me that the Japanese word chosen is the word that most accurately describes the action, and not necessarily based on a metaphor. ...


2

This was an interesting question. I see this in movie subtitles all the time when the English line is along the lines of, "sorry for your loss." The "best answer" on this provides some more insight to the answer already given: http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q119850871 But the answer below that, where the guy talks about the origin ...


2

It would probably be 拍車をかける, which means to spur, encourage, accelerate etc.


2

A couple I can think of: 最果ての地 秘境 ( or 秘境中の秘境) ど田舎


2

I don't think this 骨 itself is metaphorical; it just says his body is supported by his bones, literally and physically. Instead, 剥き出した ("bare", "uncovered") is the tricky expression here. It's not a common expression at all, but in this context, I feel it metaphorically describes how his body is damaged and how his muscle is weakened. In other words, it's ...


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